Space A Visual Element of Art

Space in Art refers to the areas or distance around, above, between, and within objects. It includes the Foreground, Background, and Middle Ground.

There are two kinds of space;

Positive Space

The space that the Main objects cover up/occupy in an artwork.

Negative Space

All the areas around and between the main objects.

Positive Space(Right) & Negative Space(Left)
Positive Space(Right) & Negative Space(Left)

6 Ways Artists Can Create an illusion of Space


Gives a sense of Three-Dimensional space. First object seems closer.

Overlapping Objects


Distance between objects - smaller size gives a sense that the object is far behind and bigger gives a sense that the object is closer.


Blurry backgrounds and Less detail means farther behind.

Color and Value

Color, Hues and values gives two-Dimensional works an illusion of real space. Objects far away are cold and light, and objects closer are warm and dark.

Linear Perspective

Use of line to create an illusion of space on a flat surface.

Placement on surface

Objects that are placed higher appear farther away, and the objects lower appear closer.

Two-Dimensional Space

Artists use different techniques to give two-dimensional objects an illusion of three-dimensional figures.

Depth and shading gives the flat object a three-dimensional illusion.

Three-Dimensional Space

Space over, under, through, behind, and around a form.

Ex. sculptures, architecture.

By Rida and Seerat

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