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Pre AP Art 2 » Out-of-Class Project - Week 5 - Defining Shape



This is a Breadth Project for you to create outside of class. It is due at the end of this six weeks. Post on your blog by due date.

Problem: Create imagery using cut paper that relies on positive and negative space. 



  • To explore a composition that relies on positive and negative space.
  • To create a balanced composition that utilizes foreground, middle ground, and background.

·         To evoke texture with variations in line.

·         To explore contrasting widths of line and shapes.


Materials and Directions:

·         X-acto knife and extra blades. You will want to change blades frequently.  This will allow for the smoothest cuts, as well as clean lines.

·         Matte cutting board. This will allow your blade to sink into the matte, which will result in a smooth line.

·         Glue for mounting. Many students have suggested using the glue pens to dab small amounts of glue on the back of the finished cut paper.

·         Illustration or matte board to mount paper.

·         Colored paper.  Recommended for best results. It has a great weight and comes in a large variety of colors.

·         Carbon paper. Some students use carbon paper to copy their drawing onto the final paper for cutting.



1. Research your subject. Bring in several examples of how you want your paper cut to look. The focus will be on positive and negative shapes to create a dynamic cut paper image. 


2. Use your drawing skills to create an interesting design, image, or pattern, which may be non-objective, stylized, or naturalistic.


3. Copy the design onto your final paper where you will be making the necessary cuts to illuminate the original drawing. 


4. Decide if you will use one sheet of paper, or several to layer your image.  The final image will be cut from a flat sheet of paper, not folded. The paper cut must be no smaller than 11” x 17”. 


5. Invest a great amount of time in revealing the intricate details of your subject.


Artists to look at for further inspiration:

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(469) 633-5855 x 25897