Activity 7: Applying the Formal Elements: Shape

As a formal element of art, shape is flat and two dimensional. Imagine cutting shapes from a piece of paper. You could cut irregular, organic, curvilinear, geometric, abstract, or representational shapes. Shapes can be large and take up much of a composition or very small and repeated as a pattern. Two shapes can create a new element, such as a line, or an entirely new shape.

In this exercise you will create a photograph that shows your understanding of shape. You can take a photograph of a shape that exists in nature or one that you’ve created yourself. Your photograph can include many types of shape, including positive and negative shapes. The only requirement is that your photograph must represent what you see around you. (You cannot take a photograph of an image that already exists). This is an opportunity to share what you see in your daily life.

Discussion Board Activity:

Create a photograph that represents shape. Although the photograph will be capturing a three-dimensional form, focus on the two-dimensional shape(s) that can be perceived in your photograph.

In your discussion board post, include your photograph, explain how it conveys an idea or theme, and address the following statements/questions:

  • What are the shapes in your image? Describe them.
  • Are they geometric and/or organic? Are they positive or negative?
  • What subjective opinions or feelings do you have when viewing this image?

Allow time for other students to comment on what they feel your photograph conveys, based on your objective use of shape and their subjective understanding of it.