Elements of Design
Line -Linear marks made of objects appear as line. Line can be horizontal or vertical. Example: A stem of a flower can create line.
Shape – A shape is self-contained area and can be geometric or organic. Example: Leaf is organic and stop sign is geometric.
Direction: All lines have direction and the direction can create movement in your image. Example: A road will lead us to the background.
Proportion – The relationship between the size of objects. Example: If you have a hand in the foreground and a person in the distance, the person will appear to
be smaller than the hand in the foreground.
Texture – Texture is the surface quality of a shape and can be rough, smooth, soft, hard, or shiny. Example: Tree bark has more texture than a leaf.
Value: The lightness or darkness of a color. Value is also called tone. Example: A picture of the trees will have a black shadow, gray leaves and white sky and all the gray values in between. A sunny day will work better than a cloudy day because the sun will create more shadows.
Color: Use primary, secondary, and tertiary color schemes to create emphasis. You can also get more complicated feel by using complementary colors. Color is a great way to create emotional impact.
Principles of Design
Pattern / Repetition – The works must be conceived with fire in the soul but executed with clinical coolness. Joan Miró
Contrast – The state of being strikingly different from something else, typically something in juxtaposition or close association.
Balance – Symmetrical or A-Symmetrical Balance
Contrast – Changes in value can create ariel perspective. Far away mountains are lighter and get darker as you approach them.
Movement – Repetition of similar shapes can make the eye move through the image.
Harmony – Similar shapes or values can create a sense of harmony, and can help move the viewers eye throughout the image.
Variety – Different shapes or values can create contrast or break up the static feel of an image.
Focal Point – A focal point such as the eyes on a face are the place where the viewer will look first, and the focal point is usually related to the theme or concept of the image.
Unity – The elements in the image that are related and cause the elements to work together
Archives: Art Galleries and Art Museums
The Smithsonian American Art Museum