workshop slide gallery theory help   

01. Relationship of dot, line and plane
02. Dot
03. Constellations
04. Line
05. Grids & Patterns
06. Shapes
07. Openings (shapes within shapes)
08. Colour
09. The colour wheel & natural order of colours
10. Color Harmony
11. Texture
12. Light & Shade, Shadows
13. Three-dimensional form
14. Voids
15. Space
16. Composition
17. Principles of basic design
18. Proportion and Scale


6. Shapes

When a line turns around upon itself, it becomes an outline, and the area contained within the outline is the shape.

a. Planar shape:
Planar shapes may be defined as flat areas that have two exaggerated dimensions; length and width. Planar shapes can be curved, wrapped, opaque, translucent or transparent in appearance.

Hebbar's line drawings comprise one or at the most two planes, and a variety of shapes and forms. It's the quality of his lines that make his works so translucent and vibrant.

The most vital element in the creation of planes, shapes and forms, is the line. When a line turns around upon itself, as in a loop, it creates a shape and becomes outline. Shape is essentially a flat or silhouette image, pertaining to an area rather than a volume or mass. When shapes acquire the third dimension, they morph into forms.

In a drawing, the paper is the original geometrical plane. Other planes are inscribed upon it, some parallel to it, some overlapping it, some tilting variously in depths. Planes have played an important part in all types of perspective systems and devices - in the world of art, architecture and design. Like lines, planes too are capable of touching, intersecting and overlapping one another at various points and angles, or they may stand apart, allowing spatial interaction.

A plane is perceived as the very real surface of a physical object. It may be flat or curved, opaque or transparent. It is the surface, which seems to segregate and connect the design elements or objects seen in conjunction with it. For instance, a point or line drawn on a piece of paper may appear to lie on that surface, or behind it, or in front of it. In this case, the human eye perceives those planes, which are not visually demarcated, but merely suggested.

A shape could start from a point and allowed to 'grow', to extend itself slowly to the limit of its energy. Since geometry is the basis of all natural and manmade forms, every form can be reduced to its three-dimensional geometric counterpart, and further to its two-dimensional core, which is its shape, or the plane that forms its base. Thus, the human body can be perceived as an assemblage of spheres, cylinders and cuboids or further, circles and rectangles. This is an exercise commonly taught in elementary art workshops. And isn't this also what MF Hussain seems to be doing - breaking up human and animal figures in their linear components and the shapes contained within?

Of course, there are a number of informal and ambiguous shapes that seem to defy geometrical classification. For example, the shapes of clouds, stains, islands and lakes are too inarticulate and free flowing to be contained in any categorization. However, since most shapes and forms can be classified into simple family groups, doing so can help us in understanding their origin and essence. This also enables us to clearly recognize composite forms, as in an ice-cream cone (which is an amalgam of a sphere and a cone) or a tree (which is the coming together of a cylinder with its conical or spherical canopy).

Another classification of forms can be done using the two archetypal forms - the square and the circle. Thus we have Forms of Discontinuity, which include the cube and all plane polygons, and Forms of Continuity, which comprise all curved surfaces and volumes. In nature, crystals represent discontinuity, while plant and animal forms suggest continuity. However, most natural and manmade forms are amalgams of continuous and discontinuous elements.

What shapes, planes and forms do not create exist as voids. The absence of creation leads to the creation of non-creation; the antonym or the negative of what is created - and this is as important as the creation itself. It is what makes a creation. Often, the success or non-success of a creation lies in the conscious decision taken regarding what not to create.

4 - 01 Geometric Shapes:
Squares, rectangles, circles, triangles and all polygons constitute geometric shapes. These forms are geometric derivations, inorganic and synthetic substances, never seen in nature.

4 - 02 Organic Shapes:
These are spontaneous, growing forms invigorated mainly by their non-compliance with geometry. They are active, dynamic, free flowing and informal, completely shorn of the rigidity inherent to geometry. Organic shapes resemble forms and actions around us - vegetable, animal and human shapes and happenings, fragments, signs, symbols, silhouettes etched in memory and saturated with all kinds of feelings and associations. They could be connected or unconnected, surrounded with much or little space. They could range in quality from large to small, solid to hollow, with neat or frayed edges.



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For more details contact - Ar. Shirish Sukhatme
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