Shape & Value Basics

Shape can be considered to be the combination of line and space. The word volume describes the shape of an object that is made to look three-dimmensional.

Value, when talking about design, refers to variation of the lights and the darks of the drawing. Chiaroscuro refers not only to the value of an object but also to how the light source in the drawing affects the appearance of an object that has three-dimemsional space.


Line Basics

A contour drawing is a drawing made up of lines. These lines should outline and make up the object that is being drawn.

Variation of thickness of lines in a drawing affect how the drawing is viewed by a viewer. Lines that are thicker appear closer to the viewer and lines that are thinner seem farther away from the viewer.

When talking about composition, there are three different types of lines. These three types are actual line, implied line, and imaginary line.

Hatching is when the artist uses multiple lines in close vicinity for the appearance of shading.

Pixelation can cause a curved line to appear like a bunch of blocks put together. This can be solved by using antialiasing, which is the color conversions of the pixels surrounding the lines to make it appear less block like.

Emotional Blocks

I was given an assignment to make six pictures, each picture containing only three black boxes. The catch though was to make each picture represent the six emotions that we were given; anger, frustration, fear, excitement, joy, and contentment. After taking a few hours to think about it all, I finally jumped and started to make these pictures. Who knew how emotional you can make a picture with only using three blocks. Here are my emotional block pictures.

This picture looks like an angry person. The bottom box serves as a mouth thats open yelling and the top boxes are the eyes which are tilted just slightly to make it look like a mean face.

This picture was made to look like the two bigger boxes are overpowering the smaller box. This portrays frustration to me because the little box is frustrated with the bigger boxes.

This picture displays fear. The little box is in fear that he might get squished by the bigger boxes.

This picture shows excitement. Each block seems to be part of a party, as if they were party poppers or confetti.

This picture looks like a person who is happy. The bottom box is used as a smile and the top two boxes are used as eyes.


This photo shows contentment because it seems the blocks are satisfied and happy. Each block is like a person that seems to have nothing wrong with them and just content.

I Need My Space

When designing, space is everything! Before you start to design your peice, you must decide which format to use. Format has two main concepts. The first is what the actual dimensions of the piece is and how the area of the piece is taken up. The second is how is the piece going to be displayed or make it so that the piece can be displayed in different ways. Once you decide on the format, you now must decide how you want to use your space. There are three main types of space you will work with; positive space, negative space, and illusionary space. Positive space is any object in the piece that seems to be the most important. Basically, where your eye is drawn to. Negative space is the exact opposite. It is usually the background or the not so important objects in the piece. Illusionary space is the creation of a two dimensional peice having a three dimensional look through the use of depth. This type of space can be created multiple ways. If you take two objects that are the same size, the object farther away from the viewer will look smaller than the one closer to the viewer. When you take two objects and you put one lower in the image and one higher, the lower object will seem closer to the viewer. With objects that vary in brightness, the object in the distance will be darker than the object that is closer. If focus of objects are the difference in them, the one with the sharper focus will appear closer to the viewer than the other object. Here are some examples:

With this picture the positive space is only the inner picture frame and it’s contents. This is because the inner picture frame is the main object and what the eye first gets brought to when looking at this image.


In this photo, the black background and the dark blue shadow of the dancers at the bottom of the image is considered to be negative space. The black in between the legs of the dancers and at the middle of the image is also negative space.


This photo is a perfect example of illusionary space. The five balls at the bottom of the picture appear closer due to the fact they are lighter in color, located lower on the image, and bigger. The five balls at the middle of the picture appear the farthest away to being darker in color, located higher on the image, and smaller. The white and blue lines start at the edges of the photo, where they are closest, and work their way to the middle of the photo, where they are farthest away.

Space is found in all images, whether it is an advertisement, a work of an artist, or just a designers work.


The New Media Designer

There are many different ways that humans interact with media and usually they don’t even realize it. Reading a newspaper, watching television, and browsing the internet are all examples of how humans iteract with media. These all allow you to find out something or see something new that then can cause you to use the media in some sort of way.

Media has changed a lot in the past.  It all started with cave paintings and has made it all the way to cell phones. Cave paintings brought way to motion picture with live music. That had slowly developed into television once voices and music were recorded. The next thing to evolve was the computer for design and programming help. Many changes had occured to the computer before it was available to the general public. This finally leads us to the development of mobile devices, which have greatly changed throughout the years.

Digital media is like media in the past. Digital media evolved from media in the past.  This means that some of the tools and types of media from the past is still used today.  However, their are some tweaks and advances that have been used to make media in the past into digital media.  Some examples would be the change of just newspapers being printed to the fact most newspapers also publish their news online.  Another example would be the changes from old printing tools/machines to the tools/machines they use today.

The future will always hold digital media and media from the past. There might even be a new type of media within the next few years. The media world is growing so anything is possible. The future for someone studying digital media, such as myself, will always be interesting. It will affect my life because all the new ideas and just seeing new things will strike my creativity. It will affect my future because I will have to keep up with all the changes that will be occuring and all of the new types of media that will be created.