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Negative Space in Composition

(Terri-Anne Barge) #1

I’ve been reading about negative space in composition. Do you have any good references or resources or TIPS on how you incorporate negative space into your decisions on composition?

(Jacqueline Davis) #2

I must admit I don’t know if it’s something I think too much consciously about when setting up a composition, except to say that I think you know when a composition looks ‘wrong’. I think in general it’s a good idea not to have too much negative space but then I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules in art.
Where negative space comes in most useful for me is when it comes to sketching out the composition. I pay as much attention to the space around the objects as I do to the objects themselves. It helps with proportion and getting the drawing right.
I hope that makes sense.

(Mary Hubley) #3

Ever wrestle with a painting that doesn’t seem to come together well? It’s likely about the composition, and the negative vs. positive space. When there isn’t enough negative space, or the negative space is an unfortunate shape, a painting easily becomes crowded and muddled. A well-balanced negative vs. positive space creates a simple, powerful design. Leverage negative space to lead the viewer to the focal point, and to heighten drama.

(Mary Ellen Koser) #4

That is interesting. When a painting isn’t right I never think to consider the negative vs positive space balance.