28 May 2016

Going Negative

One of the most frequently commented on aspects of my work is the drama in many of the portrait drawings.  The explanation is simple, one that I've discussed in earlier posts: negative space.  Its use immediately focuses attention on the subject and its presentation.  If I want to highlight something important I say on this page, 

I single out those words and leave plenty of space around them.

Here are a few drawings that I think best illustrate the same concept in art and how I've used it.  First, a portrait of the great writer Joseph Conrad:

The Secret Sharer
Graphite on paper

Next, another writer -- American master Edgar Allen Poe:

Graphite on paper

Now, two musicians.  First, Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy:

Damn Right I've Got the Blues
Charcoal on paper

 And, finally, the legendary conductor Herbert Von Karajan:

The Titans -- Von Karajan
Charcoal on paper
I hope these examples clarify how negative space can help create striking, dramatic images.  If you have pieces -- or thoughts -- of your own, please pass them along.

Time to stay up late and read . . . but keep the lights on when you do!

"This novel picks you up by the scruff of your neck and doesn't let go!"  VB, London

"It takes hold from the first page.  Read it!."  CE, Illinois

"An amazing tale...that you cannot put down!" ML, Georgia

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