Dance Tuesday (365 Days of ART: Day 9) Positive-negative Space

Linked to N’s Texture of Tuesday


Summer Canvas Project

This painting project is one that I turn to when time is limited.  It can be done in two or three short sittings, each taking about 10 to 20 minutes. 

The student paints the entire canvas with the color of their choice.  Let it dry.  If acrylic paint is used, it can dry very fast. Next, decide on a subject and then make a stencil.  If the student cannot easily decide, I sometimes think of things they love and then give them two options (studies have shown that folks select quicker and with more certainty when there are two items – as opposed to 3 or more – and I have seen this to be true…)

Once the background dries, the stencil is placed down (can lightly tape it by folding back tape and placing it underneath) and paint is applied around and over the stencil.  Try not to have the paint glop around the edge, and using different brushes can help ensure coverage.  The aim is to leave the outline of the stencil the same color of the base while painting another layer. 

My niece chose pink paint to place on top of the base of yellow oil paints (her paints were slightly still wet when we put the stencil down – because oil paint takes a long time to dry- oh, and did you know that some oil paintings can take years to fully cure?  Also, they don’t dry – they “harden”).  

 I suggest to lift the stencil off “before” the paint dries (hardens) because you do not want it to stick. 

My niece let her painting sit for two days and then our final session, which was about ten minutes, she decorated the tutu, leotard, and shoes.  She used a small brush – and then a cotton swab – to add swirls and sticky texture.  There was also nice texture in the yellow and pink backgrounds because she used a large brush for that.

LESSON Takeways:

This project leads to an easy lesson about positive and negative space, which in this case the dancer is taking up the positive space and the background is the negative space.

The pink paint was tinted by using white and we talked about how color is an element of art



Have  a great day.




7 thoughts on “Dance Tuesday (365 Days of ART: Day 9) Positive-negative Space

  1. I love this, Yvette. It looks gorgeous. The yellow and pink complement each other beautifully. I appreciate the care in your explanations and the information about the different paints. I’m in awe of your stencils though. What a talented artist.

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  2. As Norah said Yvette, I love the way you explain this type of art form – and love the photo of your neice, she looks so happy with her work, and rightly so – and the positive and negative space as showcased here… Interesting too, the way you add valuable snippets of information, such as studies showing that a choice between two rather than three or more items makes for a quicker choice. I do love the way you do this mon amie… 🙂 xoxo

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    1. Well thanks Sherri – really!
      And even tho her project was a quick one – we did a little too much that weekend (in the photo have I included a few of her other items – all were the easy 15 minute projects – but maybe too many while also running around) and it only took her a few minutes to do the tutu- and she wanted to finish – but it was feeling like work (to both of us) at that point.
      So when the other niece came a few months later / we did one (uno ) project – that wet on wet with sharpie one….
      Thanks again for taking the time to visit and comment –
      Love ya mon amie

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    1. Well i have years of working with it under my belt – so it feels good when I realize how many years I have been around now – ha!
      And you make fiction writing seem to easy – your series and other pieces seem to flow like water

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