ART LESSON: Postive versus negative space on a MUG

Most children have already learned how to use POINTILISM to complete images in art class at school but this HEART MUG is a new twist on an old theme that allows us to introduce POINTILISM and the idea of negative/positive space IN ENGLISH! I tried to make this class more interesting for 4th and 5th graders so I looked online for images that they might like and decided on the lightening bolt and musical note. If you are looking for other ideas on how to teach positive versus negative space take a look at this Matisse inspired project.

You will need:
SHARPIE markers
ceramic mug (I used a 2 euro mug from FLYING TIGER)
Frisket adhesive stencil paper

Vocabulary Development: dot, big, small, mug, markers, lightening bolt, musical note, heart, positive space, negative space

Before you start the activity present Pointilism and negative/positive space concepts. Make sure that the group has learned the required vocabulary so that they are able to follow instructions. We have included a presentation and flashcards – try them out and let us know if it helps with your class!

Let’s get started:
Step 1: Have the kids draw the image that they are going to use on the mug. I find it better to have them try in on a piece of paper before risking messing up the mug:). Cut out the “positive” image.

Step 2: Tape both the positive and negative versions of your image onto another piece of paper and start coloring small, medium and large dots in or around the image.

Step 3: Keep filling in the space – admire your work.

Step 4: Try it on your mug. This time make the stencil out of adhesive stencil paper.

Step 5: Carefully attach the stencil paper onto the mug. We put the positive space stencil on one side of the mug and the negative space stencil on the opposite side.

Step 6: Use bold marker colors so that the design shows up well.

Fix the Sharpie markers by baking for 2 hours in an oven at 120 C. We added a bag of chocalate and turned our mugs into gifts!

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