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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Art Methods: Positive and negative space

For this art lesson, teaching positive and negative space, I had the project in mind, but admittedly didn't have any great ideas for how to "teach" it to a 2-year-old. Regardless, Hank had fun throughout the project.


First, we started with this library book that Hank picked out. We had not been to the library for quite some time. I felt very bad about this once I saw how excited Hank was to go through the children's section to pick out books, play with the puzzles and games in the children's area, and read his "liberry" books nightly. Regular library visits officially added to the agenda.


In any case, the book is probably meant to share with infants who would appreciate the graphic quality of the black and white works. It is great for any age though, really - even adults - as these are real art pieces done in a unique, graphic style. In looking through the book, I tried to point out how some features are well-defined (positive space), and they stand out from the white background (negative space).


Other times, it is more difficult to tell which part is the dominate aspect of the art piece, and which part is meant to around or behind the main focus of the piece. In this lino cut by Josef Albers, the white spaces formed by the intersecting lines are still very much part of the main focus of the drawing.


To complete our piece studying positive and negative space, we took a white sheet of paper and added stickers. I offered the letter stickers to Hank, but he said he wanted me to spell words (he chose the words).


I then asked him to cover the entire paper in red paint.



I was surprised that he stuck with this part, but he seemed pretty committed to fill in the entire sheet. As we were painting, I would ask him if he saw shapes with either the red he was painting (he painted over the stickers first) or the white that was left as he painted.


We left the sheet to dry overnight, and then I took off the stickers. Again we talked about the spaces that were left by the stickers, and how the white - formerly just the background - now stands out to us.

Hank's assessment - I want yellow!

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3 comments:

Patty Biermans said...

I love a childs mind!!! Don't let it go, it's so pure. HUgzzz...Peebee

sewa mobil said...

Nice article, thanks for the information.

mascanlon said...

What a clever approach, hank is a lucky little guy!