Tag Archives: shape

Shape

-REALISTIC SHAPES

CREATING SHAPES IS VERY IMPORTANT TO THE ARTIST. EVEN THOUGH A PICTURE OF A LANDSCAPE IS NEVER THE REAL THING, THE SHAPES PRODUCED CAN MAKE THE VIEWER BELIEVE THAT THE SHAPE REPRESENTS AN ANIMAL, BUILDING, OR PERSON. THE REPRESENTATIONAL ARTIST TRIES TO CREATE SHAPES THAT ARE SO CONVINCING, YOU MIGHT BELIEVE THEY ARE REAL.

LINEAR PERSPECTIVE AND KNOWLEDGE OF ATMOSPHERIC EFFECTS ON OBJECTS IS AN IMPORTANT TOOL TO THE REPRESENTATIONAL ARTIST CREATING REALISTIC SHAPES. THE REALISTIC SHAPE MAY HAVE EXACT LIMITS OR BE OF SUCH DELICATE BLENDING THAT THERE IS NO ACCURATE BORDER. THIS WILL DEPEND ON THE VISUAL DISTANCE THE ARTIST WANTS THE SHAPE TO APPEAR TO BE.

-ABSTRACT SHAPES

SOMETIMES ARTISTS ALTER SHAPES SO THAT THEY ARE TOTALLY UNLIKE THOSE SEEN IN NATURE. ABSTRACT SHAPES ARE EITHER BIOMORPHIC, THAT IS, CURVILINEAR, OR ABSTRACT SHAPES ARE GEOMETRIC, THAT IS, ANGULAR. IN EITHER CASE, THE SHAPE FUNCTIONS AS A SYMBOL OF SOMETHING ELSE.

FOR EXAMPLE, BIOMORPHIC SHAPES ARE. INSPIRED BY THE INCREASING AWARENESS OF THE MICROCOSM THAT WE SEE THROUGH SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS LIKE THE MICROSCOPE. THE CURVILINEAR SHAPES SUGGEST THE POSSIBILITY OF LIFE (THE CELLS). A GROUP OF PAINTERS CALLED THE SURREALISTS, WERE INTERESTED IN THE MYSTIC ORIGINS OF LIFE. THEY CREATED BIOMORPHIC SHAPES FOR SOME OF THE FANTASY OR DREAM-LIKE OBJECTS THAT WERE PORTRAYED IN AN OTHERWISE CONVINCINGLY REAL LANDSCAPE.

IN CONTRAST TO BIOMORPHIC SHAPES, ARTISTS ALSO USE GEOMETRIC SHAPES FOR ABSTRACTION. A GROUP OF ARTISTS CALLED THE CUBISTS, MADE USE OF GEOMETRIC SHAPES AS ABSTRACTIONS OF THE PRECISE AND MACHINE-LIKE CHARACTER OF MANKIND’S INVENTIONS. ABSTRACT SHAPES ARE USED AS SYMBOLS OF THE ARTIST’S DEEP FEELINGS AND IDEAS.

SOME TYPES OF ABSTRACT SHAPES SUGGEST THE POSSIBILITY OF LIFE. BIOMORPHIC SHAPES ARE USED TO PORTRAY FANTASY OR DREAM-LIKE CREATURES.

-SILHOUETTES

SILHOUETTES ARE SHAPES THAT HAVE NO DECORATION OR TEXTURE WITHIN IT’S BORDER. RATHER, THE SILHOUETTE IS THE TOTAL SHAPE ITSELF. ITS EDGES OR CONTOUR DEFINES THE AREA OF THE SILHOUETTE. A PERSON’ S SHADOW IS AN EXAMPLE OF A SILHOUETTE THAT IS COMMON TO US.

-DISTORTED SHAPES

DISTORTED SHAPES APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN PUSHED, PULLED, STRETCHED, COMPRESSED, TWISTED, WARPED, OR BENT. THE DISTORTED SHAPE IS NOT WHAT THE SHAPE ORIGINALLY LOOKED LIKE. THE ARTIST USES DISTORTED SHAPES FOR THE IDEAS AND FEELINGS THAT CAN BE SUGGESTED TO THE VIEWER.

-DECORATIVE SHAPES

DECORATIVE SHAPES EXAGGERATE A FLAT OR TWO-DIMENSIONAL QUALITY AND SEEM TO LIE FLAT ON THE SURFACE OF THE PICTURE PLANE. IF MANY DECORATIVE SHAPES ARE USED, THE PICTURE BECOMES BROKEN UP INTO A FLAT PATTERN. TOO MANY DECORATIVE SHAPES CAN BECOME DISTRACTING.

DECORATIVE SHAPES EXAGGERATE A FLAT OR TWO-DIMENSIONAL QUALITY. TOO MANY DECORATIVE SHAPES CAN BECOME DISTRACTING.

– COMMON CONTOURS OF SHAPES

THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT SHAPES IN NATURE, BUT IN THE INFINITE VARIETY WE CAN DISCOVER A GENERAL ORDER. CERTAIN COMMON SHAPES APPEAR AGAIN AND AGAIN. WE SEE MOST SHAPES WHEN THEY ARE SIMPLIFIED AS GEOMETRIC SHAPES, OR AS A COMBINATION OF GEOMETRIC SHAPES. FOR EXAMPLE, A TREE BECOMES A SPHERE OR A CONE RESTING ON A CYLINDER. A HOUSE BECOMES A COMBINATION OF RECTANGLES AND TRIANGLES.

SHAPES THAT ARE COPIED DIRECTLY FROM NATURE, SUCH AS LEAVES, FLOWERS, AND CLOUDS SEEM TO BE MORE CURVED AND HAVE A SOFTER EDGE THAN MAN-MADE SHAPES, SUCH AS BUILDINGS, CAR ENGINES, AND T-V SETS. THE MAN-MADE SHAPES OFTEN APPEAR TO BE MORE ANGULAR AND HAVE A SHARPER EDGE.

CERTAIN COMMON SHAPES APPEAR AGAIN AND AGAIN. SHAPES, WHEN SIMPLIFIED, ARE GEOMETRIC SHAPES, OR A COMBINATION OF GEOMETRIC SHAPES.

-CHANGING SHAPES: METAMORPHOSIS THE ARTIST CAN TAKE A SHAPE, SUCH AS A CIRCLE, AND THROUGH A SEQUENCE OF STEP BY-STEP ALTERATIONS, CHANGE THE CIRCLE INTO A SQUARE.

A METAMORPHOSIS, THAT IS, A GRADUAL CHANGE OF A SHAPE, CAN BE STARTED FROM ANY PART.OF THE SHAPE. THIS CHANGE MIGHT START FROM AN EDGE, AT THE CORNER, ALONG THE SIDES, OR EVEN BEGIN TO CHANGE FROM THE CENTER OF THE SHAPE. CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS HAVE USED THIS STEP-BY-STEP METAMORPHOSIS IN BOTH TWO-DIMENSIONAL PICTURES AND THREE-DIMENSIONAL SCULPTURE. THE TECHNIQUE EXAGGERATES THE PASSAGE OF TIME BECAUSE WE CAN SEE THE OBJECTS SLOWLY CHANGING WITH EACH ALTERATION.

Shape/Form/Space

SHAPE – A two dimensional area that is defined in some way. In art the definition of shape is – a line that starts and stops at the same place and traps space. Shapes are two-dimensional.

There are two kinds of shapes:

GEOMETRIC (Inorganic) – precise shapes that can be described using mathematical formulas

EXAMPLES: square, triangle, circle, oval, rectangle

These shapes are used for decoration, uniformity and organization

FREE-FORM (Organic) – Irregular and uneven shapes that often occur in nature

 

FORMS – Often shape and form are used interchangeably in everyday language, but in art they have different meanings. FORMS are objects having three dimensions – length, width and depth.

EXAMPLES – shape – circle form- sphere square cube, triangle cone, pyramid

Shapes and forms are related – i.e. the end of a cylinder is a circle, one side of a cube is a square. Forms may also be geometric or free-form.

 

SPACE – shapes and forms exist in space, which is the emptiness or area between, around, above ,below or within objects. All objects take up space.

POSITIVE/NEGATIVE SPACE- In two and three dimensional art the shape or forms are called the positive area or figure. The empty spaces between the shapes or forms are called negative spaces or ground.

POINT OF VIEW – the way you see shapes and forms depends on where or what angle you are viewing it from – this is called point of view. A person’s perception of what an objects looks like is based upon their point of view.

DEPTH – Artists can create the illusion of depth on a two dimensional surface using the technique called perspective. There are three parts to a picture or drawing, which in art is called the picture plane. The part of the picture plane that appears closest to the viewer is called the foreground. The part the appears farthest away is called the background. The area in between is called the middle ground. Artists use other techniques to help them create the illusion of depth.

Overlapping: when one object covers part of a second object, the first object seems to be closer to the viewer. The objects must be opaque for this illusion to work.

Size: Large objects appear to be closer to the viewer than small objects. The farther the objects the smaller it appears.

Placement: Objects placed either high or Iowan the picture plane seem to be closer to the viewer than objects placed closer to eye level.

Detail: Objects with clear, sharp edges and visible details seem to be close to a viewer. Objects that lack detail and have hazy outlines seem to be farther away.

Color: brightly colored objects seem closer to the viewer and objects with dull, light colors seem to be farther away.

WHAT DIFFERENT SPACES, SHAPES, AND FORMS EXPRESS

The outline of a shape and the surface of a form carry messages.

Free form shapes and forms: used by artists to symbolize living things smooth, curved outlines and surface please and soothe viewers appeals to the viewers through memories of pleasant touching experiences i.e. well-worn river rocks, curled-up kittens

Angular shapes: zigzag outlines, forms with sharp projections – sharp, jagged things i.e. broken glass, pointed knives – pain

Geometric shapes: suggests mechanical perfection, clean, crisp lines appeals to people’s idealism, often expresses a spiritual ideal. Unemotional, lack of feeling – appeals to minds rather than emotions

DENSITY: refers to how compact an object is. Dense materials are solid and heavy, they seem unyielding and resist impact – may associate them with protection. In two-dimensional art, shapes with clearly defined outlines are called hard-edge.

Soft, fluffy forms are less dense. They give the impression of giving in to pressure i.e. when you sit on an overstuffed chair they are more comfortable and do not resist you – you can sink into them – they yield. In art soft shapes are suggested by vague, fuzzy edges. These shapes and forms look light, inviting and sometimes even fragile.

ACTIVITY AND STABILITY: as with line, shapes and forms can also give the impression of being active or static. Active shapes and forms seem to defy gravity, they create movement. Static shapes and forms are motionless or stable. Because they are firmly fixed in space they create a feeling of quiet and calm and peace.

Form, Mass, & Volume

Shape is a two dimensional area with identifiable boundaries that include height and width, and Form is a three-dimensional solid with identifiable boundaries that include height, width, and depth.

Two important features of form are mass and volume.

Mass refers to the outside and bulk of a form, while Volume refers to the space within the form.

Here are some characteristics of mass:

  • Mass can be rounded, angular, complex, simple, thick, hollowed out, protruding, etc.

  • Mass exist within space. They occupy it; they are surrounded by it; and they interact with it.

  • Some mass allow in no space. Space can only move along its outside surfaces.

  • Other mass extend out into the space around them.

  • Still other mass open up to or are pierced through by space.

When discussing the mass of a sculpture the vocabulary of solid geometry is used. This allows you to describe more clearly a three-dimensional work as resembling a cube, a sphere, a pyramid, a cylinder, or a cone.

However, this does not mean that a sculpture must be a solid.

In this way, a sculpture may be found to offer several interesting shapes as you view it from different angles.

Forms may have smooth transitions or clear angular shifts. Forms may be open or closed. They can be concave or convex.

For this exercise, create a form that incorporates both mass and volume. Below are some examples to help you get started:

Underwater Life

Goal: To help students observe texture, color, and shape of underwater life and recreate this reality by rubbing on different textured materials.

Objectives: The students learn how to use the collage medium to create multiples of a form; how to create the illusion of space by over­lapping; how to create a composition of an underwater scene by combining drawing, rubbings, and paper cut outs.

Materials: Photographs of underwater scenes and marine life, oil pastels, fadeless construc­tion paper, scissors, glue, and textured fabrics, boards, and plastics for rubbing

Time: Three to four fifty-minute periods

Procedure: The students create an underwa­ter scene by rubbing different textured mate­rials to capture the feeling of the coral, rocks, and underwater plant and animal life. These texture rubbings, done on bright colored con­struction paper, are used to cut out multiples of fish, seaweed, and other underwater life forms. The plants and animals are arranged and glued onto a blue construction paper background. The scenes are framed with black paper cut in the shape of an underwater cave.