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ars154 1005 - ii in part by the space in which it exists...

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Unformatted text preview: ii in part by the space in which it exists. Some artists call this the figure-ground relationship, referring to the figure against its background. Other artists prefer to think of this relationship as posiiinru negative form, or grin-yang. Whatever the term. there is a universal recognition that the subject of the drawing is defined not only by the space it or- cupies but also by the surrounding space. There- fore, you need to interpret the dynamics of the internal forms of the body? with sensitivity to how the pose relates to the picture plane in which it is going to exist. As an actor on a stage remains cone scious of the perimeters within whi ch to perform. so the artist must be aware of the boundaries of the drawing surface. A figure can be completely contained within the space of the page, affecting the composition pri— marily by its position in reference to the borders, or the frame can encroach on the configuration of the body and even crop parts of it so that the com- position is determined by the interacnon of the body with the frame’s physical edge. With any sin- gle pose, there exisrs a multitude of compositional 1.2.6 Rembrandt \‘ar; Rijn. Study.- for the Greg.- lewish Bride. 17-98. Pen and ink. 1-H x 193 mm. National Museum of Sweden, Stockholm. Photo by Stateus lionstrnuseer. Chapter Two a Sketch to Build On 535 d even though the figure remains sr can literally rearrange the surrounding space and change the visual percep— tions. Depending on how the body is framed. it may appear to be distant or near. It may seem part of a larger eiivironrnent or provide the composi— tion's total Structural elements. The following sketches, each using a very similar subiect, demon— strate how differently each artist builds the form of the figure and defines the composition. The. first is a compositional Study by Rein— brandt for one of his engravings, The jewish Bride, Figure 2.26. Beginning With a diluted mix— ture of inlt, Rembrandt first defines the essence of his subject’s face and body- with thin line. Then, using both pen and fingers, he disperses the inlt to Create value areas suggesting the play of light and shadow on the walls. The generous use of the full concentration of his inl: suggests the lavishness of the bridal wardrobe. Cornpositionally, Rembrandt maintains a distance from his subject, allowing a radiance that seems to emanate from her to fill the possibilities, an stationary, the am room. Although Rembrandt’s subject physically ...
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