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Drawing on the Edge

Learn to give your artwork a sense of grandness

Expressive Drawing-two students work on their art projects in a studio

A couple of sessions back, we discovered how where you place things in a drawing space greatly influence the expressive quality of that drawing: When you place major forces up high, you create a sense of dynamism. And when you place those forces down low you create a sense of stability, support and comfort.

Now let's look at the different sensations brought about by concentrating things at the edge of the drawing and, on the other hand, placing things in the interior of the space.

See also: What is expressive drawing?

What you'll find is that when a visual element is on the edge, it immediately gains prominence. This happens because you're exploring the defining limits of the space, challenging its very parameters, and implying that things may continue beyond the edge as well. Consequently, drawings that emphasize on-the-edge placements often achieve a sense of grandness.

On the other hand, whenever visual elements are concentrated in the inside of the drawing space, they feel contained, as if inside a vessel. In most cases, these kinds of drawings have a sense of things being harbored, sheltered, comforted, safe and relatively modest in scale.

However, occasionally they may convey a powerful sense of confinement or claustrophobia. Let's tackle this hands-on so you can experience these dynamics for yourself.

What You'll Need: Several rectangular drawing surfaces, all the same size and shape.

Next: Let's get started >>>

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