It's everywhere unless we are taking it up. Space is another element in art. There are two parts to space. They are positive space and negative space. Positive space is the space that the tree takes up. This includes trunk, branches, and foliage. Negative space is the space in between the positive space. In other words the empty space.
Understanding negative space is critical to good bonsai design. Even though negative space is empty space it plays an important role in where we place the parts of a tree.
Look athe the branches from left to right. It is filled with negative space. However, some spaces are bigger than others. The left side the negative spaces are more and they are smaller. The right side has bigger negative space. As your eyes move along the tree it will tend to pause at those bigger spaces. I don’t really want that to happen with this tree. So I will have to break up the negative space.
Can you see the difference?
There is also negative space that surrounds the tree. I personally prefer when the negative space surrounding a branch touches the trunk. That is just my preference. Here are two distinct ways to use negative space.