I recently joined ‘The Society for all Artists’ (SAA) and as part of the membership I receive a copy of Paint magazine. In the recent magazine is a tutorial by Trevor Waugh on using negative space in still life. This interested me as I have been looking at still life in my research and for the assignment work I have been doing.
In the article are some useful pieces of advice that I will try in my own work:
- Take you time setting up your still life and consider the negative spaces as well as the objects. In assignment one I did take my time setting up the objects and I tried various arrangements but I can’t say I took that much notice of the negative spaces at the early stage. In my next arrangement I will focus more on these.
- The shapes you leave out are usually the ones that speak. Waugh is writing about watercolour in particular but I think this also applies to many media. When I look back with fresh eyes at my assignment piece I do see the negative spaces and they do help connect the objects but many of them in mine are in deep shadow.
- The shadows connect all the objects.
- Negative spaces help throw objects forwards
- Your work is personal to you – make every mark with care and remember sometimes less is more.
Waugh T, Shadow Play. Paint Nov 2016 page 12-13