07 June, 2012

Negative Space

by Ally Evander, Allied Member, ASID

I once took a drawing class in which we did an exercise that asked us to draw a chair by drawing the lines of the negative space- the space around and in between the components of the chair. This really helped me to understand how to draw better and how negative space changes positive space.
The principal of negative space is another one of my favorite concepts. For something that isn’t anything, it sure changes the way we see things! We can use the concept of negative space to our advantage to achieve an emotional response. Here are a few examples:
The negative space in this painting by Margarita Manzelli contributes to an ominous, eerie feeling:


This Lee Jofa fabric is reversible and illustrates the concept of positive and negative space. We used it on a sofa in a client’s home. We chose the side with a neutral ground and leaf green pattern.


These pillows show the other side of the same fabric- the green ground with neutral pattern. See how it changes the look and emphasis?


This cool sculpture defines shape with negative and positive space:

These arrangements of frames make the negative space into art: