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.
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 one-half
to three inch circle or square, and modifications.
shape is wider than it is high. They should be unbiased!
enough tension in the lines.
where the point is directed. Put the point into opposition with
the line on the other side.
two lines are too similar. One of them needs to be changed.
lines are particularly difficult to use on this problem unless they
have real tension.
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.
the shape until you ind the visually most interesting position.
flopping the shape and see what happens.
design is to be visually centered and done in black plaka on a 10-inch
square board. Just recently, I have become aware that students also
require instruction in how to visually place the shapes on a 10-inch
square. Formerly, I required the student do a marker fill-in 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.
Shape with the Illusion of Dimension
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 students 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 10-inch square
rotating the shape and ind the angle that best presents the shape.
setting the shape on its most pointed line so it is oppositional
to the straight horizontal line of the bottom edge.
will not get the illusion of dimensionality with concave lines or
curves. Rely on the points.
drawing the shape with pencil and draw through the shapes to accurately
place the reference points.
scale of elements is too similar. Vary the sizes and shapes.
shape is much longer than it is high.
the direction of the points, and vary the size and angle of the
four 10-inch squares on tracing paper, and do a marker fill-in of
the shape in different rotations. When the best placement is determined,
visually center the image on a 10-inch board and paint in with black