Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Negative and Positive Space

Artists consider negative and positive space when they're designing a composition and sometimes this concept is a little hard for children to understand. A good visual for them is to stand with your arms akimbo (I love that word) and explain that you are the positive space and the area between your arms and body is the negative. An even better way is through printmaking. Try using scratch foam and an easy technique that I describe here. The children are encouraged to cut holes into their scratch foam with scissors, make holes with a hole punch, and create textures by pressing on the foam. That little grid pattern was made with a meat tenderizing tool. Water-based printing ink is rolled onto the scratch foam with a brayer. The children can overlay the prints to see all the surprise shapes that are created. You can finish up by asking them to show you the positive and negative shapes that they made.


  1. I love your explanation of positive and negative space! Great visual... just posted on craft gossip!!

  2. I am thinking the background art piece at top of your blog would make a sweet quilt.