LA – Form and Space

“Rearrange shapes cut out of paper, and try to find the point at which the figure disappears into the ground.

  • Cut out a series of shapes from black paper – squares, rectangles, circles and random shapes – in a variety of sizes, from small to large.
  • Working with a square piece of white paper, place shapes of different sizes into the white space; place them on the white one at a time and move them around.
  • Try to find the point where the distinction between figure and ground becomes unclear. Does it depend on which shape dominates the space: black or white? Is it about the position of the shape within the space? Think about how important figure-ground relationships are within composition and design.”

I didn’t have black paper and my black marker ran out so I used a blue marker to do this exercise. I found it a little difficult to do the exercise when the pieces were slightly elevated from the white paper.

On this picture I put as many of the pieces on the paper as I could. I think if this was made digitally and the pieces weren’t elevated it would be difficult to see what’s figure and what’s ground. My eyes are drawn to the upper left corner. The white shapes would be more visible if it was made digitally or if the blue was drawn directly onto the paper and not separate units.

On both of these it is simple to see what is figure and what is ground. I think it depends on the amount of colors on the page.

This looks a bit more cluttered but I still feel that it is noticeable to see what’s figure and what’s ground, however if the blue wasn’t elevated I think these images could play a little more tricks on the eyes.


This is probably my favorite.

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