Virtual Art Academy
Space Division- Interlocking Shapes 1

Space Division- Interlocking Shapes

What are Interlocking Shapes?

Space division in a painting is more interesting when you create two shapes that interlock, as in a puzzle or jigsaw puzzle.


Space Division- Interlocking Shapes 3You can see the negative sky shape formed by the top frame of the painting and the silhouette of the buildings. The houses on the left provide the interlocking shape into the negative shape of the sky. There are also interlocking shapes to the right provided by the sky shape inserting itself into the line of buildings. You can see the puzzle-like piece in green fitting into the contour of the houses.

When designing your space division using interlocking shapes, you also need to take into account unequal space division.

Master Examples

Space Division- Interlocking Shapes 4Space Division- Interlocking Shapes 5





Further examples can be found in works by master painters. In this color study by Turner, you can see the contours of the landscape and vermilion towers create interlocking shapes in the sky. This shows how you can use compositional studies to explore the use of interlocking shapes to strengthen your painting design.


Space Division- Interlocking Shapes 6

You can see this space division technique being used again within the major shapes in this masterpiece by Canaletto. The contour of the buildings almost appears to pierce the sky. Note the inclusion of the tall church tower on the right. This was deliberately included in order to further lock the two shapes of the sky and the mass of buildings together.

What Our Students Are Saying About The Virtual Art Academy

‘Ladder of Learning’ adds to overall positive experience of this awesome course

'Ladder of Learning' adds to overall positive experience of this awesome course 2

The VAA course is built on four main building blocks including PROCESS, REALISM, MUSIC AND POETRY. These are further divided into topics that are continuously developed throughout the curriculum. Drawing, Form, Observation, Colour, Brushwork, Notan, Composition and Poetry are all thoroughly taught. Working on-line we meet students from all around the world, interacting with them regularly in a process we call the ‘Ladder of Learning’. We help each other regularly as we proceed and this adds to the overall positive experience of this awesome course.

Marlene Gardner