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Dramatic Drawings Created with Lost and Found Edges

Updated on January 2, 2016

The Illusion of Line

A drawing does not have to be an exact reproduction of what you see, to convincingly convey a form. Keep your options open while working on a composition. By working with lost and found edges, there is room for interpretation. For instance, a change in light transforms how we see an object. Just think about the dramatic photographs of movie stars in the 1930s.

Lost and found edges in drawings suggests whole shapes. Surprisingly, every last detail does not have to be drawn in order for your eye to "see" a whole apple. Your eyes and mind are very astute; they will finish the shape even if the line drawn doesn't. As human beings, we innately understand rhythm and contour. If you leave part of the shape out, the drawing will have a more subtle, natural feel. After all, we are not computers, we do not see in line, we see in shapes.

Bringing Black & White Drawings to Life

Lost and found edges are particularly striking in black and white drawings and paintings. A painting that is initially very graphic, which is perfect for some applications, can be softened by the judicious use of lost and found edges. Please take of note of the gingko leaves below. Notice that not all edges of the gingko leaves are joined. They still "read" as gingko leaves because your subconscious understands what the line in the picture is trying to convey.

This is an example of a simple illustration incorporating lost and found edges.
This is an example of a simple illustration incorporating lost and found edges. | Source

How to Work with Lost and Found Edges

Here's how to work with lost and found edges. Start with a composition or subject you are familiar with.

  • Begin to draw the subject or whole composition.
  • As you're drawing, lift the pencil where the area may curve inward or outward and leave about 1/4" of this space open.
  • Right after 1/4" space start to draw again.
  • Repeat this process randomly throughout the shape and watch what happens.

Try this method with different subjects. Cats, plants or anything with an irregular angle or curve is a great place to start. Congratulations on creating your first lost and found edge style drawing!

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    • thoughtfulgirl2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Smaletz 

      2 years ago from East Coast

      Thank-you for visiting the page

    • Ram Ramakrishnan profile image

      Ram Ramakrishnan 

      2 years ago

      Yes! Drawings created with lost and found edges introduce a sense of pleasant intrigue to the representations. It grants a certain degree of independence of imagination to viewers making that exercise more participatory and exciting.

      An interesting page explaining an equally interesting technique.

    • thoughtfulgirl2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Smaletz 

      8 years ago from East Coast

      Thanks, and can't wait to see your collage:)

    • thoughtfulgirl2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Smaletz 

      8 years ago from East Coast

      Why thank-you Art Girl 27, I know it was brief, but I thought it got to the point:) Happy hubbing!

    • profile image

      Art Girl 27 

      8 years ago

      Nice article, very well done.

    • thoughtfulgirl2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Smaletz 

      8 years ago from East Coast

      Sounds interesting, keep me posted:)

    • profile image

      RTalloni 

      8 years ago

      It will be mixed, but I want to do a special painting effect to go with quotes that I will probably decoupage onto the canvas--viva computer fonts for saving time. If it works out I may turn them a hub. :) The more I think these projects through it seems your lost and found edges may be just the technique I need to use.

    • thoughtfulgirl2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Smaletz 

      8 years ago from East Coast

      Good luck with your piece. Is it a painting or mixed media or something else entirely? Anyway, thank-you for visiting my hub and I hope it was helpful:)

    • profile image

      RTalloni 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for this look at lost and found edges. I'm thinking through a design that I want to do two of and this may be the way to go. My two pieces will be more intricate than your example and I wanted to use a glazing so I may do some monochromatic experimenting with this concept in mind.

    working

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