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TOAP: Project – Shapes

The next project concerns shapes.  A shape is both an outline and an inclosure.  It defines an object but may also be implied in the same way a line can.

Shapes may be:

  • regular and easily identifiable with a simple outline; like rectangles or triangles.
  • irregular – uneven and falling into no particular category.

Generally regular shapes will play a stronger part in composition.

Examples are provided showing first an image with no clear shapes – with lines and contrast being key elements of the design.  This contrasts with an image of arms in rice with two clear triangle shapes drawing attention within the image.

Two further examples are provided, with less regular shapes and contrast in light creating the shapes within the images.  One is of a foreground object lit brightly against a dark sky.  The second is of an insect on a line, silhouetted against bright lights or the sun in the background.  They are both related through light, or absence of light – and either could easily be reversed to create a similar effect and shape.

The text highlights that silhouettes are especially effective because they hide detail, making the outline dominant.

The different types of regular shapes are just three:

  • triangles
  • rectangles
  • circles

Other regular shapes are just sub-divisions or combinations of these three.  Of the three triangles are the simplest and most valuable.

Simplest – because it has the smallest number of sides and corners.

Most valuable – because the diagonals it contains make it very active.

The next section of the project talks in more details about triangles and includes an exercise, which I’ll post next time,.

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