Element of Design - Shape

Shape, one of the elements of design, can be used to convey certain meaning as well as guide the eye through a drawing.

There are three main different types of shapes. In math class you may have learned about different types of geometric shapes like squares, triangles, spheres and rectangles. In art class you may have learned about all the different natural shapes such as trees, posts, houses and trains. When learning to drive you may have learned some new abstract shapes on signs that tell you to yield, stop, and watch out for certain animals.

When drawing, shape is very important because it defines certain spaces, organizes your drawing and gives it structure. When drawing, you may organize your shapes or objects so that they are visually appealing. Photographers often refer to the rule of thirds. Or, you may want to organize your shapes so that your drawing looks chaotic.

There are different meanings given to different shapes. For example, triangles are often used to create something that strong, visually appealing, and united. Designers will often use triangles in the placement of objects on a page. Circles often symbolize infinity and eternity because the curves never end. Squares are stable. They are shapes that can be built upon and are very familiar to us.

Activities that help you think about shape:
  1. Use shape to convey different ideas.
  2. Use shape to tell your audience something.
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rose drawing