Negative Space

Clifford and Rosemary Ellis, New Naturalist dust jacket

Space is one of the seven basic elements of art an artist uses in their work to create particular effects – either to create an illusion of distance on the flat surface of the page/canvas, or to intentionally maintain the flatness of the medium of the page.

What I love about this illustration by Clifford and Rosemary Ellis, and all of their designs of dust jackets for The New Naturalist, is the way they depict their objects using negative space, building up the shapes not with lines but through the use of colour. They used only three colours and black, using tones and overlaps to produce more colour. Both Clifford and Rosemary had a real eye for detail and apparently, when commissioned to design these book covers, they visited the different landscapes and habitats to make sure that their illustrations were accurate. Which just goes to show that Art is a great way to get you more deeply involved in the world.

For more on elements of art click here:

Published by howtowriteaboutart

Writing about Art is tricky - there are many challenges in writing about a visual experience. I've got lots of ideas to help! See what can help!

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