Here is a photo of a ladderback chair.  It has been in my family more years than I have been alive. Let’s draw the negatives.

IMG_7620Start by drawing the hole between the two top back supports. Then draw the one below it, skipping the width of the support.

Do the same with the bottom one. Be sure, on the line across the bottom that you go up to make the bump of the forward leg top.

Skip the seat and draw the hole under the seat on our right.

Next draw the trapezoid under the horizontal support.

Next the small triangle betweeb the two supports.

And finally the underside of the bottom support, on around the forward leg, across the bottom of the front support (note that it is higher on the left. Back down around the leg on our left.

Stop for now when you get to the top of that leg.

Go back and draw the trapezoids between the leg on our left and the back leg on that side. Finish the bottom with the 3 shapes between the front legs and the one on the back, our left.

Now you can go along the top of the seat, back up the back of the chair, across the top and down the far side. Ta! Da!

No? Try it again.  It will be easier.

neg chairs_3 Then try this one – the blue chair on the right. We can’t see the back leg on our right so draw it that way. You can add the shadow too if you want.

Here is another – little different view of the ladderback. It was squashed by the format so is shorter and fatter. Go ahead and try it.

It is the same angle as the first one only the camera angle was higher so we see the seat.




IMG_7621Are you getting better?

Here are some paintings done while my students were trying to create a tree by painting the holes between the branches (no drawing). See example on the left, below. While they worked, I tried painting the negative shape around each of them.

Once you can do this, the October lesson will be easier.



One more example for you to try.  This is upside down.

neg chairs_2_2(1)Try to draw the negative shapes between the figure (my husband Jeffrey) and the doorway. Start by drawing the shutter on the left as a vertical edge.

Next line starts with his shirt touching the back, on down across the white shape, on around the hair shape, the profile, out the white sleeve and back down the black edge on the right.

Go back to where his shirt copes off the top of our photo, on around the arm or sleeve until you reach the black shape. Complete it.

Shade on all of the area that is to the left and right of the vertical lines, and the shape between his shirt and the bottom (top) of the page.

Shade all of the face and head shape with a soft gray or pencil. Then shade the hair shape and glasses with a darker pencil or felt marker.

Draw a line between the two sleeves and turn it right side up. You did it!

Got that?  Now if someone would only help me learn how to back a trailer!

neg chairs[1](1)Enjoy being negative! It’s so positive.

© Caroline Buchanan, 2014







And this?

neg chairs