elements: line, shape, color, texture, space, form and value
principles: emphasis, harmony, variety, balance, rhythm, proportion, and unity
Elements- the “building block” of design.
All good design will have one or more of these elements; line, color, shape, form, texture, space, and value. This presentation aims to show you some illustrations of these elements through photography. It could also be done through other art methods, such as painting, fashion design, sculpture, etc.
A line is one-dimensional and can vary in width, direction, and length. Lines also can define the edges of a form. Lines can be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal, straight or curved, thick or thin. Lines lead your eye around the composition.
Color has three main characteristics:
hue (red, yellow, green),
value (how light or dark it is), and intensity (how bright or dull it is).
Colors can also be described as warm (red, yellow), or cool (blue, green).
Monochromatic- one color plus its tints (adding white) and shades (adding black).
Complimentary Colors- colors opposite each other on the color wheel. (ex. Green & Red).
Analogous Colors- colors next to each other on the color wheel (ex. red & orange).
Shape is two dimensional, with a height and width.
Organic Shape: a shape made by nature. Not completely defined.
Inorganic Shape: manmade- such as triangles and rectangles.
Form is three dimensional, has height and width and depth. Photographers emphasize form by the use of highlights and shadows.
Texture- The surface quality of an object that we sense through touch. All objects have a physical texture (think- horse hair, dolphin smooth).
Space- In a two dimensional work, texture gives a visual sense of how an object depicted would feel in real life if touched. Real space is three dimensional. Space in a work of art refers to a feeling of depth or three dimensions. It can also refer to an artist’s use of the area around the picture plane.
Positive Space- The space occupied by the primary object.
Negative Space- The space around the primary object
Value is the lightness or darkness of a surface. It is frequently used when talking about shading, but is also important in the study of color.
The principles of art are the rules or guidelines of art. Used to organize or arrange the structural elements of design.
Principles are balance, proportion, rhythm, emphasis, harmony, variety and unity.
Balance is similar to our physical sense of balance. It is how the artist uses opposing forces in a composition that results in visual stability.
Most successful compositions achieve balance in one of two ways: symmetrically (the same on both sides, like a butterfly wing) or asymmetrically.
Proportion relates to the relative size and scale of the various elements in a design. Specifically, the relationship between the objects.
Rhythm in an artwork indicates movement by the repetition of elements. Rhythm can make an artwork seem active.
Emphasis is to make one part of an artwork dominant over the other parts. It attracts the viewer’s eyes to a place of special importance in an artwork.
Harmony is the pleasing quality achieved by different elements of a composition interacting to form a whole. Harmony is often accomplished through repetition of the same or similar characteristics.
Variety Differences achieved by opposing, contrasting, changing, elaborating, or diversifying elements in a composition to add individualism and interest.
Unity is the result of bringing the elements of art into the appropriate ratio between harmony and variety to achieve a sense of oneness. It is the sense that everything works together and looks like it fits.