Positive and Negative Space

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Positive and negative space play an important role in determining the overall composition in a work of art.  By understanding positive and negative space and applying your knowledge, you can become more successful in designing your compositions.

What is Positive and Negative Space?

Simply put, positive space is best described as the areas in a work of art that are the subjects, or areas of interest. Negative space is area around the subjects, or areas of interest.

Take a look at the image below.

For example, do you see faces or a vase?

Positive and negative space

If you are seeing a vase, then you are seeing the white area as the positive space. The black areas become the negative space. If you are seeing faces, then you are seeing the black areas as the positive space, and the white area as the negative space.

Examples of uses of positive and negative space...

Balance of Positive and Negative space

Positive and negative space-balance

Mostly Negative Space

positive and negative space-excessive negative

Mostly Positive Space

positive and negative space-excessive positive

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