Monday 5 May 2014

The Pensive Palette: On Negative Space

The Pensive Palette: On Negative Space

‘Alight’ | 24” x 14” | acrylic on board (sold)

“The design of negative space can be just as important as the positive image.” (Joan Fedoroshyn)

As an artist, it is easy to be seduced by the primary subject matter we choose to represent.  But when you think of a painting as a flat space to be filled with interesting shapes, then design places just as much importance on the elements that aren’t immediately obvious. 

In music, pauses in a song add interest and build tension-- in the same way, spaces between objects in a painting become necessary and integral elements that require just as much thought as the objects themselves.

In this painting, ‘Alight’, featuring an oriole perched on marsh grass, I was conscious of the repeating arches of the grass bending under the bird’s weight.  The spaces between the blades created an interesting rhythm of pleasing shapes that allow the eye to dance with the positive and negative despite the relative simplicity of the background. I made an effort, in this case, to vary the shapes and keep them both feeling natural and asymmetrical while still giving a sense of balance and movement to the composition.

No comments:

Post a Comment