Shapes
Initially, students were asked to put the simple and complex shapes
and applications (leaves, fruits, vegetables, etc.) on separate
boards. For two years, students were instructed to put the theoretical
flat shape and leaf on the same board. This is the same with the
complex shape and fruit or vegetable. I finally decided that it
worked best to put each on separate boards. In comparison to the
refinement problems up to this point, these are demonstration problems
and not as much time is used as on refinement problems. It helps
the student to better understand theory application through doing
them. Students tend to think they are doing something different
and forget the criteria from previous exercises. The teacher must
emphasize the previous criteria.
Flat
Shape
Design
a simple flat abstract shape which is unbiased (wide as it is high).
Students can use one point. The objective is a simple, elegant shape.
Line quality is critical to success with the simple shape. Criteria
are proportion, tension curves and line quality. The problem can
begin with unbiased geometric shapes such as a two and onehalf
to three inch circle or square, and modifications.
Typical
Criticisms
•)
The
shape is wider than it is high. They should be unbiased!
•)
Not
enough tension in the lines.
•)
Look
where the point is directed. Put the point into opposition with
the line on the other side.
•)
These
two lines are too similar. One of them needs to be changed.
•)
Concave
lines are particularly difficult to use on this problem unless they
have real tension.
•)
Look
at the relationship of the shape to the bottom edge of the board.
By putting the flat curve on the bottom, it is nearly parallel to
the bottom edge.
•)
Rotate
the shape until you ind the visually most interesting position.
•)
Try
flopping the shape and see what happens.
Presentation
The
design is to be visually centered and done in black plaka on a 10inch
square board. Just recently, I have become aware that students also
require instruction in how to visually place the shapes on a 10inch
square. Formerly, I required the student do a marker fillin on
tracing paper, cut it out and position it and then run it by me
until I gave them the okay to put it on board and plaka the image.
Students first of all did not know how to visually center the image,
leaving slightly more white at the bottom than at the top, with
sides appearing equal. This is visual centering and not a mechanical
or measured centering.
Complex
Shape with the Illusion of Dimension
Design
a complex abstract shape which is unbiased that suggests dimensionality.
Students had difficulty understanding the problem objective and
floundered about. When one student found a solution, invariably
all the other students would do variations of that approach. In
recent years, I have found the best way to accomplish this demonstration
problem in the shortest amount of time with the greatest variety
of solutions is to have the students fold a 6 x 2 1/2 or 3 inch
strip of paper twice (one fold at a right angle and the other fold
is the student’s choice), and for them to draw it. The first
studies are done in pencil with all lines drawn through to properly
establish the reference points that create an illusion of dimensionality.
There should be concern for the quality of shape, and that the dimensionality
is obvious when filled in with black plaka on the 10inch square
board.
Typical
Criticisms
•)
Try
rotating the shape and ind the angle that best presents the shape.
•)
Try
setting the shape on its most pointed line so it is oppositional
to the straight horizontal line of the bottom edge.
•)
You
will not get the illusion of dimensionality with concave lines or
curves. Rely on the points.
•)
Try
drawing the shape with pencil and draw through the shapes to accurately
place the reference points.
•)
The
scale of elements is too similar. Vary the sizes and shapes.
•)
The
shape is much longer than it is high.
•)
Watch
the direction of the points, and vary the size and angle of the
points.
Presentation
Draw
four 10inch squares on tracing paper, and do a marker fillin of
the shape in different rotations. When the best placement is determined,
visually center the image on a 10inch board and paint in with black
plaka.
