Shape and form (visual arts)

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In the visual arts Shape is a flat, enclosed area of an artwork created through lines, textures, colours or an area enclosed by other shapes such as triangles, circles, and squares.[1] Likewise, a form can refer to a three-dimensional composition or object within a three-dimensional composition.

Specifically, it is an enclosed space, the boundaries of which are defined by other elements of art. Shapes are limited to two dimensions: length and width.

Form[edit]

A form is an artist's way of using elements of art, principles of design, and media. Element of art that is three-dimensional and encloses space. Like a shape, a form has length and width, but it also has depth. Forms are either geometric or free-form.

Categories[edit]

Geometric and Organic[edit]

Geometric shapes are precise edged and mathematically consistent curves,[citation needed] they are pure forms and so consist of circles, squares, spirals, triangles, while geometric forms are simple volumes, such as cubes, cylinders and pyramids.[2] They generally dominate architecture, technology, industry and crystalline structures.

In contrast, organic shapes are free-form, unpredictable and flowing in appearance. These shapes, as well as organic forms, visually suggest the natural world of animals, plants, sky, sea, etc... The addition of organic shapes to a composition dominated by geometric structures can add unpredictable energy.[3]

Bell-shaped flowers

Positive and Negative[edit]

A positive shape is a shape, that has details inside it, such as an outline of a human, with body features. Contrarily, a negative shape is a shape without any details; it's just an outline.

Representation[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ NIU School of Art Vocabulary Archived 2004-06-24 at the Wayback Machine. URL accessed December 15, 2008
  2. ^ Stewart. pp. 378–384. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Stewart. p. 32. Missing or empty |title= (help)

Further reading[edit]

  • Gatto, Porter, and Selleck. Exploring Visual Design: The Elements and Principles. 3rd ed. Worcester: Davis Publications, Inc., 2000. ISBN 0-87192-379-3
  • Stewart, Mary, Launching the imagination: a comprehensive guide to basic design. 2nd ed. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2006. ISBN 0-07-287061-3

External links[edit]