Chapter Three

Beginning a Vocabulary of Shapes

I love shapes. Plain and simple. Big or small, busy, clean, textured, patterned, in color value or black or white, silly or serious—shapes rule! Shapes are one of the most important elements in observing and creating visual art. They are the guiding force in layout, design, and composition, whether in drawing, painting, sculpture, or photography, or the creation of a garment. Look around and you will find yourself surrounded by shapes of all sizes, positive as well as negative, composed of light, shadow, texture, and pattern.

We are introduced to shape from an early age and taught to differentiate between a square peg and a round one. Most of us were unconsciously introduced to the language of shapes ...

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