Niles-Maine District Library

This Week in the Wonder Ground: Positive and Negative Space

Big Idea: Space can be defined, created, and manipulated in a variety of ways.

We began each session with a discussion of space as a design concept. Space and shape work together to form a finished work of art. In terms of art, space is the area around, above, and within an object.  Positive spaces are those occupied by the main subjects of the work. Negative spaces are the areas around and behind the positive spaces.

Activity: We used  Nōtan designs to explore the contrast between positive and negative space. Each wonder grounder started with a quarter sheet of construction paper in one color, and full sheet in a different color for the background.  They cut shapes from all four sides of the quarter sheet that started and ended on the same edge of the paper. They set the cutaway pieces aside. Then they glued what was left of the quarter sheet to the background. Finally, they placed the cutaway pieces in their original spots to test that they fit properly. Then they spread glue on these pieces, and flipped them over at the edge to create a reflection of the original shape.





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