Sunday 17 April 2016

2016 Topic #8 White Space {Challenge}

 2016 Topic 8: White Space

Kasia Krzyminska
Well hello everyone, Darcy here with a brand new topic for 2016. Easter is behind us and we are moving forward at a pace toward summer. Many people take this time to spring clean and declutter, and so this next topic is very fitting. 

White space is where a portion of the project is left plain, often totally unmarked. However this space does not need to be 'white' it can be any colour. The space though, should be clearly defined in its own right, it is, after all, part of the design. 

Often white space is called 'negative space' , and is the area left behind in relation to the focal image. But negative space done cleverly and with careful colour choices can become the more prominent of the two,  when it forms an interesting or artistic shape, it does not simply have to be 'background'. 

Bronwen Vaughan-Evans

Before we start, let's see who won the Topic 7: Resists Challenge...
Oh lots of  interesting resists from the past 2 weeks, pops of backgrounds showing through and a huge variety of techniques used. Relatively simple but so effective, I hope you will continue to use the techniques explored. 
The winner of Resists  is .... 
Challenge entry number 7: Lesley from Crafty love and hugs, you can see her entry here where she uses a rub-on, Hot Picks stamps and Golden's tar gel combined with inks to create a lovely tag! Thanks Lesley, and congratulations on your win!
Email Darcy to claim your prize.
When you think about it, negative space supports everything else. Where would our typing be without gaps and spaces between paragraphs. Without white space the text would be crammed together and difficult to read. Take a look at advertising, the more expensive items will have lots of negative space, it is the illusion of class and opulence... less is more, and indeed costs more. The same applies to music, when there is a pause, this can be referred to as negative space. It helps make sense of the main elements.

The use of equal negative space, as a balance to positive space, in a composition is considered by many as good design. This basic, but often overlooked principle of design, gives the eye a "place to rest," increasing the appeal of a composition through subtle means.

I found this quote, which to me sums up the importance of white space perfectly. 
'Look beyond the obvious to see what is left behind, and find beauty in that' {The Drake" by Dick Sproul}

In ancient Japanese white space or negative space is know as 'Ma', this is the gap between two structural parts. It is best described as a consciousness of place, not in the sense of an enclosed three-dimensional entity, but rather the simultaneous awareness of form and non-form deriving from an intensification of vision. To put that in normal languague, 'ma' is how you interpret what is NOT there while also contemplating what IS there.
'Ma is not something that is created by compositional elements; it is the thing that takes place in the imagination of the human who experiences these element'.

Hasegawa Tōhaku
So that is the how and the why and a little history, so now let's look at some examples. You are all familiar with journal pages so we shall start there. I find it really difficult to leave white space, I always feel I have to fill the whole page with colour, but these are beautiful examples.


This page is striking in its simplicity.

This page by Mary Brack  at first glance seems to have a lot going on, but the spaces suspend the focal images so serenely, it truly is a calming layout.

Give your whole journal an air of tranquillity, begin with the front cover like this one from Kasia 

Minimal cards always look so elegant, these are often called CAS, clean and simple.

This one from Heather shows perfectly that white space does not have to actually be white.

You might think that white space can only apply to flat projects, in books or on cards. However even 3d items in home decor can have white/negative space elements.

Kat Grieve
This piece has natural beauty in the wood, a simple addition of the gold bird is all that is needed. No need for layers or embellishments.
These tree bowls from Barry Guppy make perfect use of the negative space, it has become such an important art of this design.

How about snuggling up under this beautiful quilt, the minimal use of colour really pops against the white background.

Rachel Griffith
Let's check out some larger pieces of art. Faces are particularly well suited to this technique, leaving areas that only suggest features.

This one from Beverley Shiller could not be simpler, there is more white space than ink and yet you know exactly what this image is, it is truly amazing how the brain fills in the missing parts. 

I love this one, it really appealed to my penchant for recycling. The artwork is technically brilliant, but the background of ordinary cardboard adds so much, a lot more than you might think. Never overlook those PaperArtsy delivery boxes!

Jason Ratliff
In this piece from Megan Wells, the central are is unworked and is therefore the negative space, but in this case it is also the focal image by default as all the colour work is around it. 

This one by Kit Sunderland is similar, with the enhancement of the music paper as a background. Remember white space does not need to be white, or totally plain.

A lot of you will have had a go at scrapbooking, did you manage to conquer the 'white space' treatment like these pages.

Such simple elegance, hardly anything there but still so effective. The white space draws you in and leads your eye to the focal image.

A final layout, again showing how well the negative space works to draw you to the main image, aside from that how gorgeous do those powders look against the black!

Let's finish with a few fun and funky ones.. Hands up who remembers string art?

Can you see the legs, my brain is telling me they are there even though they are not!

Susan Cutts
Perhaps you would like to have a negative space manicure. i am a little baffled by this one, I sort of like it but I am not sure why lol ( I thought I had stumbled upon a one off, but no, this is a real thing, there are lots of negative manis out there)

If all else fails you can always go for an 'inside out clock' 

I hope that has given you some ideas of how to make the most of your white-but not neccessarily white space. Have fun over the next 2 weeks. 

Don't forget to follow Leandra's pinterest page if this topic pushes your buttons, you will see plenty more examples to whet your appetite there! 

I am really looking forward to seeing what you create over the next 2 weeks!


Topic 8: White Space PaperArtsy Blog Challenge

We'd love you to share your ideas and link up your creative response to our current blog topic. Take a minute to read the challenge guidelines below.

All links go in the draw to win a voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. The White Space link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, May 1st 2016, winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

1. The challenge is a for you to show how you are inspired by the current blog topic.

Your entry should contain:
- a mention of which post inspired you and why, and 
- a link in your blog post to that original post on the PA blog.

The whole concept of this challenge is 'play along with us'. You are encouraged to put your own twist on ideas you see on our blog, do your own thing - whatever grabs you!

2. The link you put on our linky page must lead directly to the specific post on your blog where you have explored the technique/ idea mentioned in point 1 above. Don't link to the home page of your blog.

3. We prefer your challenge blog post is created exclusive to our challenge, but if our topic fits perfectly with another challenge, then you may link to both if appropriate.

4. You are most welcome to use stamps/ products/ substrates you have to hand from a variety of companies, we do not expect you to exclusively use PA products - it's lovely when you do though!

6. You can enter as many times as you like. We don't want to restrict your creativity! 
NB. Link closes at 17:00 Sunday May 1st  (London Time)

7. The winner of the random draw will receive a £50 credit voucher to be redeemed on the PaperArtsy Website. The credit voucher includes VAT and postage. We request that one of your purchases is an A5 rubber stamp. You can add any other items to your basket, but the final total should not exceed £50.

8. Each fortnight on Sunday, the winner will be announced at 19:00 (London time). In the same post, the link for the next fortnight will be posted. 

9. It's your responsibility to claim your prize coupon from Darcy. 

Good Luck! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!


Helen said...

Well done Lesley, enjoy your prize! The new challenge is certainly challenging (not at all sure about the manicure; it looks a bit S&M to me...) however the art work you featured looks fabulous, hope to have a go this fortnight!

Hazel Agnew said...

Congratulations Lesley! Great topic once again...looking forward to seeing all the ideas! Great inspiration on the blog too! Xx

Kirsten said...

Congrats to Lesley, so pleased for her. Looking forward to seeing all the entries for this new challenge, they're bound to be fab.

Craftyfield said...

Yippee for Lesley! Some beautiful inspiration on white space and some a bit wacky too... If I get any time I should enjoy this one as much as the Resist theme.

Miriam said...

Lovely topic.... and some stunning examples

Lucy Edmondson said...

Such a well written and researched introduction to the challenge. So pleased for you, Lesley! Think we need to explore Helen's comment with her!!

Lucy x

Claire said...

Well done Lesley - hope you get some fab goodies! Looking forward to this new topic Xx

Artmadnana said...

These examples are so varied and many of them really inspire me. I love minimal cards but rarely make them. I love how Dina Wakley leaves white space to 'balance' with the focal area but, again, I rarely do that in my art journal. So, I'm going to rise to the challenge and see just what I can do with this. Great challenge.

Julie Lee said...

Well done and Congrats to Lesley! Great topic this fortnight! This was once again such an inspiring post! Many Thanks Darcy. xx

craftimamma said...

Finally made it to the blog before bedtime after my little charge (grandson) decided it was bedtime after all, lol! Thanks to my PA friends for letting me know I've won the challenge this week, whoohoo! Thanks Leandra (PaperArtsy) for the win too.

Great post from Darcy introducing this fab challenge topic. I very much doubt I'll have time or energy for an entry for over a week but I really hope I can manage something after next weekend for one of my favourite styles.

Lesley Xx

Lauren Hatwell said...

Looking forward to this one. Some great examples there and I KNOW there's going to be some amazing stuff coming up from everybody too. Can't wait! Lx

geezercrafter said...

Congratulations to Lesley, enjoy your spend!!

Etsuko said...

Congratulations Lesley! Brilliant topic# 'White space' and the lot of great samples. Thanks Darcy!! xx

Curls N Twirls said...

Thank you Darcy for this Lovely Topic . The projects by Members are breathe taking and Inspiring :)

Suzanne C said...

Again another brilliant inspirational post! Love the variety of ways you have shown how negative space/ white space can be the focal point of art!

Unknown said...

Darcy, I loved reading this blog about white space. I thought I would comment because in 2009 I slashed open one of my eyes and as a result have depth of field issues but the most interesting thing is that I often see white space first when I'm looking at something and it takes a minute or two to work out what I am looking at. As an artist I find this very cool.