Element of Art: SHAPE
Notes and Examples of How to Illustrate Shape
A shape is a flat, two-dimensional area with height and width. It may have an edge or an outline around it.
Artists think of shape as being a flat area created when actual or implied lines meet to surround a space.
Shape can be geometric or organic.
Organic shapes are also called “free-form” shapes. They are irregular and uneven.
Organic shapes are often found in nature. They form natural curves or zigzags.
Examples: shapes of leaves, flowers and clouds.
Historical Example 1
Henri Matisse, Ivy in Flower, 1953. Colored paper and pencil, 112 inches X112 inches. Dallas Museum of Art.
Historical Example 2
Pablo Picasso, Three Musicians, 1921. Oil on Canvas, 79 inches X 88 inches. Museum of Modern Art, New York.