The Elements of Art and The Principles of Design

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					  The Elements of Art


The Principles of Design
        Ms. J. Stewart

What are the Elements of Art & The Principles of
Elements                          Principles
Line                              Balance
Shape                             Movement
Form                              Rhythm
Color                             Contrast
Value                             Emphasis
Texture                           Pattern/Repetition
Space                             Unity
        Why are the elements and principles important?

• The elements of art and the principles of design act as a language
  of art and are the building blocks used to create a work of art.

•   An image or sculpture which captures our attention and is pleasing to us
    always has a good composition. A good composition includes many of
    the elements of art working with the principles of design.

•   For example, movement, a principle, uses the elements of color, line, and
    shape to direct the viewer’s eye from one part of a design to another.
In art, the elements act as your raw materials and tools. The
principles are the applications of how, where, and why, you are
going to apply those tools.

       Example: Applying red rectangular shapes on top of the
green background with the yellow shapes, will make this design
 really pop because of the contrasting complementary colors.

Having a good understanding of the elements and principles will
provide a foundation for creating better works of art and for
studying how other successful artists interrelate elements and
principles into their works of art.

All works of art will contain many, if not all, of the elements of art,
                       and principles of design.
• There are many types of line and many
  ways to use them in art.

• Take a look around the classroom and
  where you are sitting, and see how many
  types of line you can identify.

• Using a pencil, write them down in your
How many types of line did you find?

  Identify where you located them.
Line can be defined as: The path of a moving
dot through space.

     A line is created by the movement of a tool (drawing pencil,
     brush) and pigment (graphite, paint) from one point to another
     and often suggests movement in a drawing or painting.

There are seven basic types of line:

     Straight                        Angular

     Arched                          Segmented

     Curvy                           Dotted

                                     Zig Zag
     Lines can create direction, dimension, expression, and
    suggestion, depending on how they are drawn and used.

•    Vertical
•    Horizontal
•    Thick/Bold
•    Thin/Fine
•    Contour
•    Gestural
•    Hatching
•    Cross Hatching
                                   Pablo Picasso, “Weeping Woman with Handkerchief”, 17 October 1937
                                   Oil on canvas, 36 ¼ x 28 3/4
Brian Duey
Realistic & Detailed Eye Drawing, 2006
Line can be two dimensional as seen in Pablo Picasso’s
piece and it can also be three dimensional as seen
in a wire sculpture like this mobile.
Contour   Hatching   Gestural
Contour lines indicate edges of forms or shapes
and describe them in the simplest way.

“Blind” Contour drawing is a common drawing exercise that
involves drawing and following along the edges of an object
with your eyes slowly, while you draw every bump and curve
you see without looking at your paper.

Hatching and/or Cross-hatching is the placing
of lines next to each other or crossing over each
other. These lines often create texture and
shadow in works of art.

Gestural lines indicate action and physical
movement in the subject. Drawn quick and loose
with expression.
                         Beautiful examples of
                          hatching and cross

Artist, Franklin Booth
Shape is an area that is contained within an implied line, or is seen
and identified because of color or value changes. Shapes can take
on the appearance of being three-dimensional but a shape in itself,
is two-dimensional.

Shapes can be described as organic resembling a leaf or
as geometric, like a triangle.

Shapes are either positive or negative.
Positive or Negative shape?

      “Wind woman”
                         What, no white cables? Isn’t
                         that what the iPod is all

Building Advertisement
in China

                                      BONO, U2.
“Bering Gifts” by Will Bullas, water
color. Christmas image.                “Three Musicians” by Pablo Picasso
Positive shapes are the most dominant and
          represent solid objects.
Form is an
element of art
that is three-
volume, and
volume and

                 Chandelier by Dale Chihuly
Barbara Hepworth, “Two
Segments and Sphere”, 1935,
Marble. International

          Edgar Degas, “The little fourteen –Year
          Old Dancer”, 1879-80. Bronze on a
          wooden base.
Primary Colors   Secondary   Intermediate
                   Colors       colors
                      Sketchbook Exercise
                            Medium: Watercolor

1. Primary colors first. Mix Secondary colors second.
2. Use this as your guide. Color areas can be any shape. Be
3. Mix intermediate (tertiary) colors to make yellow-green, yellow
orange, blue-green, blue-red and so on.
          How do we identify color?
Hue:           Refers to the family and/or the names of the colors;
               Primary, Secondary, & Intermediate.
               Warm & Cool Colors; Red and blue.

Value:         The lightness or darkness of a hue (color).

               Tint:  Color lightened with white added to it.
               Shade: Color with black added to it .

Chroma/Intensity/Saturation: The purity of a hue/color.

Tone:                  Dulling or brightening a color by adding a
                                       different color.
Monochromatic:         All the hues/tones/values of one color.

Complementary color: Colors on the opposite side of the color
                             wheel from each other; green and
Complementary colors close to
each other creates interest and
makes each color appear brighter.
A gray scale shows eight values
of gray from light to dark.
Jean Metzinger,
 “Tea Time”, oil, 1911.

                    Jean Metzinger, “Sail
Jean Metzinger: The Blue Bird, oil on canvas,
The Milk Maid, 1878, watercolor over graphite on paper, Gift of Ruth K. Henschel in memory of her husband, Charles R. Henschel

  Winslow Homer, The Milk Maid, 1878.                                                                              Mary Cassatt, Child Picking Fruit, 1893.
  Watercolor over graphite on paper.                                                                               Oil on Canvas.

Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin: “Boy with Top”, oil on canvas, 1735.
Jan van Eyck: Giovanni Arnolfini and Giovanna Cenami,
oil on panel, 1434 (London, National Gallery).
Cool color scheme
                           What colors tend to be cool?
                           What colors tend to warm?

                           Warm color scheme

                                               Claude Monet
  Texture is how the
         surface of an
         object feels.
   Does the surface
          feel rough?
   What temperature
          is it?

Slick   Cool    Stiff    Fluffy   Soft   Sharp   Hard   Heavy   Course
                          TEXTURE   Texture can be
Texture is often                    experienced visually
created by the                      when it is created to
repetition of shapes,               look like it feels.
line and color.
Resulting in a pattern.
                     Man Ray, “Gift”,
                     Replica of lost original
                     of 1921

                                                “Textured Hair!”

Meret Oppenheim. Object. Paris 1936.
Texture in Fashion
Texture in paintings
Hans Holbein, “The Ambassadors” 1553.
Oil and tempera on a wooden panel.

    Actual space is a three-
dimensional volume that can be
  empty or filled with objects.
It has width, height, and depth.
    Space that appears three-
 dimensional in a painting is an
illusion that creates a feeling of
          actual depth.
                                    Robert Henri uses several
                                    techniques to show space:

                                    Perspective: One-point
                                    perspective lines lead to focal
                                    Values: Light values and soft
                                    edges in the distance; dark
                                    values in the foreground.
                                    Overlapping: Lamp post
                                    overlaps distant buildings.
                                    Size of Shapes: Sizes of people
                                    diminish as they go back in
                                    space. Different sizes of
                                    coaches and horses emphasize
                                    recession of space.

Robert Henri, “Snow in New York.”
Sculptures & architecture, and various
craft pieces occupy actual, or real,

                                         Dale Chihuly, “Mille Fiori”
                                         & “Glass & Canoes”
What do all of these
images have in common to
create atmospheric
of Design

Balance refers to the distribution of visual weight
in a work of art. Balance can be symmetrical or
asymmetrical in a work of art.
                                             Symmetrical Balance

                                         Equal weight, value, and color.

How can this photograph be in balance?
                                                                         Winslow Homer, “The Carnival”
                   Asymmetrical or informal balance.
A large shape placed near the middle of a painting can be balanced by
a smaller shape placed toward the outer edge.
The light and dark values in both positive and negative spaces are in
balance also. (Value Balance)
Radial Balance occurs when all the elements
radiate from a central point. If the focus Is at the
center, it is also in symmetrical balance.
    Pattern:             Repeated shapes, lines, and colors.

M.C. Escher, “Day and Night”, 1938, woodcut
  M.C. Escher, “Day and Night”, 1938, woodcut
Repetition & Fragmentation
Wayne Thiebaud, “Pies, Pies, Pies.” 1961, oil on canvas.
Theibaud is a local California artist who is famous for his still life images
of food, especially sweets, painted in bright pastels with thick strokes.
Pattern is quite often used as a surface decoration. Fabric is
a prime example where decorative patterns show up in
clothes, curtains, sheets, and upholstery.
Movement adds
excitement to
your work by
showing action
and directing the
viewers eye
throughout the
picture plane.
“Spirit” by Sean
Guerrero, 2004. 2,500 lb.
Chrome coated bumpers.
In front of Safeway at 19th &
“S” Streets in Midtown
In “Butterflies” by M.C. Escher,
movement is created by the
size and patterns of the shapes
moving in an upward direction.

   Curved and circular lines
   create graceful movement
   and visual space within         M.C. Escher, “Butterflies”, 1950
   this sculpture.
Pattern, Texture, & Movement
Rhythm is defined as the
repetition of an element to
create movement.
The repetition of colors, shapes
or lines.
Movement and rhythm work
together to create the visual
equivalent of a musical beat.

Marcel Duchamp painted Nude
Descending the staircase to
show the rhythmic movement of
a figure coming down the stairs.
The effect is like stop-action or
strobe-light photography.

                                    Nude Descending a Staircase, Marcel
                                    Duchamp, No. 2, o/c. 1912.
Rhythm in nature and architecture.

Regular and irregular rhythms.
      Contrast             Contrast

A large difference between two things; for
example, hot and cold, green and red,
light and shadow.
Contrasts can refer to differences in: Pattern, Value, Edges
(soft & hard) Values, Temperatures, intensity (Chroma), Shapes, and
     Is a term used a lot in
      photography, digital
    photography, Photoshop
         and digital art.

                                            Auto Contrast mode in a digital
                                            camera vs. manual. Changing
                                            from softer to crisper. Higher
                                            saturation of existing colors.

High contrast photograph. High saturation
of dark color values and light whites.

                Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, At the Moulin Rouge

Emphasis is defined as: Making something stand out through the use of
  an element. Artists use emphasis to create dominance and focus in
                              their work.
Where do you see the emphasis in this painting? How did Lautrec achieve
this emphasis?
Grouping elements together to
   create a unified whole.
Consistent shapes, edges and painting techniques
  keep this water color by Frank Webb unified.
Vincent Van Gogh’s use of textured brush strokes
   and the dominance of cool colors, unify his
         painting of “The Starry Night.”
Frida Kahlo, “Self –Portrait with Changuito, 1945
Figure # 6

"Samson” by Brian Goggin
Sacramento International Airport in Baggage Claim
“Monogram” by Robert Rauschenberg, Combine, 1959
Jim Warren, “Horses in the Wild”, Oil on Canvas
         Hybrid, Camouflage, Fantasy
Frida Kahlo, “The Flame” Self Portrait, 1937-38
Oil on aluminum, under glass and painted wood.
28.5 x 20.5 cm.
Pablo Picasso, “Guernica”, 1937
Claude Monet, Camille