Drawing a Blank

It’s Monday and I feel compelled to upload a post, but somehow I am drawing a blank. Actually, how does one “draw a blank”? Something to ponder. But what does come to mind as an artist is the power of negative space.

Francis D.K. Ching authored  Design Drawing, a publication aimed for an architect or designer more than the fine artist. But nonetheless he addresses the concept of negative space quite well. He points out that as we capture the positive shapes we need to study the interconnection of the negative spaces that develop. Likewise, in rendering the negative shapes the positive image evolves.


I have been attempting to paint the positives by painting the negatives and I like where things are going. For instance in the small plein air study below I started with a watercolor wash, then with pastel, the trees were created by painting the sky. By selecting a pastel similar in color and value to the forest trees I defined the edges of the bushes. The reflections were painted by the glow of light on the river.

I don’t like to think of myself as a negative person, but in this case it’s a positive thing!


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4 Responses to “Drawing a Blank”

  1. Krista Meister Says:

    Marianne, wonderful post and painting. I like your thought process behind the painting.

  2. Loriann Signori Says:

    Negative is positive in this case and any others you create. What mood!

  3. Sally Chupick Says:

    HI Merianne,
    I’ve just spent a little while looking at your blog and enjoying your work. I like what you’re doing with the negative spaces.

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