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Japanese Notan Designs 


HISTORY: Notan is a Japanese design concept involving the play of light and dark and having equal representation in a composition. In western culture, the positive space is usually the dominant subject of an art piece. Notan designs emphasize a balance of harmony between positive and negative space.


Essential Understanding:

  • Good design has a balance of light and dark.

  • Using the Notan concept of light and dark or negative and positive space enhances design.




































STEP 1: You will make 2 NOTAN DESIGNS.  One using organic cuts and one using geometric cuts.  Make one project first and then the other or you will have too many small pieces to keep track of and could lose them by mistake.


STEP 2:  Fold square paper in half once either diagonally or horizontally. Cut pieces out and arrange on a large sheet of paper.  

-For Organic Design,  cut organic and free flowing shapes

-For Geometric Design, cut geometric shapes like triangles, squares, circles etc.



STEP 3:  Glue down the main base in the middle of your background either straight or diagonally


Step 4:  Place all the cut shapes back into the square.


STEP 5 Flip shapes & glue down in the mirror image from where it was cut. In other words, cut out the piece, flip it out so that it mirrors the cut out space, and then glue it down onto another paper.  




















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