Q:

What does shape mean in art?

A:

A shape in art is a closed line that is limited to two directions: width and length. It is defined by other elements of art: form, space and value. A shape can be geometric, which means it is mathematically determined, or organic, which means it is created by nature.

The simplest way to outline the shape of an object is its shadow. Recognizable shapes are called naturalistic or realistic. Shapes that are difficult to identify are abstract.

Shapes can be positive and negative. A positive shape is the one formed by the object itself. The one formed by the space around the object is the negative shape. The combination of positive and negative shapes gives people the image of what they see.

Artists use this capability of the human brain to create optical illusions. For example, an object on a two-dimensional surface seems to exist in three dimensions, and a white and black drawing can seem colourful. Also, it can be difficult to distinguish between a figure and the ground in an image because both make sense and are recognizable objects. M. C. Escher, P. Picasso, H. Matisse and K. Walker are the most famous artists for creating dual shapes in their works.

The boundaries of an artwork are important for perception. For instance, a painting of a tree on a background of a distant mountain gives an impression of open air and vast space. If the same tree and mountains are painted as if in a window frame, the natural elements seem more distant, which does not offer a feeling of open space.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What does "medium" mean in art?

    A:

    In art, "medium" refers to the physical objects used by artists to convey messages to audiences through the senses. Mediums used by artists vary widely, and range from tools including paints, brushes, pencils and pastels used by traditional artists, to instruments, voice and electronics used in the auditory arts. Additionally, sculptors use raw materials like wood, paints, clay and plastics to create figurines and sculptures.

      Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does form mean in art?

    A:

    In art, the term "form" has two meanings. In its most basic application, form refers to a three-dimensional work of art, such as a sculpture or installation. In a broader sense, form is a concept that encapsulates all visible features of an artwork. Form in this context refers to the objective qualities of a work, including color, shape and contrast.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does the term "media" mean in art?

    A:

    There are two different definitions of "media" in artwork. "Media," as the plural for "medium," refers to the type of material used by an artist to create his artwork. "Media" can also refer to substances added to paint to create a desired texture or effect, according to ArtinCanada.com.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does texture mean in art?

    A:

    In art, texture appeals to the sense of touch and is the tactile feeling of an art piece. Both two-dimensional and three-dimensional art forms use texture to convey themes of the work.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore