Positive/Negative Space Collage #1

Cut paper collage is a great way to teach the concepts of positive/negative space and symmetry. This lesson is inspired by the art of Japanese ‘Notan’, which emphasizes the contrast between light and dark. Each student’s project will look unique, everyone will feel successful, and it’s not even messy! You can’t beat that combination! 

1. Each student will need two pieces of construction paper in contrasting colors…. one 9″ x 12″ and one 4 1/2″ x 12″.
2. On the smaller paper, draw interesting shapes on each edge of the paper, leaving the corners intact. (Remember to draw lightly so you can erase your pencil lines later!) This should leave one large shape, with four complete corners, in the middle of your paper.

3. Now, carefully cut out the shapes you drew – don’t lose any!
4. Place the 9″ x 12″ paper vertically in front of you and glue the one large shape from the smaller paper onto the left side of the larger paper, matching the top and bottom corners on the left.
5. Next, lay your loose shapes back into the places you cut them from (no glue on these yet!) – just like putting a puzzle together!
6. Then, one at a time, flip your small pieces over onto the right side of the larger paper and glue them down so that the right side is a “mirror image” of the left side.
7. Finally, erase any pencil lines that are showing…. I hope you pressed lightly with your pencil!

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One Response to Positive/Negative Space Collage #1

  1. Cindy Lee Jones September 21, 2009 at 9:48 pm #