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Elements of Art + Principles of Design
Transcript of Elements of Art + Principles of Design
Elements of Art
Artists use the Elements of Art and the Principles of Design as ingredients to create delicious masterpieces!
Cakes, 1963 by Wayne Thiebaud
Information obtained from the J. Paul Getty Museum
Forms are three-dimensional shapes expressing length, width, and depth. Spheres, cylinders, cubes, and pyramids are forms.
Space is the area between and around objects. The space around objects is often called negative space; negative space has shape. The space an object fills is called positive space. Space can also refer to the feeling of depth. Real space is three-dimensional; in visual art, when we create the feeling or illusion of depth, we call it space.
Texture is the surface quality that can be seen and felt. Textures can be rough or smooth, soft or hard. Textures do not always feel the way they look; for example, a drawing of a porcupine may look prickly, but if you touch the drawing, the paper is still smooth.
Color is light reflected off of objects. Color has three main characteristics: hue (the name of the color, such as red, green, blue, etc.),
value (how light or dark it is), and intensity (how bright or dull it is).
• White is pure light; black is the absence of light.
• Primary colors are the only true colors (red, blue, and yellow). All other colors are mixes of primary colors.
• Secondary colors are two primary colors mixed together (green, orange, violet).
• Intermediate colors, sometimes called tertiary colors, are made by mixing a primary and secondary color together.
Some examples of intermediate colors are yellow green, blue green, and blue violet.
• Complementary colors are located directly across from each other on the color wheel
(an arrangement of colors along a circular diagram to show how they are related to one another).
Complementary pairs contrast because they share no common colors.
For example, red and green are complements, because green is made of blue and yellow.
When complementary colors are mixed together, they neutralize each other to make brown.
Line is a mark with greater length than width. Lines can be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal; straight or curved; thick or thin.
Shape is a closed line. Shapes can be geometric, like squares and circles; or organic, like free-form or natural shapes. Shapes are flat and can express length and width.
Principles of Design
Balance is the distribution of the visual weight of objects, colors, texture, and space. If the design was a scale, these elements should be balanced to make a design feel stable. In symmetrical balance, the elements used on one side of the design are similar to those on the other side; in asymmetrical balance, the sides are different but still look balanced. In radial balance, the elements are arranged around a central point and may be similar.
Emphasis is the part of the design that catches the viewer’s attention. Usually the artist will make one area stand out by contrasting it with other areas. The area could be different in
size, color, texture, shape, etc.
Movement is the path the viewer’s eye takes through the work of art, often to focal areas. Such movement can be directed along lines, edges, shape, and color within the work of art.
Pattern is the repeating of an object or symbol all over the work of art.
Rhythm is created when one or more elements of design are used repeatedly to create a feeling of organized movement. Rhythm creates a mood like music or dancing. To keep rhythm exciting and active, variety is essential.
Unity is the feeling of harmony between all parts of the work of art, which creates a sense of completeness.
Francisco de Goya
He Can No Longer at the Age of 98, about 1819 - 1823, Brush and India ink
Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow, 1930
Wassily Kandinsky, Composition VIII, 1923, Oil on canvas
Vincent Van Gogh, Starry Night, 1889, Oil on canvas
Johannes Vermeer, The Girl With The Pearl Earring, 1665, Oil on canvas
Anish Kapoor, Cloud Gate, 2004-2006, Stainless Steel
Raphael, The School of Athens, 1510, Fresco
Christina's World, 1948, Tempera on Panel
The Wave, 1826-1833, Colored Woodblock Print
M.C. Escher, Magic Mirror, 1946, Lithograph
Contrast refers to differences in values, colors, textures, shapes, and other elements.
Contrasts create visual excitement, and add interest to the work.
Salvador Dali, The Persistence of Memory, 1931, Oil on Canvas
Jackson Pollock, Mural, 1943
Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, Silk Screen Print
Value is the lightness or darkeness of a color. It is created by adding black or white to a single
The Sleeping Gypsy, 1897
Oil on canvas