Use Positive and Negative Space to Enhance Your Art Compositions

Positive and Negative Space- FacesPositive and negative space work in unison to affect the overall composition of a work of art.  Understanding how positive and negative space work will greatly improve your ability to create successful pieces of artwork.  The positive space in a work of art is the area of interest.  Usually, the subjects of the artwork are considered to be the positive space.  The negative space is made up of the areas around the subjects, or areas of  non-interest.  Positive space does not refer to “good” space and negative space does not mean “bad” space.  Instead, the artist can manipulate the balance between the positive and negative spaces in an artwork to create emphasis on desired objects or relationships.   An artwork may have a relatively equal amount of positive and negative space.  Or, an artwork may have mostly negative space and still be equally successful in it’s composition.  In the same token, an artwork could be made up mostly of positive space, with limited negative space and be equally successful as well.  To learn more about positive and negative space and to see the video art lesson click here->Positive and Negative Space

Here are a few examples of how the relationship between positive and negative space can be manipulated to create a successful composition…

Positive and negative space- Balanced

The above image represents a relative balance between positive and negative space.

Positive and Negative Space- Mostly Negative

The image above represents a composition with mostly negative space.

positive and negative space- mostly positive

The image above represents a composition that is mostly positive space.

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