Project Objectives

Develop visual understanding of the differences between subject matter and form.

Intentionally transform a representational design into an abstract or non-representational design to convey Content.

Develop visual understanding of the Elements of Design Shape & Space and their characteristics.

Develop visual understanding of the Principle of Organization Balance.


Project Description

In this project you continue to exercise ways to abstract from Subject Matter while focusing on Form by exploring figure/ground relationships through the usage of shape and space to evoke content. We also use thePrinciple of Organization Balance to help us achieve the content.


Required Materials

Artagain Black Paper 9" x 12" Drawing Paper Two Sheets of 14” x 17” Bristol Board Sketchbook HB Pencil Eraser Ruler Scissors Artist Tape Glue Stick Rubber Cement


Step-by-step Directions

Step 1: Create first set of shapes.
On one sheet of Artagain black paper, draw three (3) non-representational organic shapes. These shapes should be fairly large in relation to the paper. Consider how each shape creates interesting relationships to the negative space of the paper. Cut out each of these shapes. (Approximately 50% of the paper should be utilized for the combination of all 3 shapes)

Step 2: Create two more identical sets of these shapes on the Artagain black paper so that you have three of each.
To complete this, trace each cut-out shape with an HB pencil on two additional pieces of Artagain black paper, cut them out using scissors. Make sure that the cut-outs do not have any pencil marks on them. You now should have three (3) exact copies of each shape.

Step 3: Create first composition.
Using one (1) set of your shapes, create an asymmetrical, dynamic and unified composition on a piece of white drawing paper. When designing your composition, think about how the orientation of each shape activates the negative space. Shapes should be created within the negative space (white parts of your composition). Try to create areas where the figure and ground begin to reverse within your composition; this will help to create tension and movement within the piece. Temporarily tape down each shape with the Artist Tape. Your design should have approximately a 50:50 ration of black and white.

Step 4: Create second composition.
In class, trade your second set of shapes with your peers. Exchange each of your three shapes for three new shapes. On a new piece of white drawing paper, create another composition. Temporarily tape down each shape.

Step 5: Create a third composition using a new set of shapes.
These shapes can consist of your original shapes and/or shapes you have traded with your peers. Temporarily tape down each shape.

Step 6: Choose your most successful composition and create two identical designs: one using black shapes on 9×12 white paper and one using white shapes on 9×12 black paper.
These designs should be mirror images of each other. You may edit each shape of the original composition to strengthen the composition and figure/ground relationships. Glue down each of your shapes carefully using rubber cement.

Step 7: Finalize the artwork.
Take two pieces of Bristol Board; tape them together on the back with Artist Tape to create one large piece of Bristol. Mount both compositions on the large piece of bristol board using your rubber cement glue. Make sure the collages are centered; use your ruler to create guidelines with pencil before gluing. The two collages should touch each other where the two pieces of Bristol board are attached.

Step 8: Document your original shapes. Glue down each of your original three shape studies with glue stick in your sketchbook.


Project Considerations

Is the composition non-representational?

Has a Visual Flow been established?

Is the overall composition unified and harmonious?

Does the composition utilize the entire picture plane?

Are the shapes and spaces interesting in themselves?

Are there shapes created in both the figure and ground creating figure-ground reversal?

Are there any shapes or negative spaces that are not activated within your composition?

Has the final design been executed in a professional manner? Designs should utilize the designated materials with care, effort, and attention to detail. This includes proper mounting to Bristol Board.

CRAFTSMANSHIP is extremely important for each of your designs and is part of the grading criteria. Do not fold, bend, crease, smudge, tear your artworks! Always take great care when creating each design and then put directly into your portfolio case.

What is Craftsmanship? Care in construction and finishing; demonstration of skill and knowledge of processes; attention to detail. The quality of design and work shown in something that is made by hand.


Project Delivery

Created first set of three shapes.
Created two identical sets of the original three shapes.
Created first composition.
Traded shapes.
Created second composition.
Created positive version of final composition.
Created negative version of final composition.
Mounted both final compositions work properly.
Documented original three shapes in your sketchbook.


Grading Criteria

This project is worth 5 points.
Project's Grade Rubric

Craftsmanship: The final design has been executed in a professional manner. The designated materials are intentionally utilized with care, effort, and attention to detail - cut, pasted, and properly mounted to Bristol Board.
Materials: Design utilizes only three Shapes. Required Artagain Paper was used and all parts of the project were delivered - See Project Delivery above.
Composition: The composition utilizes the whole picture plane and has a strong visual flow containing 50% black and 50% white shapes.
Elements of Design: The design is abstracted from subject matter, shapes are interesting and complement each other, and successfully use convex and concave shapes to create figure/ground relationships.
Principles of Organization: Each side of the final design presents asymmetrical balance and the final project utilizes symmetrical balance where each half of the design is a perfect picture image reversing black & white shapes.

Extra-credit Sketchbook is worth 1.25 points:
Delivered the first set of organic shapes according to specifications (0.25).
Created two identical sets of the original three shapes and traded one set with colleagues (0.25).
Created first composition where black & white shapes compete to act as positive & negative space (0.25).
Created second set of composition following guidelines (0.25).
Documented (pasted) the three original shapes in your sketchbook. (0.25)


Related Presentations

Project 4 | E-portfolio

Self-Critique Questions
Artwork Documentation
Writing Assignment
E-Portfolio Notes


Project 4 | Resources

Project 4 Presentation on Shape & Space [PDF]

Shape & Space

Balance


Project 4 | Related Reading

Design Basics: Shape
Design Basics: Balance


Project 4 | Sample Work


Project and some Student Samples appropriated from Prof. Mahr, Westchester Community College, NY