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Negative Space of Basic 3D Forms

Materials: vine charcoal, 18 x 24 newsprint paper.

Exercise:  three 5 minute drawings

The three basic three-dimensional forms are sphere, cube, and cone. For this drawing exercise, you need to find these basic forms and arrange them in a simple composition on a table.  Use a single light to illuminate your compositional arrangement.  Now you are ready to draw the composition from different vantage points.  For example, you can draw it from the left sitting at the table, then standing using an easel so that you are looking down on the forms, or you may sit facing the light source so that the cast shadows are coming towards you.  It is important to concentrate on the negative space.  The negative spaces are the spaces around and between the forms. If you draw these negative spaces accurately, the drawing will be very accurate.  Whatever drawings you do from observation, drawing the negative spaces accurately will improve the accuracy of your drawing.

Each drawing should be from a different vantage point as in student examples below. These quick drawings are an excellent way to warm-up before you start any drawing session.  Warming up in drawing is as important as it is in sports.

Examples of Students' Negative Space Drawing


Student / Artist Unknown


Student / Artist Unknown


Student / Artist Unknown

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