Negative Space, Perspective – 1

By | February 2, 2014
Intersecting of lines, Perspective, The Golden Ratio, Negative Space, Positive Shapes.

Intersecting of lines, Perspective, The Golden Ratio, Negative Space, Positive Shapes.

About art from the notebook is meant to be a resource to solve problems, to analyse paintings or to investigate how artists have composed their work.
The most important thing to do when creating images is to move from depicting to creating an image. This means that you consciously use the objects’ various parts to make the whole of an image to create art.
The composition and structure is the core of a painting. You could say that there are two main blocks which are used – colour and structure – which creates an image.

The golden ratio – golden cut

The golden cut is a principle to split a line or area so that the smaller part relates to the larger part like the larger part relates to the whole.
The golden cut has been considered a formula for the absolute most harmonic dividing, and has been used widely within art. The relation equals 5:8.
The standard format for canvases is built on this principle.


Negative Space - Positive ShapesNegative Space - Positive ShapesNegative Space - Positive Shapes

Negative Space – Positive Shapes

Space that appears in a painting which is called negative is just as important, if not even more important than positive shapes, for the creation of a painting.
To draw the negative space is a way to avoid one’s symbol systems.


Intersecting of lines

The intersecting points create depth and are important to describe shapes. It is vital to a drawing and it is important to get it right. In model drawing, portraits, landscapes etc, it is present at the most crucial parts of the drawing.

Intersecting of lines
Above you can see an example to help you along. To the left, you see depth and to the right you can see the mistakes (weird intersecting of lines).

Intersecting of lines

Example 1 – Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564)

Intersecting of lines

Example 2 – Willem Claesz (1594-1680)

Intersecting of lines

Example 3 – Théodore Géricault (1791–1824)


A short course on perspective

Perspective is, within art, a system to depict three dimensional objects on a flat surface. The word perspective comes from perspicere which means ‘to look at closely’.

You can divide the perspective science into four parts:
Line perspective = the object’s apparent shape
Shadow perspective = the shape of shadows
Mirror perspective = how mirror images appear
Air perspective = how the colours change

Behind the laws of perspective are the basic observations that objects far away appear smaller than objects which are closer, and parallel lines seem to meet at a far distance in one or more points.
The image is created as if it were drawn on a piece of glass between the artist and the motif.

Line perspective = the object’s apparent shape
Single Point Perspective

Single Point Perspective

When creating a three-dimensional image on a two-dimensional surface you can use one of several different techniques. The most common method is the central perspective, Single Point Perspective or One Point Perspective, which is based on a joint starting point for all parallel lines in the image.

Two-point perspective

Two-point perspective


Value perspective – Hierarchical perspective

Value perspective means that the most important, for example the person with higher rank, is made larger than everything else.
The size of the objects does not tell you the distance. Value perspective is based on subjective proportions rather than objective or exact measurements.

Value perspective - Hierarchical perspective


Dissolving the central perspective

During the end of the 1800s artists such as Cezanne started dissolving the central perspective and working with a displacement of the perspective in his paintings.
The central perspective is a construction and what Cezanne wanted to achieve was a larger presence and images which showed how one see motifs which are close up.
In the example the lines of the perspective are leading towards the observer. If you put a book in front of you on a desk you will be able to see this effect.

Dissolving the central perspective Dissolving the central perspective