Form is three dimensional (3D) and is determined by the way light falls on an object. A sculpture in the round is example of a 3D object. When we talk about pictorial representation, paintings and drawings, we are talking about the illusion of form. We only see form because of the way light falls on an object. We can simplify the description of how light creates the illusion of form by refering to: middle-tone, highlight, shadow and cast-shadow however it is good to keep in mind that light is very fluid and bounces all around creating reflection and atmospheric effects as well.
A three dimensional (3D) object
|Auguste Rodin - The Kiss|
A pictorial representation of a 3 dimensional (3D) object
|Vermeer - Girl with a Pearl Earring|
Here is an illustration of how light creates the illusion of form in space. First compare the shape to how light is shown on the sphere below to see the basics, and then observe how light falls on the Rodin sculpture and the Vermeer painting above. Look for similarities between the sphere, the sculpture and the painting. Observe how there is light in shadow on both the chin and the earring of Girl With the Pearl Earring - This shows how Vermeer used reflected light, NOT shown in the illustration below.
Quicky QuizDescribe how form is different than shape _____
What are four basic steps used to illustrate form? ____ ____ ____ ____
How is form different from the illusion of form? _____
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