Positive/Negative Bugs Lesson

3 Days (90 minute class)

Michigan Merit Curriculum:

C.3 Understand, recognize, and use the elements,

organizational principles, patterns, relationships,

techniques, skills, and applications of the visual, performing,

or applied arts discipline.

P.2 Demonstrate skillful use of appropriate vocabularies,

tools, instruments, and technologies of the visual,

performing, or applied arts discipline.


  • Students will create a picture using positive and negative space with bugs and shapes.

  • Students will demonstrate their use of colored pencils.

Vocabulary Words:

positive space, negative space, geometric shapes, organic shapes, overlapping


Cut white paper to 12x12”

Materials and Resources:

  • evaluation sheet

  • example of project

  • 12x12” white paper

  • colored pencils

  • black Sharpie marker

  • pencil

  • scrap paper


  • Teacher will show example of the project.

  • Go over evaluation sheet and expectations.

  • Discuss what positive and negative space is and review organic shapes and geometric shapes.

  • Students will draw one bug and one shape on scrap paper.


Day 1:

  • Go over evaluation sheet and expectations.

  • Teacher will show examples of the project.

  • Students will draw a bug and a shape on scrap paper in pencil, then trace over it in Sharpie marker (this will be used as a stencil).

  • Students will begin to trace their bugs and shapes onto the 12x12” white paper (Bugs should be traced so they look like they are “crawling” over the paper. Each bug has to have at least one shape overlapping it).

Day 2:

  • Students will finish tracing the bugs and shapes.

  • Students will draw a simple background design made of lines.

  • Students will begin coloring. (Bugs are colored with Sharpie marker, they stay black and white. Wherever a shape is overlapping a bug, the bugs will be colored the opposite way of how they were colored outside of the shape. Shapes and background are to be colored with colored pencil.)

Day 3:

  • Students will finish coloring.


Lesson adapted from Amy Shapely, found on the Incredible @rt Department's website www.princetonol.com