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Principles of Design

Organization and structuring of the Elements of Art
by

Candie Witherspoon

on 11 May 2013

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Transcript of Principles of Design

How the Elements of Art are Organized,
Arranged or Used in a Work of Art Principles of Design Principles are rules of order that guide artists in the use and placement of the
Elements of art. NO one principle is ever used alone. PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN EMPHASIS (dominance)
BALANCE
CONTRAST
RHYTHM (movement)
PROPORTION (size comparisons)
UNITY (harmony)
VARIETY In a single flower there is color, value, rhythm or repetition, texture, contrast and emphasis. Both the Elements and Principles of art exist in nature and the built or man-made environment. The focus of interest or a place toward which the eye is directed. It is also called the center of interest, dominance, or the focal point. EMPHASIS Emphasis is used by artists to create dominance and focus in their work.
Artists can emphasize color, value, shapes, or other art elements to achieve dominance.
Various kinds of contrast can be used to emphasize a center of interest. Henri de Toulouse Lautrec - "At the Moulin Rouge", 1892/1895 BALANCE Balance refers to the distribution of visual weight in a work of art.

In painting, it is the visual equilibrium of the elements that causes the total image to appear balanced.

Balance can be either symmetrical (formal), asymmetrical (informal) or Radial in a work of art. Symmetrical (Formal) Balance is an even placement of visual weight in the design.

Asymmetrical (Informal) Balance creates uneven spaces, a sense of imbalance making tension and a dynamic suggestion of visual movement. Asymmetrical balance refers to a psychological or "felt" balance. Space and shape don't need to be evenly dispersed on the page.

Radial Balance or Symmetry relates to images emitting from a central point like spokes on a wheel, ripples from a pebble tossed into a pond, or petals on a flower. CONTRAST Contrast refers to differences in values, colors, textures, shapes, and other elements.

Contrasts create visual excitement, and add interest to the work.

If all the art elements are the same, the result is monotonous and unexciting. When Cezanne painted this painting, he used all the design elements and all the design principles to build a unified composition. If you study his use of contrast alone, you can find at least eight kinds of contrast, which naturally develops an overall sense of variety.

Pattern contrast: intricate pattern vs. no pattern
Edge contrast: hard edge vs. soft edges
Value contrast: dark, middle and light values
Intensity contrast: pure colors vs. muted colors
Temperature contrast: cool colors vs. warm colors
Texture contrast: textured vs. smooth
Shape contrast: organic shapes vs. geometric shapes
Size contrast: large shapes vs. small shapes Henri Matisse RHYTHM Rhythm is the repetition of visual movement using elements like colors, shapes or lines.

Variety is essential to keep rhythms exciting and active, and to avoid monotony.

Movement and rhythm work together to create the visual equivalent of a musical beat. Marcel Duchamp painted "Nude Descending Staircase" to show the rhythmic movement of a figure coming down the stairs. The effect is like stop-action or strobe-light photography, because the repeated shapes and angles of the abstracted figure move diagonally across the canvas. PROPORTION Visual unity is one of the most important aspects of well-developed art and is planned by the artist.

Unity provides the cohesive quality that makes an artwork feel complete and finished.

When all the elements in a work look as though they belong together, the artist has achieved unity. UNITY Vincent van Gogh was concerned with the unity of his paintings. In "Starry Night", the swirling brush strokes and dominance of cool colors tends to unify the surface and create the feeling that everything belongs together. Proportion or SCALE is concerned with the relationship in size of one part of a work to another part. VARIETY Variety is the opposite of the principle of rhythm.
It is what makes the art piece interesting.
Too much variety can lead to chaos and confusion of the viewer. Correct or proper proportion of the elements create beauty in a work, and a feeling of unity. Caricatures are intentional distortions of facial features for comedic and humorous simplification of a recognizable portrait. Incorrect proportions can draw unwanted attention, focus, or emphasis to things the artist had not intended to stand out. Some artists choose to use incorrect proportions for stylistic purposes, like artist Amedeo Modigliani.
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