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Shapes And Design

 

HOW TO QUICKLY IMPROVE YOUR PAINTINGS

EASY...... DESIGN A BETTER SHAPE

MAKE GOOD SHAPES ONE OF YOUR TOP PRIORITIES?

 

This is most often the result of your thinking and believing that if you draw the shape accurately it will make an interesting shape.

Don't tell me you try to draw this or that shape accurately, hoping...............

Accurately rarely produces the aesthetically beautiful painting.

For example last week I saw the front of an historical building drawn with every stone in place, but ended up boring, and a dull painting.

The shape of it may be nothing more than a combination of circles, squares and triangles. When geometric shapes are symmetrical they are inherently uninteresting or downright boring. Symmetry may be necessary but it is rarely visuallyengaging.
my friend you have to do some thinking and designing.

 

THESE ARE SHAPES TO AVOID:

 

 

CHANGE YOUR VIEWPOINT

 

 

Choosing a view point perpendicular to the end of a house will be looking at a triangle on top of a square or rectangle and no matter how well and accurately you draw these shapes you will end up with a regrettably uneventful design.

A short move left or right will provide you with infinitely more interesting shape possibilities.
If you don't want to move, try this, overlap the shape or enlarge and alter by combining it with others.

 

DESIGNING--------DIRECTION

A shape is interesting when it has direction for the eye to follow.

You achieve direction by making the height and width of a shape different. Circles, squares and triangles are all equal in height and width and hence appear static and boring. They seem to have no direction. Although a rectangle has uneven sides and began to suggest it knows where it is going (towards the long sides).

 

GENERALLY GOOD SHAPES ARE:-

Asymmetrical ---------- their opposite sides are different.

Directional -------------Their height to width ratio is unequal.

Descriptive of the object ---------- Their silhouette suggests the object being represented.

Varied on their edges ------------ The segments of their boundaries are different in length - some described with straight lines some with curves.

Abstract ----------- Chosen not for perfect accuracy but to enhance the design.

 

 

Try this outline of a figure in Degas's famous picture "The Frieze of Dances".

What an interesting shape. Does it meet the criteria for interest?

Your shapes maybe geometric , organic, natural, abstract or non - objective; but they should all have one common

characteristic;........you design them with thought and care. This is important.

 

SHAPE CHECKLIST

1) - If you find you have a "lot" of symmetry and repetition, you have a boring painting.

2) - Have variety in your shapes. Edgar Whitney (great teacher) had a very simplistic saying that is worth remembering - think about the "Three Bears" - Papa Bear (large shape), Mama Bear (medium shape), Baby Bear (small).
Do this and you will have an interesting group of shapes.

3) - Vary sizes, watch spaces between shapes, eliminate perfect geometry and straight lines.

4) - Think in terms of shape, not objects.

5) - Don't be afraid to change the shapes if you find you have a bad shape, you have several options.
(a) - Alter the shape, a wayward shape is better than your perfectly geometric shape.

NEXT OPTION.

(b) - Over lap or combine two bad shapes together (if it does not work) you will only have one bad shape.

(c) - Put something in front of the bad shape.

(d) - Remove the shape.

Remember the viewer does not want to look at static shapes, entertain them with your design and creativity.

Now we should start simplifying shapes.

HOW DO I DO THAT?

Well most complicated or busy shapes can be reduced to a simpler form. When edges of shapes are busy, they are distracting and the resulting painting begins to look overworked.

When you see a tree, it seems to be made up of hundreds of lines small shapes all going this way and that way.
Squint your eyes. The hundreds you just saw will dissolve and merge into a few major shapes, you are looking for irregular shapes.

What about man made objects, same thing, squint.

Boats for example docked in harbor. The shapes and values of the hulls are important in the overall composition than the individual planks upon the boat.

 

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