Currently Browsing: Negative Space 14 articles

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Sketching Faces: When You Feel You’ve Hit A Plateau

    I sketch a ton of faces. I look back over the years and see how my approach to sketching faces has changed, how it’s constantly evolving. Often students write to me about experiencing a plateau in their drawing efforts. They feel that they have achieved a level of skill at which they remain […]

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Nostalgie Is A Fun Paper

    I think the sketch pretty much shows how much fun I was having on this paper so I’m not going to write more except to say you can use the category list or search engine on this blog to find more Nostalgie pages. The paper is smooth, heavyweight, and a delight for all […]

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Do You Stop Or Keep Pushing?

One of the things I’m asked most frequently by students is, “When do I know I’m finished with my [painting/sketch]?” I’ve heard many people give the flip response, “When you realize that you’ve gone to far, then you know you should have stopped.” It’s actually more simple and more complex than that. First, yes, if […]

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Simple Approaches for Backgrounds—A Five-Part Series: Part 3 Patterns

This is Part Three of a five-part series on simple approaches to backgrounds in the visual journal and paintings. See Part One here. Today I wanted to look at pattern—it’s something that you can use to quickly fill up the background space around a subject. I’ve written about some of my favorite approaches numerous times […]

Staedtler Pigment Liner on a 3M Post-it Note™, collaged with painted paper, and expanded. A Piecemeal portrait.

In Context: A Piecemeal Portrait of a Dog

Sometimes when I don’t like the paper in a journal I’m working in (here a Zeta Smooth, heavyweight journal from Stillman & Birn) I will sketch on Post-it Notes™ Sometimes I save those bits of paper and make a piecemeal portrait. (See the category list for additional piecemeal portraits.) See my four part review on […]

A full spread sketch in the largest Hahnemühle Nostalgie sketchbook. I used a Bienfang Magenta watercolor brush pend to start and did the comb and wattles and area around the eye. A little different approach for me because I usually start with the eye. Then I decided to paint some of the features, add color to the background, and also add some stenciling detail to the background.

When Do You Stop? When Is A Drawing Finished

I think the number one question I get from students is: “When do I know my drawing is finished?” Most people aren’t going to like the answer. You’ll know after you’ve taken a ton of sketches past the point of no return. Here’s the thing, you’re asking a question that involves choices both stylistic choices […]

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Relaxing and Sketching My Favorite TV Dog

Above: A Pentel Brush Pen of Swatch on Project Runway. Background texture—metallic stamp ink and stenciling. 8.25 x 11.75 inch Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook. Click on the image to view an enlargement—and look closely at the top eye, you can see Swatch looking. After avoiding Dick’s cold germs for about 10 days they caught up with […]

Project Friday—Improving Your Drawing Practice with Repetition, the Right Tool, Being Invested, and Celebration

Above: Practice sketches in a 6 x 8 inch journal using a thick, soft, solid, fiber-tipped black brush pen and Montana Marker (background) as well as a large, fat-leaded Lyra metallic pencil. I’m feeling around to sense the nuance in the pose, the angle of the eyes, the negative space that first attracted me, to […]

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Sketching with Twin Cities Urban Sketchers in October 2016

Above: Working in my 8 x 8 inch Seawhite of Brighton Sketchbook I sketched the top of one of the old Brewery buildings in Indanthrone blue watercolor pencil (Faber-Castell) which I left dry. I blocked out the sky with a light blue 15 mm Montana Marker. Last Saturday Twin Cities Urban Sketchers met at the […]

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Changing Your Point of View

Left: Brush pen and acrylic marker sketch in a Shinola Sketchbook. See below for additional details. I think it’s important when working in a series to change your point of view frequently. On this day I tried to get a handle on my friend’s features from a lower vantage point. Which makes sense because he’s […]

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