Space: the area between, around, above, below, or within objects.
The element of space is very closely related to that of shape. In fact, some of the terms we used in reference to shape can also be used when talking about space, and they have similar meanings. For instance, there are essentially two kinds of space:
1. Positive space: this is the area taken up by the object(s) you are drawing.
2. Negative space: everything in your drawing that is not the object itself.
Example: The hunter and his hound (orange area of above picture) make up the positive space. The remaining white area is the negative space. Now look at a different version of the same drawing. With the colors reversed, the effect is different. This time, the white is the positive space and the orange is the negative space.
On a flat surface, we have the ability to give the impression of not only height and width (two-dimensional space), but also of depth (three-dimensional space). There are several different techniques that you can incorporate in your drawings to give the illusion of depth. This added depth can give a more realistic feel to the drawing, therefore making it appear more believable.
When considering space in a drawing, you must also ask yourself what effect you would like to get across to the observer. Different usages of space can give the observer a different feeling about the picture. You can make them feel lonely, claustrophobic, or even small, to name a few.
Following are some ways that you can use space to show depth or to get across a different feeling. Notice that it has to do with the placement on the page, how much of the object is showing, the size of each object, etc.
*This drawing shows one tree in roughly the middle of the page. Not much thought went into its placement (making it relatively uninteresting), but the balance of positive to negative space is fairly equal.
*By making the tree smaller and placing it near the top of the page, it seems to be far away. With so much negative space, this drawing gives us a sense of distance, or perhaps even lonliness.
*Now, with several trees in the picture that get smaller as they get closer to the top, we've created more of a sense of depth or distance. The smaller trees seem farther away, and the larger ones seem close. Also, objects at the bottom of the page look closer than do those at the top of a page. It now seems a little more crowded, and not quite as lonely.
*This time, by overlapping them (putting them one in front of the other), the trees really look as if they go off in the distance. Notice again that the smaller ones are nearer the top and the larger ones are nearer the bottom. now, by comparing this picture to the last one above, notice how it actually looks as if you are closer to the ground in this one. The previous one looks as if it were viewed from a great height.
*In this one, the tree seems much larger and closer because it appears that it was too big to fit entirely on the page. Notice the negative space (shape) created by this picture.
*Depth can also be created by making objects that are farther away appear lighter, and get darker as they get closer. to see evidence of this, take a look at a range of mountains in the distance. Notice that the farther away they get, the lighter they get. the technical term for this effect is called atmospheric perspective.