As in life, there cannot be a positive without a negative, and the same is true of art. Positive space and negative space work together to create a harmonious If they are not present, a piece may overwhelm the eye or even fail to utilize the layout at all (which is so boring!). The area of negative space ought to always be planned as much as the areas of active space, just so the drawing or painting is balanced.

What is negative space?

There is no denying that negative space is fundamental to art. You’ve undoubtedly seen it before, even if you weren’t familiar with its name. Negative space, as defined by the English dictionary, is the space around a subject. It appears in all drawings and paintings, and is one of the most iconic examples of it in the optical illusion called Rubin’s Rubin’s vase uses negative space to highlight its beauty. As you can see, there is a symmetrical vessel (also known as positive space) in the middle of the composition. The vase is adorned with portraits of people on either side It gives the illusion that a forehead, nose, and mouth are visible on the pot. The negative space itself lacks any identifiable details, but the hard edges and contrast of the vessel to the surrounding areas give the image an element of movement and allow the mind to fill in the details.

Why is negative space important?

Positive and negative space are both crucial to the success of an artwork. The negative space in Rubin’s Vase, for example, provides a striking background for areas of activity. It’s only through the negative space that such an attractive piece of art can be realized.

Negative space is so important that you shouldn’t overlook it. There is no reason to assume it lacks power just because it is bare. A photograph that has elements removed from it evokes mystery and leaves the viewer with feelings of longing and Negative space plays a larger role in driving the larger meaning behind a work when used in this way.

Can negative space help you with drawing?

Yes, I agree! You can also use negative space for drawing in addition to using it as a composition tool. As negative space traces the outline of a subject, its form is revealed. In order to figure out the proportions and placement of more complex subject matter, such as the human figure, crowded scenes, or still lifes, it is easier to look at the space around the subject. The brain will turn these negative shapes into simple shapes, which is quite easy to do since they are the simplest shapes in all of visual arts.

As you practice your observation skills, this exercise will be helpful to you. If you are starting from either the top or bottom of the image, begin by going down (or up) the page and working your way up. You should draw the shapes that occur when you scan your subject(s). Make sure the shapes are the same size and the relationship is appropriate. There’s a triangle between those two figures, isn’t there? What is the size of the rectangle compared to the square? During the writing process, you should ask yourself these sorts of questions. Keep in mind Be sure not to draw any contour line details–focus only on the relationships between objects and their background and foreground. You can now fill in those areas with your pen or pencil after you have drawn all the shapes. Moreover, you’ll end up with a map that’s both abstract and informative. To recreate the drawing, you might already have a sense of the proportions and location on the page if you draw a contour line.

By Peter