What are the three basic shapes?

Tesia Blackburn “Wonderland” Acrylic on Canvas 24” x 24”

Tesia Blackburn “Wonderland” Acrylic on Canvas 24” x 24”

The three basic shapes are a square, a triangle and a circle.  All other shapes are derived from these.  Organic shapes, for the most part, are circular in nature. So an oak leaf for example, is just a circle that's been pinched and pulled in different directions.  Geometric shapes are usually based on the square and triangle. So a man-made building will be mostly square-ish, unless it's designed by Frank Gerhy!  My advice here is -  keep it simple.  I've been working with circles for a long time, trying to figure them out.  

Maybe you're inspired by ovals or wonky squared off shapes. Whatever the case, use the shape over and over again, in different derivations using contrast, until you really understand it.

Contrast can be a great helper in design. I like to use it liberally. Contrast dark colors with light, warm with cool, hard edge shapes with organic shapes and so on. Think in terms of scale, color, texture and shape just to get started. Whatever you’re doing, do something that creates a contrast to it and you will also create interest.

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