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.

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Geometric Shapes

Geometric shapes: precise, mathematical shapes. The basic ones are the circle, square and triangle. All other shapes, like the oval and rectangle, are variations of these basic shapes. Most geometric shapes can be drawn with a ruler.

Organic Shapes

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.

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Student Examples

Some Good and Not so Good Examples

What makes one more successful than another?

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