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Positive and Negative Space NOTAN 2015-162.pdf · PDF file •Negative space is opposite of positive. •Negative space is the space around an object. •On the left hand side picture,

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  • Positive and Negative


  • Artists talk about space in two different


    1.Positive Space

    2.Negative Space

    Can you think of what the definitions for

    positive and negative space might be?

  • Positive Space • Positive space is the space that an object


    • On the left hand side picture, the positive space

    is the area that the bottles take up.

    • On the right hand side picture, the positive

    space is shown as the black objects.

  • Negative Space • Negative space is opposite of positive.

    • Negative space is the space around an object.

    • On the left hand side picture, the negative space

    is the white area around the bottles.

    • On the right hand side picture, the negative

    space is shown as the black area surrounding

    the bottle.

  • What images take up positive

    space? Negative space?

  • "Notan" is the term used by the Japanese to express

    "light-dark" as an element of design.

    •We use the terms positive space and negative space,

    dividing the idea of light-dark into separate components.

    •Dark shapes cannot exist without a surrounding area of

    white. White shapes cannot exist without dark to define it.

    •The two elements are really one. This is an eastern

    concept of yin-yang that each IS what the other IS NOT.

    Notan: Design in Light and Dark

  • Spontaneous

  • Planning Theme or Motif

    Think of a THEME or MOTIF

    BE SPECIFIC when it comes to broad themes….

    If you choose “nature” – break it down in to a subcategory….”swamps” or “desserts” or “jungles” have more

    specific images to choose from “nature”.

    Look up some ways to ‘stylize’ the objects you want to create in your notan. Focus on simple lines and


    For example

  • Designing

    Theme or Motif 1. Brainstorm all the different images that help tell the ‘story’ about your

    chosen theme….for example, if my theme is “Swamp”, I know I want an

    alligator, vines, snakes, bog trees, cattails, etc. the more ideas the better.

    2. Find references on the computer. Copy and paste them into a word

    document and save them into your H:/ Drive.

    3. Print out your references and put your name on it.

    4. Get a pieces of newsprint paper and create a stylized version of the

    pictures and draw them. They should be simple line drawings… you

    should be able to use an exacto knife to cut them out successfully.

    Tip= Draw your images large that way you won’t have tons of tiny pieces.

    1. THINK how it would look in terms of placement…how would you use the

    entire piece of paper? Where would you flip out the positive space to

    ensure the composition is balanced?



  • Sweet examples!

  • YOUR GOAL: to create a

    composition where both positive

    and negative spaces are made

    interesting. Think “out of the box”…

    Expand of the square.

    •Student's work was complex, detailed. The work seemed to almost vibrate

    because of high contrast. There is NO focal point and your eye moves in an

    around the design, which means great use of the positive and negative

    concepts….you understand NOTAN.

    •Student’s work was innovative showed originality. (No use of clichés… or

    hearts and advertising symbols)

    •Immaculate detail, clean; student showed extreme care when cutting –

    Includes Double and Triple cuts on most pieces.

    • Immaculate neatness and care when gluing. (No missing pieces).

    •Great effort set forth and student was enthusiastic and showed a great

    •attitude when working on this art project. (NO “is this good enough??”)

  • Ricky's Rules

  • • BE PREPARED FOR THE TASK AT HAND • Lessen distractions and do not be afraid to ask your table mates to help

    (or be more quiet).

    • Pay attention to what you are doing or YOU WILL GET CUT

    • INSPECT KNIFE CAREFULLY • Make sure blade is secure

    • GO SLOWLY • No rough cuts please

    • ONLY CUT ON THE MAT • Let the blade work for you

    • UNDERSTAND – the sharp is real!

    • CUT WITH AWARENES OF NON-SLICING HAND CARE • Where’s your other hand?

    • HANDLE WITH CARE as you return it

    • YOU can do a super job if you follow rules!

    TIPS (So you don’t cut the tip off of your fingers, or worse)

  • ****Clean up after yourself. DO NOT

    leave ANYTHING out, it will get


    Let’s make a folder, shall we?



    Video Demo

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