I’ve admired Japanese notans for a long time but always felt intimidated by them. I wasn’t sure where to start to get one going. With 2022 absences here, I needed a good bonus 1-day project for a couple of grade levels.
I got brave and taught myself how to make a notan design. They’re super easy and look like you spent a lot longer on then than you did.
I introduced them to my class as a 1 day project they would start, finish, and take home all in the same day. One of my students looked at a notan example and said, “How are we gonna do that in one day?” Ah, the simple elegance of a notan.
First, we talked briefly about color theory and high contrasting colors. Then they picked their middle squares and backgrounds. I demoed how to draw 4 basic shapes out of their squares. Then you flip each cut out shape and glue it so the negative space and the positive space of the notan work together to make something new.
After finishing their notans, they cut a matching border around their designs.
They seemed excited to learn a new process. I’m very happy to have learned a new 1 day art project.