Art Lesson: Negative Space. The use of negative space is a key element of artistic composition. Negative space is the space around and between the subject of an image. Negative space may be most evident when the space around a subject, and not the subject itself, is used to artistic effect as the "real" subject of an image. In a two-tone, black-and-white image, a subject is normally depicted in black and the space around it is left blank (white), thereby forming a silhouette of the subject. However, reversing the tones so that the space around the subject is printed black and the subject itself is left blank causes the negative space to be apparent as it forms shapes around the subject, called figure-ground reversal. Wyland will demonstrate how utilizing negative space can be an ideal technique for representing animals in the wild.