As an experimental yet age-old approach to art, using negative space is a creative way to depict subject matter and craft intriguing compositions. By unexpectedly employing the untouched space surrounding the central figure or object of a work of art, artists can create pieces that are both aesthetically balanced and eye-catching.
Since negative space is inherently present in every medium and genre of art, artists across all disciplines are able to take advantage of its great potential. Traditionally, the compositional tool has been most widely used by artists producing drawings or paintings, as paper and canvas are prime surfaces for working with negative space. Sculptors have also dabbled in the practice, since creatively playing with space is particularly important to three-dimensional pieces. Recently, however, many contemporary artists have started to produce negative space art using a range of surprising and unconventional materials, from tattoo ink to fingernails.
Here, we explore the many mediums and genres of art that feature negative space in unexpected, creative, and contemporary ways.
Negative Space Drawing
Negative Space Graphic Design and Photography