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Form, Line, Plane, Space, Texture & Color

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Chapter 9

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Form, Line, Plane, Space, Texture & Color

  1. 1. Three-Dimensional Design Elements of Three-Dimensional Design FORM, LINE, PLANE, SPACE, TEXTURE & COLOR 1
  2. 2. Elements of Three-Dimensional Design 2 Line: A series of adjacent points; a connection between points; and a point in motion. Plane: A three-dimensional form that has length and width, but minimal thickness. Volume: An empty 3-D form; in 2-D design, the illusion of form; in time design, the loudness of a sound. Mass: A solid 3-D form. Space: The area within or around an area of substance. Texture: The visual or tactile quality of a form. Light: Value and volume; striking a surface; ambient and directed; as sculpture. Color: A specific hue determined by its wavelength. Time: Specific temporal location.
  3. 3. Form Types of Form  Volume and mass  Positive forms and negative space  Static and dynamic forms  Kinetic forms  Mechanical forms  Form and function  Orthographic projection Our experience in the three-dimensional world is more direct. Tangible evidence of three-dimensional design surrounds and supports us. Form can refer to three-dimensionality itself. An empty 3-D form is volume, while a solid form is mass. An effective 3D composition balances positive forms (areas of substance) with negative space. Organic forms visually suggest nature or natural forces, while geometric forms are typically based on simple volumes. Static forms appear stable and unmoving, while dynamic forms, like figure 9.1, imply movement. Kinetic forms as in figure 9.3 actually move. For any designer, the form must fulfill a specific function, or purpose. Mechanical forms, such as belts and gears, create an industrial effect. While the industrial designer has a different purpose than the sculptor, both use the same basic elements and principles of design. Orthographic projection is a method of depicting 3-D form on a 2-D surface and represents six views of a 3-D form (top, bottom, front, back, right, and left sides). 3
  4. 4. Degrees of Dimensionality Relief: Forms project out from a flat surface. Three-Quarter Works: A physical object designed to be viewed from the front and sides only. Freestanding Works: Work that is self-supporting and designed to be viewed from all sides. Environmental Works: A space that can be physically entered. When working in relief, an artist uses a flat backing (such as a wall or ceiling) as a base. There are low- and high-relief sculptures, and they tend to rely on a frontal viewing position. A three-quarter work, such as figure 9.10, projects more than halfway. We are drawn to view this work from the front and the sides. Rodin’s piece requires a viewer to walk all the way around it in order to capture its details or nuance of movement. Environmental Works will be discussed on the next slide. 4
  5. 5. Degrees of Dimensionality Environmental Works: A space that can be physically entered.  Installations: An ensemble of images and objects presented within a three-dimensional environment.  Earthworks: A large-scale outdoor installation, often transforming a natural site.  Site-Specific Artwork: Artwork specifically designed for and installed in a particular place. Installations are usually presented indoors, while an earthwork is usually presented outdoors. These works often require audience participation and we as viewers become emotionally and physically involved in the artwork. Figure 9.13 evokes a cosmic connection that extends far beyond the walls of a museum or gallery. Figure 9.14 rests on a bluff overlooking the straits of Gibraltar. The hand is designed to disappear when the wind blows as the movable panels shift from vertical to horizontal. If moved to another location, this sculpture would lose much of its meaning. 5
  6. 6. Point A basic mark, such as a dot, pebble, or brushstroke A simple point can create a dialogue with the surrounding space (like in figure 9.15). When multiplied, points can produce visual information that can create texture, space, or movement. 6
  7. 7. Line  A series of adjacent points.  A connection between points.  A point in motion. 7
  8. 8. Line Quality  Orientation: horizontal, vertical, or diagonal.  Direction: implied movement.  Continuity: increases movement and accentuates form Line quality is largely determined by the lines’ orientation, direction, and degree of continuity, as well as the material used. Based on orientation, horizontals are associated with stability, verticals with strength, and diagonals are associated with movement. Direction refers to the implied movement of a line. A line of constant width suggests equal movement in both directions. Varying line width suggests a sense of space, giving downward thrust and an upward taper. Continuity in figure 9.22 creates a writhing, tangled line that accentuates the sculpture’s mass. 8
  9. 9. Lines  Actual lines: Lines which are physically present.  Implied lines: Lines that are suggested by position, movement or gesture.  Line networks: The organization of multiple lines. Actual lines can connect, define, or divide a design. Implied lines are created through mental rather than physical connections. This can include extended elements that move the eye. A sight line, as in figure 9.26, creates a telescopic effect. During the winter and summer solstices, the sculpture is transformed with the alignment of the sun. In figure 9.19, jagged metal lines interlock with straight lines to form a strong, simple, but versatile form. 9
  10. 10. Plane, Volume, and Mass  Plane: Form that has length and width but minimal thickness.  Volume: An enclosed area of three-dimensional space.  Mass: A solid three-dimensional form. Planes can be transparent or opaque, rigid, or flexible, depending on the media. Complex surfaces and enclosures can be constructed using folded or bent planes. When slotted together, planes can be used to create a variety of sturdy forms. Pevsner used all of these concepts in one of the first major plastic sculptures. Volume is important in figure 9.35. The elegant carafe requires little table space, yet is stable and can be firmly closed. Slotted structures can be used to protect and separate contents. Weaving, folding, and slotting are some of the strategies used to enclose space while maintaining structural integrity. Mass can be dense and heavy or light and porous, but is usually carved or cast. Massive forms tend to suggest stability, power, and permanence as seen in figure 9.37. 10
  11. 11. Space: Area within or Around an Area of Substance  Positive and Negative Space: Space and substance.  Compression and expansion  Activated space: A solid three-dimensional form.  Entering space 11
  12. 12. Texture: Visual or tactile quality  Degrees of Texture  Characteristic and Contradictory Textures  The Implications of Texture Texture can increase the surface area of an object, add contrast, and enrich our understanding of the physical and conceptual qualities of any 3-D object. Texture may be subtle or pronounced. Every material has its own inherent textural properties. When a material is used in an uncharacteristic way, or when strange textures are added to familiar forms, we must reappraise both the material and the object it represents. Texture can enhance or defy our understanding of a form. On a conceptual level, texture can add layers of meaning. 12
  13. 13. Light  Value and volume  Striking a surface  Ambient and directed light  Light as sculpture Light can enhance or obscure form, affect our emotions, and even become a sculptural medium in its own right. A graduated series of highlights and shadows, or values, is produced whenever light pours across a surface. Product designers are equally aware of the importance of light. A badly lit form will lack definition and impact. Light is strongly affected by the substance it strikes. It creates a continuous series of values when it strikes an opaque surface. It is refracted (or bent) when it strikes a transparent surface, such as clear plastic or glass. Reflective surfaces, like steel, can bounce light back into space, and appear to emit its own light. Translucent surfaces, neither fully transparent nor opaque, can be mysterious and evocative. Each type of surface can be used expressively. Irwin’s structure consisted of nine cubic rooms defined by delicate walls of translucent cloth. The translucency of the fabric varied, depending on the amount and location of the light. Ambient light encompasses an entire space like a sunny afternoon. Directed light is localized and focused like a spotlight. Many types of sculptural light are used by contemporary artists and designers. In figure 9.60, Bill Viola used projection and containment to create a complete illusion. When video images of a man and a woman were projected from opposite sides of a series of translucent cloths, the images merged revealing a single, androgynous figure. 13
  14. 14. Color: Hue, Determined by Wavelength  Value: Lightness or darkness of a color.  Intensity/saturation: Purity of a color.  Temperature: Psychological characteristics of a color. All three of these concepts (value, intensity/saturation, and temperature) help to determine the legibility and psychological impact of a color. 14
  15. 15. Color  Degrees of harmony  Contrast  Symbolic color Harmony consists of compatible colors. For a children’s toy, a triadic harmony of red, yellow, and blue are most inviting. Kita designed chairs with removable seats that can be color-customized by the buyer. Edmier used disharmony in his portrayal of his pregnant mother on the day President Kennedy was assassinated. While she seems calm, the colors and materials suggest an undercurrent of anxiety. Artists and designers like Kita often use contrasting colors to accentuate the function of a product or to create a distinctive image. Color is a powerful stimulant for emotions. Segal used the absence of color to create the white figures that are emotionally distant. Symbolic color is culturally based, and varies widely. In this mask, the blue represents the sky and the rain that Tlaloc calls forth to nourish the crops. The contrast between the warm, red clay and sky-blue increases the impact. 15
  16. 16. Time  Actual time: The location and duration of an actual temporal event.  Implied time: Suggested location or duration of an event. Viewing time: Extended analysis. Every object occupies a position in time as well as space. 16