Unformatted text preview: Quetzalcoatl (Plumed
Serpent), a highly revered god in Aztec culture. It is tightly
knotted into a closed form. Notice the human head and the
carefully carved quetzal bird feathers.
Aztec, Tenochtitlan (Mexico City), Mexico. Sculpture in the form of the deity
Quetzalcoatl. Last half of the fifteenth century. 20.3
19.7 cm (8
73 4 ). Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama. LESSON 5 What Different Shapes, Forms, and Spaces Express 119 Activity and Stability
You have already learned about
active and static lines. Shapes and
forms, also, can look as if they are
about to move or as if they are fixed
in one place.
Active shapes and forms seem to defy
gravity. They slant diagonally, as if they
are falling or running. In Figure 5.33
notice how the back of the wave and all
the horse forms are arranged in diagonal, active positions.
Static shapes and forms are motionless, or stable. Their direction is usually
horizontal (Figure 5.34). However, if
two diagonal shapes or forms are balanced against each other, a static shape
results. For instance, if an equilateral
triangle rests on a horizontal base, the
two diagonal edges balance each other.
Because static shapes and forms are
firmly fixed in position, they evoke
quiet and calm feelings. For instance, in
landscape paintings the land forms are
horizontal and the trees are vertical.
They look very peaceful. This is probably why so many landscape paintings
are chosen for people’s homes. FIGURE 5.33 The diagonal push of
the back of the wave creates an unstable,
active feeling. The wave is caught at the
moment before it will collapse.
Anna Hyatt Huntington. Riders to the Sea.
1912. Bronze. 47
21 ). The Newark
Museum, Newark, New Jersey.
Gift of the estate of Mrs.
Florence P. Eagleton, 1954. 120 CHAPTER 5 Shape, Form, and Space Active and
Demonstrating Effective Use of Art
Media in Design. Make a simple design
with geometric shapes. Lightly draw it
with pencil on a sheet of watercolor
paper. Repeat the same design on another
sheet of watercolor paper of the same
size. Next, paint the first design precisely.
Use a pointed brush to make sure that all
of the edges are clearly defined. Wet the
second sheet of paper by sponging it with
water. Using exactly the same colors,
paint the second design while the paper is
wet so that the edges of the shapes run
and look soft. Mount the two designs, side
by side, on a sheet of black paper. Label
the first “hard-edged” and the second
“soft-edged.” Computer Option. Choose the Shape
and Line tool to make a design that creates
a static feeling. The Line tool on most
applications can be constrained to draw
straight horizontal, vertical, or diagonal
lines by holding down the shift key while
drawing with the mouse. Title and save the
black line static design. Select a color
scheme. Pick the Bucket tool to fill the
spaces with solid colors. Use the Save As
command to retitle the work by adding a
number or letter after the orig...
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- Fall '13