I start the lesson with a recap of symmetry & proportion and then define positive & negative shapes. I share several examples of this concept in art and life. I share a couple illustrations from Brian Selznick's books and a few photographic examples.
I stress the importance of both positive and negative shapes in art. There needs to be a balance between the 2 for most works to be successful.
In this drawing exercise students are really dealing with 2 sets of pos/neg shapes. First, they have the building & background dynamic and then there is the figure & window shape one. I point out that attention to details along the edges of their shapes is crucial for the success of their piece. We can't see interior details, so the outer edges are very important in adding interest and variety to the shapes.
Students sketch out at least one concept before drawing on the black paper. 2 ideas are recommended. They do a light contour drawing on the black paper before filling in shapes. I model pressing hard for colors to be bold and bright and softly for dark colored areas.
At the end of the lesson students fill out an exit slip. They need to identify the positive shapes in their design and to also create a simple narrative for their image. What is happening now and what will happen next.