What is (and is not) "Negative Space"? (And how do you use it.)

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
stevo23 Forum Pro • Posts: 22,418
Re: What is (and is not) "Negative Space"? (And how do you use it.)

Just Tim 4 wrote:

stevo23 wrote:

...What I'm advocating here is that negative space isn't a "thing".

No, it's a concept that helps you organise marks and shapes on a 2D surface with an understanding of how they will be interpreted.

Not sure what you mean here. Why would you not organize around a grid and the primary concepts of composition?

Rather, design techniques are and they are sometimes interpreted as "he's using negative space to do xyz"

Yet you still try and talk about it as a *thing*, he's not using negative space but organising shapes and tones with an understanding of how you will interpret what is the *object* and what is the *background*.

I think something is being missed when you put it that way. There has to be more going on or you can end up with mud.

when in reality, something else is going on. And then students think that negative space is a thing and they create a lot of schlock because they don't get what's really happening from a symmetry/design/story standpoint.

Negative space is an understanding that in 2D images your audience will make some base assumptions when they view. One of those assumptions is that we separate *subject* or *object* from the *background*. It's about how we organise elements in an image to form a logical understanding that's consistent with our memory. You can play with these ideas and your audience's assumptions as demonstrated in the link in this post here:


You're elevating negative space more than I would and I don't think it works that way.

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