Negative & Positive Spacing


A. What is negative space (explain this concept to a fourth grader that has never heard of it)

Negative space is the space around and between an object in a image. It’s like the breathing room around the object that determines how alluring it looks. Negative space helps define itself and bring balance to composition(Composition is used to describe the arrangement of visual elements in an artwork.). Usually negative spacing will be object itself. Just as you see on the left side of this picture.

B. Explain how you found negative space in your cut out?

The first thing I did was cut out the pieces of the picture, since negative spacing is usually cut up in pieces. So in the artwork I did, I cut out the outer part of the tree(the tree bark and grass) and the inner parts of the tree(middle tree, middle tree holes, and bottom holes). After I cut out my pieces, I flipped the cut out pieces over and lined them up to make a whole tree. After that, I glued them to the paper. Finally, I was able to identify my negative spacing is the left half of the tree and my positive spacing is the right half of the tree.

C. Why does it help an artist to see in negative space?

One reason why it helps an artist to see in negative spacing is because it allows them to see if the image is too crowded or not. Also, it gives the artist a new perspective on the artwork. For example, Rubin’s Vase image. Without the negative spacing, it looks like a vase. With negative and positive spacing, you can see the vase and two faces facing each other.

D. Does seeing in negative space enhance drawings, why or why not

Seeing artwork in negative space does enhance drawings because it allows to see different features to the artwork more than when it shows it regularly. The audience can see the detail for each shape of the picture instead of one big artwork.