Lesson Plan Title : Positive and Negative Space

Age Range: Grade 6 through grade 8

Overview and Purpose: Students will create pictures using white and black construction paper to illustrate the use of positive and negative space in art.

Objective: The student will be able to illustrate positive and negative space by making a picture containing at least three objects.


Black and white construction paper (the white piece should be half the size of the black one)




Discuss positive and negative space with students. Explain that positive space is the area taken up by objects in the picture and negative space is the area around and under an object. If the object is removed, the resulting blank area is negative space.

Give each student a piece of black and a piece of white construction paper. Explain that they are going to create a picture where one side shows positive space and the other side shows negative space. Have the students draw and cut out a large object on the piece of white paper. Have them cut pieces out of the object. On one half of the black paper the students should lay the white piece of paper and any shapes they cut out of the object. On the other half, they should place the object so that it mirrors the blank space on the other half.

Wrap Up:

More advanced students may wish to choose more complex designs or contrasting colors. You can also challenge students to create a self-portrait using negative space.