The Seven Elements of Art: Space

We live in a three-dimensional world where objects look close or far away. Every space we experience throughout our lives has a sense of depth to it, whether it’s a tiny bathroom or looking out at a mountain landscape. Space is the area provided for a

particular purpose in a creative work.. Space can make a viewer feel cramped or open, depending on how the designer uses elements within the space.

The size of elements within a space is a good way to convey depth. Usually, when an element is smaller, it looks farther away, and when an element is bigger, it looks closer. Look across the room in which you are sitting right now. A pillow close to you might

look huge, while a window far away looks smaller.
Likewise, overlapping shapes adds depth and makes the space feel more crowded.

Positive and negative space (sometimes referred to as “white space”) refers to the space between visual elements, or the part of the design that “isn’t there”. Negative Space is often used as background. The use of negative space versus positive space can be used to create great tension or visual interest with in a creative space. The white space makes the darker spaces pop out at the viewer and also creates contrast.

Space is comprised of length, width and height, which make for a three-dimensional feel. A picture of a room, for instance will show height in the walls, length in the floor and width in the space between the walls.

In these ways, we can see that the elements added to a design can drastically change the sense of space that the viewer experiences. Take a room, for example. If all the elements in the room are strewn about, cluttered and messy, than the room will feel messy and cramped. If the elements in the room are neatly grouped together, the room will feel ordered and open.

There are elements seldom as awe-inspiring as space. Whether a design is as spacious as open prairie, or as crowded as a city scene, the element of space can evoke great emotion in the viewer.

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