Snowman and Trees

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Space is described in art as positive and negative space. In a painting or photograph, positive space is the shapes that make up the design. Negative space is everything else.

When you look at an object or shape in a painting, your eyes automatically see the space around it.

Why is space important? Negative space is as important as positive space when you create your art, because it helps to draw the viewer's eye toward the areas the artist wants to emphasize.

Make your own positively negativestudy of a snowman and trees.


*Large piece of black construction paper

*Smaller piece of white paper

*Scraps of colorful paper or magazines


*Chalk or white pencil





1. Start by drawing a snowman on the white paper. You can use cans, lids, coins or anything round to trace around. Sketch large trunk trees, the moon and large stars or any other shadow you want to put in your picture. Make a small cut from the edge of the paper to the tip of each object to get into each object and around the contour line.

2. Glue your white paper that you cut out to the bottom of the black paper (negative space).

3. Glue the white paper objects to the top of the paper (positive space).

4. Decorate your snowman with colored paper, markers or magazine clippings.

5. Shade in behind your snowman with white chalk or white colored pencil to create the snow.

6. Give yourself a hand for your great project.

Go the extra mile: Create slits in a piece of black construction paper, and cut a different color construction paper into narrow strips. Weave the two together like a basket. What color stands out to you the most? Why?

Share: Which areas of your hand artwork represent positive space? Which are negative?

Reflect: Using your own words, think how you would explain the importance of positive and negative space.

Apply: A kicker on a football team needs to aim for the negative space between the goal posts to make a field goal. Name at least one other way in real life that positive and negative space can be important.