Basic Shape Forms 10 (my thoughts on the circle)


The circle is perhaps the most diverse shape. From the circle comes many of the most common objects and shapes that we experience in the natural world and that simple perfection translates to so many things we, as humans, create and invent. In the natural world we can see the perfect circle as the foundation for so many beautiful and powerful things. As we turn to science to study our natural world (which includes the universe) we see the planets and stars over our heads. Their shape, a three dimensional orb, is derived from the perfect circle. Their orbits around one another are also derived from a circular path. The atomic and sub atomic particles (electrons, protons, neutrons, etc),  that are the building blocks of our material world are also orbs or spheres based upon the perfect circle. When we consider the world in between, that we experience every day, we see circles and orbs in practically everything. The foundation of our own biology and the biology of our fellow plant and animal neighbors contain circular and spherical cells. Eggs, seeds, drops of rain and hail, and so much more. Just look around you!

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In our invented, mechanical world we humans often create magnificent things. The most profound among them are inspired by the natural world and can often be traced to a circle. As children, and adults, the perfect toy is a ball. Such a variety of entertainment and valuable social interaction comes from hitting a ball with a bat, bouncing a ball and throwing it through a hoop or just passing it back and forth with another human. The utility of the circle is obvious when we think of the greatest invention – or perhaps more accurately stated – the discovery, of the wheel. The wheel, and it’s derivatives, are the foundation of every civilized and industrialized human accomplishment, from transportation, to construction, to the the production of energy.

All of these wonders are circles, or at least started out that way and were only altered and evolved by the strains of other forces in the environment. A planet and it’s orbit are not perfectly circular or spherical only because of additional gravitational forces both from within and around them. The rain drop is only “tear” shaped because of the forces of gravity and shearing it experiences as it falls through the atmosphere. Even in our man made creations we modify circular and spherical shapes to better meet our utilitarian needs or to simply please our aesthetics. The circle is perfection in it’s symmetry and in it’s diversity to change when either tested by the natural environment or deemed appropriate by our inventiveness or trends. The circle is dynamic.

Every day I challenge myself to create something here. Today and tomorrow I challenge myself and you the reader to take notice of how many circles you see around you, both natural and man-made.

Have fun!
Sean

Basic Shape Forms 9


Today I decided to provide another detail of how the football shape was used in Sunday’s Mother’s Day design. Here it is repeated three times. The right and left copies are rotated slightly to help create a group that resembles a tulip flower. Pretty simple and yet another lazy post on my part.

basic shape forms 9

In the coming days I will be creating some designs that use each of the 3 basic shape forms, rotating and duplicating them in various ways. I will highlight the overlapping areas with color schemes, allowing those areas to appear as unique shapes in and of themselves. I will also share some of my thoughts and feelings on the basic shape forms and how those thoughts relate to what those shapes mean, not only in design but in the world around us. Should be fun and interesting for all.

Until then, keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.
Sean

Basic Shape Forms 8


Moving right along with Basic Shape Forms, I thought I would reflect on some components of yesterday’s Mother’s Day design. The ultimate goal of BSF is to first re-familiarize myself with the basic shapes (perfect circle, proper square and equilateral triangle). Secondly, through my renewed understanding of those shapes I will hope to garner a better understanding of how to effectively use those shapes to inspire and create more abstract and complex forms. From there, more creative elements can be effectively created and utilized in designs and illustrations. By the end of this month I hope to be posting basic illustrations derived from these shape forms.

The Mother’s Day design is a perfect example of how this all comes together. The straight lines and rectangular shapes in the design create a solid foundation (the ledge, or shelf, and the striped wall paper). These elements combine to form a concrete environment for the focal point, the vase of flowers, which is were your eyes focus first and return to again as you study the composition. Every aspect of the vase of flowers was created by manipulating circles. From the vase itself to the pointy green sprigs of grass poking out from between the flowers, which were created by using a very thin crescent shape.

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Today’s post shows how the football shapes used for the flower petals were created by overlapping two perfect circles and extracting that area as it’s own unique shape. This shape was then simply rotated and duplicated in such a way that it resembles the many petals of a daisy like flower, or the few, slightly offset petals of a tulip shaped flower.

Enjoy! See you tomorrow.
Sean

Basic Shape Forms 7


Today our shape forms overlap to create another experiment in color. Again, very basic. Each shape is colored with a perceptual primary color Red, yellow and blue. Each shape also overlaps, creating abstract shapes which are represented with subsequent secondary colors, orange and green. In the middle were we have everything overlapping we get a tertiary dark gray color.

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Enjoy! See you tomorrow.
Sean

Basic Shape Forms 6


Today another simple layout for our 3 basic shape forms. Visually when you rotate objects you create a feeling of instability. Here I have the square and the equilateral rotated but if we can imagine the edge of the layout as a solid force then we can gain a sense of stability. The square and the triangle appear to be holding each other in place utilizing the edge of the layout as added support. In this arrangement they create a platform of sorts for the circle to rest securely.

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That’s it. Hope you like. See you tomorrow.
Sean

Basic Shape Forms 5


Today we get to see all 3 of our basic shape forms interacting and there is definitely a couple things going on here. The square serves as the foundation for the other 2 shapes. I made use of color to separate the shapes visually but also to increase the level of interaction between them. In this way the square appears to be semi-transparent and, I suppose, the triangle is completely transparent. The triangle creates a void inside the square, allowing the circle to rest securely. The square is blue and the circle is red and where they overlap the color shifts to a dark magenta shade. Naturally when blue and red mix you see purple or violet, but here, since the transparent triangle is involved it takes away just enough blue to prevent full blown purple. So the crescent where the circle and square overlap is more like 75% red and 25% blue. Had it been 50/50 then it would be more purple. The “transparent” triangle appears darker because some blue from the square is being allowed to mix with the background color, gray.

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The color mixing described above is not precise. In fact I deliberately limited myself from utilizing and precise assistance from the software. I wanted to create the illusion of transparency on my own in an attempt to better think with color. So perhaps I should go back and let the computer calculate what color would present itself and see how close I was. Regardless I think the illusion works whether the color is off or not.

That’s it for today! I hope you like it and I will see you all back here tomorrow!
Sean

Basic Shape Forms 4


Today the equilateral triangle takes the stage here in a repeating pattern which reminds me of a Christmas tree farm, with purple Christmas trees. Notice the negative space created by the large purple triangles forms smaller, inverted triangles.

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In the coming days I will create some more interesting designs using just the circle, square and equilateral triangle. I will allow these shapes to work together to create various effects as well as more abstract shapes as they overlap and divide each other.

Thanks for stopping by and remember to come back again tomorrow. See you then.
Sean

Basic Shape Forms 3


Today the square takes center stage in this cool tile pattern. When I say “cool” I am referring to the color palette. Notice that when a square is rotated 45 degrees it creates a diamond shape. Also when it’s cropped the way it is here around the border it creates a right triangle. Pretty interesting eh? Ok, not very interesting. Like I said yesterday, I am being lazy. visit again tomorrow to see my lazy rendition of the equilateral triangle. After that I promise to put something interesting up for you. Promise.

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See you all tomorrow!
Sean

Basic Shape Forms 2


Ok, feeling a little bit lazy today. Today’s design is a very quick application of circles. This might make a good textile pattern, or perhaps a background for a more ambitious design. Playing with color as well here. Colleen has inspired me to use earth tones/shades of brown more often. Stay tuned for a couple more days of laziness with my submissions for the square and the triangle tomorrow and Wednesday. Then I promise to make them more interesting.

basic shape forms 2See you all tomorrow!
Sean