Form: It’s Not Just Shape with Ambitions!

Posted on Sep 22, 2022

Remember our awesome Shape Song? Well, buckle up, art explorers, because today we’re diving deeper into the world of shapes with its coolest cousin: form!

So, What Exactly Is Form?

Nope. It’s not the type of form you fill out. This is form in art. Think of it as shape’s older sibling, the one who dared to dream. It stepped out of the flat paper world and into the realm of 3D.

It’s everywhere you look, from the bumpy mountaintops to the curvy wiggle of a worm.

In art, form can be real—like a clay sculpture you can hold in your hands—or implied—like the roundness of a soccer ball painted on a flat canvas.

Building Block Bonanza: Creating Real (3D) Forms

Imagine you’re a master builder, but instead of bricks and mortar, you’ve got clay, wood, and metal at your fingertips. That’s what creating real forms is all about!

You mould, sculpt, and bend these materials to bring your imagination to life.

Sculpture Class Forms

Real forms in art are, well, real. They exist in the real world, like you and me.

But real forms aren’t just about the materials. It’s all about the shapes they take.

You can stack squares and triangles to build a towering castle, or coil long, snake-like clay coils into a playful sculpture. The possibilities are as endless as your creativity (and the laws of physics)!

The Magic of Make-Believe: Creating Implied (2D) Forms

Now, let’s say you’re feeling a bit more like a magician than a builder. That’s where implied forms come in!

It’s all about using your artistic tricks to make flat shapes look like they have depth and dimension, even though they’re just sitting on a canvas.

2D shapes become 3D with shading (value)

See how shading (adding value) adds depth to these 2D shapes?

Think of a drawing of a juicy apple. The artist uses clever techniques like shading and shadows to make the apple bulge out from the page. They might even make the edges a bit fuzzy like it’s just begging to be picked up.

Organic or Geometric? The Formy Twist!

Just like shapes, forms can be either organic—all curvy and flowing like a leaf—or geometric—sharp and precise like a pyramid. But the fun doesn’t stop there! Sometimes forms can be a mix of both, like a funky robot with square shoulders and round, googly eyes.

Getting Friendly with Form

Form doesn’t just stand alone in the art world. It’s constantly teaming up with its artistic besties to create masterpieces that’ll knock your socks off. Here are some examples:

  • Colour Buddies: Imagine a sculpture of a bright red apple. The juicy red hue works with the form to make the apple look even rounder and riper. Colours can make forms pop, recede, or even change shapes altogether! (Think of a blue square that suddenly feels cool and distant compared to a warm, yellow one.)
  • Texture Twins: Ever run your fingers across a rough stone sculpture or a smooth, sleek painting? Texture is another element that loves to tango with form. A bumpy clay monster feels extra monstrous thanks to its texture.
  • Light and Shadow’s Spotlight: This dynamic duo knows all about revealing and hiding. Light highlights the curves and edges of a form, making it stand out like a star. Shadows, on the other hand, add depth and mystery, making parts of the form peek out from the darkness. Together, they play a spotlight game on the stage of art, directing your attention and creating drama.

Activity Time: Form Fun for Everyone!

Here’s a fun classroom or at-home activity: have your students create their own mini sculpture garden. They can sculpt anything from their favourite animals to abstract shapes using clay, cardboard, anything.

Then, challenge them to draw these sculptures, focusing on shading to create that 3D effect.

It’s a great, hands-on way to understand both real and implied forms.

Watch Our Form Video for Kids

So, there you have it, folks! Form: the element that takes shapes to the next level, adding depth, dimension, and endless possibilities to the world of art.

Keep your eyes peeled for it in your favourite paintings, sculptures, and even the real world around you.

And don’t forget to check out the Form Song video for a catchy tune and some extra formtastic fun.


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