Two-dimensional artworks are works that have length and breadth. They do not have depth or height. They are flat and are viewed and appreciated as such. Examples of two-dimensional arts include photographs, posters, mosaic etc. In two-dimensional compositions, the artist has to give particular attention to how the various elements of design are organized or arranged. Their arrangement should be governed by the various principles of design in the given space. For instance, the text and images in the picture area should be organized in such a way that there will be balance, dominance, rhythm, unity etc. at work. If serious thought and reasonable time are given to the way the various elements in a two-dimensional work is composed, the entire work will be seen as a unified whole.
A three-dimensional art form refers to any art form that has height, breadth, depth and can be viewed and appreciated from different directions. They are free-standing and are sometimes referred to as 'works in the round'. Examples of three-dimensional works include basketry, sculpture-in-the-round, ceramic ware, bead etc. In three-dimensional compositions, the arrangements of the various parts or components of the design should be guided by the principles of design. Also, in creating three-dimensional art forms consideration is given to the relationships and agreement of shapes, space, scale, weight, proportion, balance, variety, rhythm, etc. Creation of three-dimensional art forms intentions knowledge and skill in construction and building of forms, perspective as well as the mastery way of handling tools and materials.
Two and three-dimensional works are much related. For instance, before all three-dimensional works are built and constructed, they are first represented in two-dimensional drawings from various angles and views. This is done to envision how the actual three-dimensional works will look like. Two-dimensional designs give us the platform to analyze and select those aspects of our environment that motivate us to make three-dimensional arts.
The relationship or similarities between two and three-dimensional forms are easily recognized in the identification, selection and examination of visual information derived from the environment, the exploration and the use of tools and materials in producing artifacts as well as the feeling that arises in us when we see the finished artwork.
A problem needs to be identified that would require the production of a three-dimensional art form. For example, there is the need of a leather clutch bag to house some items used by an artist. Several observations of both natural and manmade objects found in the environment are made to accrue ideas for the design of the clutch bag. Through the various stages of idea development of the natural or manmade object selected, several designs are obtained through additions and subtractions of the parts of the original design. Recall maintaining the original concept or main parts of the original design while going through the various stages in idea development. The appropriate design that demonstrates the artist's ingenuity or creativity and best addresses the problem identified are selected.
The final sketch of the design is drawn in a two-dimensional form showing various views of the design. This paves the way for the building of the actual clutch bag with the appropriate tools and materials so leather in a solid three-dimensional form.
There are a series of activities that are involved in both two and three-dimensional compositions. These are:
1. Visual investigation: This reflect to the exploration of the visual world through keen and critical observation of nature with the eye. These explorations of the eye are put on paper in the form of drawing whether in two or three-dimensional composition.
2. Learning of skills: Skills in production processes are essential in both two and three-dimensional compositions. For instance, a skill in layout designing is required in all compositions be it two or three dimensions.
3. Problem-solving: Both two and three-dimensional compositions are made with the view of addressing or solving an identified problem. Finished works of art are produced as a result in arresting those problems.