How to Create a Notan

Create a Japanese Notan using positive and negative space and symmetry. Notans are a traditional art form in Japan.

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How to Create a Notan
11 Steps
Supplies
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1
Gather supplies.

Gather supplies.

2
Cut a shape from one edge of the 4"x4" paper. You might choose to draw the shape first.

Cut a shape from one edge of the 4"x4" paper. You might choose to draw the shape first.

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3
Repeat cutting shapes on all 4 sides of the square. Keep track of the shapes and make sure they match the correct space. Try cutting geometric and organic shapes for variety.

Repeat cutting shapes on all 4 sides of the square. Keep track of the shapes and make sure they match the correct space. Try cutting geometric and organic shapes for variety.

4
When all are cut, lay them in place.

When all are cut, lay them in place.

5
You can cut shapes twice.

You can cut shapes twice.

6
Glue down the remainder of your square. Make sure it is centered on the paper.

Glue down the remainder of your square. Make sure it is centered on the paper.

7
Glue down the cut shapes so that they create symmetry with the negative space beside them. Negative space is the colored portion, positive space is the white portion.

Glue down the cut shapes so that they create symmetry with the negative space beside them. Negative space is the colored portion, positive space is the white portion.

8
The negative spaces will be mirror images of the positive.

The negative spaces will be mirror images of the positive.

9
Continue glueing until complete.

Continue glueing until complete.

10
Get creative with your shapes and how they affect the positive and negative space.

Get creative with your shapes and how they affect the positive and negative space.

11
This example shows shapes that have been cut and mirrored multiple times.

This example shows shapes that have been cut and mirrored multiple times.

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