How to Use Shapes To Strengthen Your Abstract Design

There is a little secret when using shapes in abstract designs.  

As an artist you know shapes are important because they give the  viewer a way to move around the painting and then take them to the center of interest.

Let’s say you want the viewer to go to the upper right  of your painting because that is your center of interest.

You create your shapes, soft and hard edges, color and value, which gives each INTERLOCKING shape personality .

If you want the viewer to enter the painting in the lower left then you need to think about how you can take the viewer on a visual tour of what you want them to see along the way  plus what you want them to visually eliminate.

I call this The Roadmap of Design

Learning this is a game changer.  When you control the viewers path, you control how your painting is seen.

Above  I mentioned the word INTERLOCKING shapes.  Why is this important? Because having each and every shape butt against another shape is boring.  Some shapes should be interlocking. Think of it like a puzzle.

When I started painting I had trouble seeing objects as shapes.  I had to learn that a tree wasn’t just a tree when surrounded with objects of the same value.  They were one shape.

Learning which shapes appeal to you is an interesting learning experience.  
Each person has shapes they love.  

To find your shapes start tearing paper and see what shapes you tear.  Are they more round or do you tear more geometric shapes?

So, are shapes important to your painting?  Yes. Shapes tell a story within the painting just like color, value and the image itself.

Go look at your work and see what shapes are yours….let me know!

Until next time,

Create brilliantly,

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