## Tuesday, September 28, 2010

### Elements of Art - Shape

Shape: a line, usually enclosed so as to have height, width, and/or depth (i.e. a cube). A shape can be two- or three-dimensional and positive or negative.

Shapes can be divided into two categories:

1. Geometric: shapes created by mathematical laws. Examples are: triangle, circle, square, rhombus, trapezoid, pentagon, etc. (May include composite shapes - see below)

2. Free-form: irregular and uneven shapes which may include such things as puddles, clouds, and stones. Also included under the category of free-form shapes are organic shapes. Organic means "from living organisms" such as trees, flowers, animals, and even humans. (May include composite shapes - see below)

As the above definition states, a shape does not necessarily have to be an enclosed line. When we see a line, our mind can automatically enclose it to form a specific shape. For instance, what shape does your mind first envision when it sees four dots in a pattern from a die? Our mind will most likely join the dots to make a square, but they could very well be connected to form a completely different shape, such as a four petal flower.

Our mind likes to make connections. When it sees a drawing with sections missing (i.e.a dot-to-dot puzzle), it wants the lines to meet. Notice how, even though the lines do not connect, your mind can actually interpret what these shapes represent.
http://www.dottodots.net/preview/Bunny_Dot-To-Dot

Positive Shapes: the shapes we have talked about so far have been created by space taken up by the object itself.

Negative Shapes: are made up of what's left in the picture format around the positive shape.

Look at this example:

What do you see?

If you see the white area as the positive shape, than it is a candlestick or vase and the black area is the surrounding shape is the negative shape.