Elements and Principles of Desgin

Line is a mark on a surface that can describe a shape or outline and create texture.

  • Line quality is the thick and thinness of the mark
  • Actual line is a line that is phycially present in the design
  • Implied line is a line that is not present, but your eye creates through visual cues
  • Contour lines are the lines that define a shape

Shape is space divided or defined by definite edges

  • Organic shapes are free form, unpredictable and flowing in appearance (a blob, leaf, tree, etc.)
  • Geometric shapes are shapes that have clear and predictable sides (such as a circle, square, hexagon, etc.)

Color is produced when light, striking an object, is reflected back into the eye

  • Hue is the name we give to a color
  • Intensity is the vividness of a color (intense, dull, saturated)
  • Shade is when black is added to a color
  • Tint is when white is added to a color
  • Color Mixing
    • Primary colors are red,  yellow, and blue
    • Secondary colors are green, orange, and purple
    • Monochromatic Color is when all the colors in a composition are made up of tints and shades of one hue
    • Warm colors are color that are ‘warm’ in appearance
      • Red, yellow, and orange
      • Blue, purple, and green
      • Can have difference feelings associated with them

Value is the shading of light to dark

  • Value adds depth, contrast, and variety to an artwork

Form is a 3-dimentional object having volume and thickness.

  • Form can be implied in 2-dimentional artwork by using value to create depth

Texture is the surface quality of an artwork, either literally or visually

  • Implied texture is texture on a 2-dimentional artwork created by lines and value
  • Real texture is texture that has a 3-dimentional quality and can be felt

Space is the area around, between, or within an artwork

  • Positive space is the space an object inhabits
  • Negative space is the space around an object
  • The illusion of 3-dimentional space can be created by the use of perspective
    • 1-point perspective is created with one vanishing point
      • Used often for paths/roads/train tracks
  • 2-point perspective is created with two vanishing points
    • Used often for cityscapes, buildings, houses
  • 3-point perspective is created with three vanishing points
    • Used often for looking at something from above or below
  • There are other types of perspective, but they do not occur naturally  with the naked eye (instead distorted through lenses/glass)

Balance is the feeling of visual equality in an artwork when referring to space, value, color, etc.

  • Symmetrical Balance is when everything on both sides of a dividing line are equal
  • Asymmetrical Balance is when everything on both sides of a diving line are unequal, but the artwork still has balance
  • Radial balance is when an artwork is balanced radially, or in a circle.

Contrast is when at least two things are distinctly or strikingly different from each other

  • Contrast can be created both visually with the elements and principles of design
  • Contrast can be created conceptually with the use of ideas

Emphasis is where you create focus in an artwork.

  • Emphasis is created by placement, size, and contrast

Visual movement is the movements in an artwork

  • Visual movement can be both implied or literal.
  • Visual movement is how your eyes move around an artwork through the use of line, both implied and literal.
  • Actual movement refers to sculptural work and is called kinetic art.

Pattern is the repetition of the elements of art in a predictable manner

  • Patterns can be created by using line, color, shape, value, etc.
  • A motif is the design that is being repeated in a pattern
  • Patterns can be a texture or rhythm, but textures and rhythms are not always patterns.

Rhythm is the repetition of shapes, lines, and forms

  • There are five types of rhythm:
    • Regular rhythms have identical motifs, or visual beats and are equally spaced
    • Alternating rhythm changes between sets of motifs at regular intervals,
    • Random rhythm is repeated in no apparent order
    • Flowing rhythm is rhythm that lacks sharp edges, and use wavy lines and curved shapes
    • Progressive rhythm changes in a predictable manner with each visual beat.

Unity is when all the elements and principles of an artwork come together to create a complete, harmonious, balanced, whole.

  • Unity can be achieved through using similar elements and principles of design, proximity, or concepts

Variety is to combine different elements and principles of design into one composition

  • Variety creates visual interest in an artwork

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