Thanks for all the suggestions, I will remember that when we do tesselations later (co-operatively with the math teacher). I'm going to try the old bugs bunny runs through the wall (which is the negative space) routine tomorrow.
Here is what I do - usually -
After a few days of contour drawing, and sticking my arm through the handles of things, etc., I have them draw a picture plane on a piece of paper (- we fold one sheet in half and trace it in the center of a second sheet. It helps a lot, defining the drawing space.)
Then we do a countour drawing of a pair of scissors. The scissors are to be open and cropped by three or four sides of the picture plane. This helps them make the scissors a good size, is their first experience cropping, and helps define the negative space.
Then we color in the negative space with markers.
Then we erase all the pencil lines, so all that is left is the neg. space. This is usually a low stress and successful project. Lots of lightbulbs going on.
THEN we try drawing just the negative space the next time, without starting with the drawing first. Often we will do this second drawing on black paper, then I will demo finishing drawing using white pencil, and how to make the plastic a different kind of shiny than the metal. They are usually so amazed at what good drawings they end up with. USUALLY.
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