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High [9th-12th] Lesson Plan

Postive/Negative Design

Created on November 24, 2021 by MrDigger

Study formal balance and positive/negative space using cut paper design

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4 sessions; 90 minutes per session

Students will create a positive/negative design using Notan concepts.

Black and white paper, glue, pencils, white colored pencils, scissors, rulers, x-acto knives.

Need these materials? Visit Blick!

Introduce the concept of Notan design and how this oriental study of black and white balance influenced Western artists like James Whistler. Look at examples of Whistler's artwork and how artists use Notan to plan artwork.

Have students plan out their designs before starting. Go over scissor and knife safety.

Students draw out their designs on black paper with white colored pencils and then use scissors/knives and glue to create their designs.

Did students create a black and white balance Notan design?

Craftsmanship - smooth cuts and edges, no glue smears.

Designs are complex and complicated.


Visual Arts Standard 1:
Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes

[9-12 Proficient] Students conceive and create works of visual art that demonstrate an understanding of how the communication of their ideas relates to the media, techniques, and processes they use
[9-12 Advanced] Students initiate, define, and solve challenging visual arts problems independently using intellectual skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation

Visual Arts Standard 2:
Using knowledge of structures and functions

[9-12 Proficient] Students demonstrate the ability to form and defend judgments about the characteristics and structures to accomplish commercial, personal, communal, or other purposes of art
[9-12 Proficient] Students create artworks that use organizational principles and functions to solve specific visual arts problems

Visual Arts Standard 3:
Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas

[9-12 Proficient] Students reflect on how artworks differ visually, spatially, temporally, and functionally, and describe how these are related to history and culture
[9-12 Proficient] Students apply subjects, symbols, and ideas in their artworks and use the skills gained to solve problems in daily life

Visual Arts Standard 4:
Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures

[9-12 Proficient] Students differentiate among a variety of historical and cultural contexts in terms of characteristics and purposes of works of art
[9-12 Proficient] Students analyze relationships of works of art to one another in terms of history, aesthetics, and culture, justifying conclusions made in the analysis and using such conclusions to inform their own art making

Visual Arts Standard 5:
Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others

[9-12 Proficient] Students reflect analytically on various interpretations as a means for understanding and evaluating works of visual art
[9-12 Proficient] Students identify intentions of those creating artworks, explore the implications of various purposes, and justify their analyses of purposes in particular works

Visual Arts Standard 6:
Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines

[9-12 Proficient] Students compare the materials, technologies, media, and processes of the visual arts with those of other arts disciplines as they are used in creation and types of analysis

James Abbott McNeill Whistler

Asian Art, Contemporary Art

Balance, Contrast