A Vocabulary of Shapes


In addition to drawing flowers from observation there is another drawing component to Module One. These drawings will be used to create a variety of shapes for this module’s artwork project, as well as the other main collage artwork projects in this course.

The Alphabet as Inspiration

Letters offer an instant source of different forms and I often use them as inspiration for drawings and paintings. I also regularly include them in course projects. Letters will be the focus of today’s mini-project.

Capital Letters as Petal Shapes

I have created a video to demonstrate the process to develop drawings of forms that will be altered and reworked to create templates for the collage flowers’ petals.

Start by writing the alphabet in capital letters in your own handwriting, covering two sheets in an A4 (folio size) sketchbook. Observe these letters then use the basic shapes to create individual petals by closing the shape and by adding scallops, curves, angles and distortions to them.

You can draw more letters on the same page, change the scale and look at them from different directions. Imagine them as components of flowers. Do a few of these pages in order to create a comprehensive selection of letter shapes. Simplicity is key, but subtle variety within these forms will turn them into valuable components and reference material for the collages.

Draw these again on a heavier card and cut them out. Now use them to cut out a selection of petal shapes in the painted tissue sheets - these are to become components of the flowers in this week’s artwork project. You can use more than one sheet at a time, folding them over, in order to cut out duplicates. When you have a selection of petal shapes in a variety of colours, arrange them into simple flowers (five petals per flower is ideal).

You can add more colours and details to the petal shapes with more cutouts. The flowers are not stuck together - just play and observe at this point. Gather them in collections to fit either shape or colours, as you see fit, in order to use on the art project later. The first video demonstrates how the letters become shapes and templates to be used for cutting the tissue paper.

The second video is an optional project using the primary colours only. Use circular shapes to explore both the petal shapes and how positive and negative space interacts. This is a good way to practice the collage process with bigger pieces to be glued onto the paper. I only use Matte Fluid to stick them together, no glue needed. If you like you can use another three colour combination for this practice run.

The third video is about looking at actual flowers and using petals as inspiration for components for Module One’s art project.

The projects done today are in preparation for Module’s One’s art project A Cascade of Colourful Flowers inspired by Millefiori glass beads and Matyó embroidery

© 2020 Esté MacLeod

© 2020 Explore Colour