Negative Space

All drawing is hard, subjects just seem to become easier when you are more familiar with them. However, there are a number of ways you can make life easier for yourself and one is to consider negative space.
Negative space is the area that surrounds the subject you are drawing, it describes the subject as equally as if you were looking at the subject itself. For example, if a person is stood with one hand on their hip a triangle will form between the bent arm and the line of the body, the shape of that triangle will determine the angles of the bent arm.
The drawing of dancers below show on the left the finished work and on the right the principle areas of negative shapes.
A good way to practice looking for shape is to set up a simple still life and describe the objects purely by drawing the space around them as in the example below.
Negative shapes can be found in all sorts of areas including the white surrounding an eye iris and areas of shadow in an uneven surface. Training your eye to spot them very quickly becomes part of your drawing process.