Mentor Artist for Space

Space Activities

When we talk about space we are talking about the area around an object, the area above/below an object or the area inside an object. Here are some details we might consider when teaching about space.

  • Size: objects that are larger look like they are closer to the viewer while smaller objects look like they are farther away
  • Overlap: when you partially cover one shape/object with another, the one on top looks closer
  • Placement: shapes that are placed closer to the horizon line look farther away. Shapes that are drawn / placed near the bottom or top of the paper/canvas look closer. Where the shape is in relationship to the horizon helps to create depth
  • Atmospheric perspective: objects look farther away when they start losing colour brightness and detail
  • Shading: shading makes shapes look more 3D – you can add light/shadow to the surface of objects to make them look the way they would in real life under the same lighting
  • Linear perspective: Lines drawn to/from a vanishing point help create the illusion of space. Sometimes you might have two or three vanishing points in your work.
  • Positive vs negative space – positive space is the space where shapes are drawn and negative space is the space around that – the “empty” space. You can link this concept to inquiry questions and big ideas to do with the real world – e.g. how do we talk about our world in terms of positive / negative and what is there vs what is missing. Is negative space darker/scarier/lonely? Is it really negative space or just the space around the image.

See Concepts for the Elements of Space for more.

Source: a bunch of the information above came from this Michigan SD website: