Shape Masses of the Figure

The significance of foreshortened form lies in describing three dimensional volume rather than in delineating flat shapes. Our approach, therefore, in involves more than contour drawing only. Since shape which is delineated only by outline is two dimensional and has no volume, it cannot express form in depth; but when the forms of the figure are visualized as being three dimensional in space, the result is a three dimensional shape-mass.

Inherent in the concept of shape-mass is the idea that the body is a defined mass, a three dimensional volume existing in space and depth, which is made up of a number of parts. Each of these parts is also a three dimensional volume existing in space and depth. It follows that the figure is a multiform complex of shape-masses, all independently formed and all related. It will be our first task to research the form properties of each of these shape-masses which go into the formation of the over-all shape-mass of the figure. In observing the parts—the shape-masses — of the human figure, we shall try to look at them from new angles, from a series of changing viewpoints, describing them especially with a "filmic" concept of vision in motion.

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