A Form in Art is a three-dimensional defined space that has defined depth. In Visual Arts, a Form is a three-dimensional representation of an object drawn on a two-dimensional plane. The Form has length, breadth, and depth to give a realistic look to the object.
Everything around us or in the art world is either a Form or Shape.
In Art, world form has two meanings. The first one is the literal meaning which is the overall Form of the artwork. That can be like painting, drawing, clay modeling, etc.
The second one is based on the elements of Art, which is the three-dimensional image or object inside an artwork.
In this post, we are focused on the second type.
The Form is one of the seven elements of Art, and they are listed below.
- Elements of Art Line
- Elements of Art Shape
- Elements of Art Form
- Elements of Art Color
- Elements of Art Space
- Elements of Art Texture
- Elements of Art Value
When you see an Artwork, you do not break it into individual elements, but you see it holistically as an artwork. An artist uses few or all the elements to create his piece.
- 1 What is Elements of Art Form?
- 2 How is form defined by other elements of art?
- 3 Form categorized based on appearance
- 4 Forms based on Dimensions
- 5 Forms based on creation method
- 6 Forms based on Other Factors
A Form in Art is a three-dimensional object depicted on a two-dimensional surface to give an illusion of realism to it.
Shape in Elements of Art has Length and Breadth alone, and when we add depth to the shape, it becomes a Form.
We can see some of the two-dimensional shapes which become three-dimensional when we add depth to them.
Other elements of Art also define the Form. It is impossible to create a form in drawing or painting unless we add other elements of Art to it. Form by itself is one element, and in addition to its other elements like line, value, color, or textures get added. Let us see how this is possible?
A drawing of a cube on paper can fit into this. Here the cube is a three-dimensional object having length, breadth, and depth, and we draw it using a line in addition to elements of Art which is his line; the concept of perspective is added to it, creating a cube form.
The concept is like a form defined by line. Instead of line, an artist can use values to create an implied three-dimensional image. Let us take the example of a cone instead of a triangle when the bottom part is curved and adds value on one side of the triangle giving a feel of light falling on the other side. It creates a three-dimensional illusion of a cone.
Forms can also be defined by color. An object drawn with a positive form having color contrast and a plain background can create a form. Here the Form is created using a color plus shape with depth in it.
Forms can also be defined by texture. An object with various textures can create a beautiful form. A simple negative form with a different texture can create a beautiful form. In this case, the Form uses texture plus shape with depth in it. We use dark textures to create a shadow effect.
Like Shapes, forms can be Geometric forms and Organic forms.
Geometric form in art is a term that encompasses the use of geometric shapes to create structure, symmetry, and other visual order. Geometrical forms are three-dimensional images or figures strictly guided by mathematical calculations and formulas.
These forms have length, breadth, and height or depth in it. By looking at a Geometric form, one can immediately say that it is a cube, cylinder, pyramid, etc.
Geometric forms are often used for their aesthetic value as well as being an effective way to convey complex messages without words.
Since ancient times, geometric forms have been around but were not considered part of fine arts until the Renaissance era. Geometry has existed even before written language, which means it was the first form of visual communication.
Geometrically patterned art can be found worldwide, from prehistoric cave paintings to Roman mosaics and Islamic architecture.
A geometric shape only has length and breadth and is two-dimensional. When depth or height adds to the two-dimension, it becomes Geometric Form.
By adding depth and volume to the shapes, the shapes turn into forms in art.
- A Square becomes a Cube
- A circle becomes a Sphere
- A Triangle becomes a cone
An Organic Form in Art is an element of design consisting of organic shapes. Organic means growing and organic art refers to drawing images of free-form shapes created by hand. It does not follow a strict geometric pattern.
Organic forms are free forms, do not follow any formula or pattern, and are easily found naturally.
A good example of Organic Form is animals, humans, flowers, trees, or plants.
The key element of organic form is that it does not follow a rigid structure or geometric or linear pattern.
An organic form in art is an essential element of design, creating visual interest and beauty. It can be described as curvy, fluid, or free-form shapes.
The act of drawing is organic because you are using your hand to create an image, which can be organic.
Organic forms sometimes are a mixture of several geographical forms. However, it cannot be identified individually but can be holistically called a dog figure, human figure, etc.
Forms based on Dimensions
Dimensions of any form are its length, breadth, and height. Forms can be categorized based on two or three dimensions.
An example of Form in Art is Sculpture. A Sculpture is a three-dimensional art form that we see from all sides. In ancient churches and palaces, sculptures were made as remembrances, and famous personalities, gods, or kings’ sculptures were carved and kept.
These are made of stone, bronze, casting, clay, plaster, plastics, metals, or mixed media. It occupies the physical space in terms of volume.
No, there is nothing like a two-dimensional form, and a two-dimensional object can be only called a shape. We can draw on a three-dimensional surface and have depth in how we draw and have a realistic look.
It will have an illusion of three-dimension on a two-dimensional surface.
Sculptures usually have eliminated Form or subtracted Form. The artist chips the stone to create the sculpture and, in the process, removes the substances to give the required Form.
A clay modeling is done using the added Form. An artist creates the clay model, and he keeps adding certain forms to improve. The artist uses clay to create a human form and adds the body, limb, head, fingers, etc., to complete the Form.
A plaster or casting comes under the category of built Form. The Form is built in the Form of mold, and there is no addition or subtraction of the main Form. The artist may smoothen certain areas of the Form, but that’s it.
As civilizations progressed, many new forms of sculptures were made by artists, and these were not getting restricted only to stone. Artists use unconventional materials creating abstract forms expressing artists’ creativity and innovations.
A Positive form in drawing or painting is a three-dimensional subject or object that has its length, breadth, and depth other than the surrounding space. There can be more than one positive Form inside the frame.
A positive form in a real-life or a sculpture is the sculpture itself, and it is viewed from all directions, and all other surroundings or backgrounds cannot be considered positive forms.
It can also refer to the solid piece of items in the art space.
A Negative form in drawing or painting is the background or the surrounding space around the positive Form, a subject or an object which is three-dimensional visually. The negative Form, like the positive Form will have its length, breadth, and depth other than the surrounding space.
A background of a portrait eliminating the subject in the portrait can be called a negative form.
In real life, the surroundings in and around the sculpture or an abstract artwork using mixed forms can be called a negative form.
Both positive Form and negative Form work together in an artwork.
An abstract form of Art does not represent any specific objects but conveys some inner meaning.
The forms can be either geometrical Forms or organic Forms.
Modern-day exhibits have abstract art forms. Abstract Art, in addition to Form, will use color, textures, and shapes.
Abstract forms are used mainly in modern Art and architecture and are found in many art galleries nowadays.
An Implied form in Art is a form that is created using different techniques to give an illusion of depth, height, extension, or contrast.
We understand that it may not be present, but other elements supporting the object or artwork create an illusion. Shapes get converted into Form by using different elements of drawing, resulting in an implied third dimension.
In a two-dimensional painting or drawing, an artist can create implied Form using depth by using perspective in his picture. We can separately see how different elements in Art can create an illusion.
The Form is an exciting element in Art, and there is an infinite number of forms and shapes in the universe.
Study every Form in nature and artwork. They are beautiful. The more you learn, the more you will know, and it improves your ability to recreate it in your painting.