TRY IT: 10 minute Tangrams
Explore the possibilities of creating balance and contrast with
simple basic shapes, color, scale and form.
Goal: manipulate a square, triangle, circle, and wavy line to
create a pleasing design in 10 minutes.
These exercises may be done with computer graphics software such
as FreeHand or Illustrator. If you don't have access to these programs,
you might try creating basic shapes in a paint or other program.
It also works great with pencil and paper, or by cutting the shapes
out of colored paper.
a new document and make 4 basic shapes. A square, circle, triangle
and a wavy line.
even think about trying to make these shapes into a picture
of "something." It's an abstract exercise. Try to
think of them as simple shapes to make a pleasing pattern out
your new knowledge of shape and form, decide which shape you'd
like to be dominant. Use color, scale, position - the tools
of contrast - to set that object apart from the others.
at it. Does the shape you picked stand out? If not, feel free
to move the objects in front or in back of each other. Refine
the color selections, resize the shapes.
again. Do you see any places where the shapes are uncomfortably
close or where the colors appear to merge together? Move elements
or edit colors as needed.
with somebody. Ask them: Is it balanced? What shape is dominant?
Look at the positive and negative spaces, contrasts.
Is it pleasing?
a parlor trick that may surprise you! Look at your design and
analyze this: the square is a symbol for home or security; the
triangle for work or ambition; the wavy line for spirituality;
and the circle is about sex. Which one did you make dominant??
next: Part II. Content: Words and Pictures