Monday, June 27, 2011

Design Element - Shape

When a line turns and meets up with its start point, a shape is created.  A shape or figure is a positive thing and occupies positive space.  The area surrounding a shape is called the background or ground.  It is a negative thing and occupies negative space.  Shapes can be clearly defined with hard edges but often they are not clearly defined, which means that it is more difficult to see where shape ends and background begins.

                There are a great variety of shapes to be found in nature.  Many artists have drawn creative inspiration from natural shapes.  Through their imagination, artists have invented new ways to use shape and communicate ideas.  Shapes can be solid or opaque, linear, textured, coloured and outlined.  Shapes can be transparent, revealing other shapes behind them.  Similar shapes need not be identical, yet they can have a common relationship, which visually ties them together.  Some shapes will command more attention than others, depending on their size, colour, value, texture, detail or their location in relation to other shapes.  Tall shapes are elevating, long flat shapes express calmness, downward-pointing shapes activate the sense of falling.

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