Painting Outside the Hole

holepainting This open-ended art activity allows children to learn to create around negative space!


  • To learn how to create around negative space
  • To use imagination and creativity
  • To encourage experimentation with different art materials

Before You Start: Gather materials for the activity. These can include a variety of painting tools, brushes, watercolor and tempera paints, easel/art paper and scissors. Before putting art paper on an easel or art table for painting, cut a hole anywhere on the paper. The hole can be a geometric shape, a holiday shape or an abstract shape.

Let's Get Started! Step 1. Show the children the paper without any instructions, so that they can decide what to do around the shape.

Step 2. Allow the child to confront the new materials on his own without any instructions. Present the materials and step back. The teacher may want to explain that there is no right or wrong way to design or draw on their paper; they get to decide.

Step 3. Let child's artwork dry. Hang on display in the classroom or center.

Furthermore: This can also be done on a smaller scale on the drawing table with drawing paper and markers or pens.

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