Elements of Art and Principles of Design

Elements of Arts

Elements of arts consist of line, shape, color, value, form, texture and space. These elements can be seen in each art products.

  1. Line
    This image shows multiple lines used in a hallway. The different lengths of lines add depth to the image by using perspective technique.
  2. ShapeThe road sign shown above uses two shapes: diamond and rectangle. The usage of shapes in different road signs ease the drivers to expect the signs from far without having to exactly identify the words and pictures.
  3. ColorThe above image shows multiple colors, especially shown by the middle tree. The transition of red to green as demonstrated by the tree from top to bottom shows that colors can be continuous although they have different properties. The variant colors also gives the mood of happiness in the image, especially on a sunny day.
  4. Value
    Value is the different shades of color, demonstrated by the shadows on the mug in the above image. The brightness on the right of the mug and darker color at the left show the direction of the light, in this case the sunlight. This also gives the hint to the viewers of the time the picture was taken. Since the light seems to be from a lower source, the picture might be taken in the evening or in the morning.
  5. FormForm demonstrates the depth of 3-dimensional objects. In the above image, the objects are clearly 3-dimensional based on the different values they have at certain parts. The shadows at the bottom also prove that the objects are 3-dimensional.
  6. Texture
    Texture shows the details of the material to better visualize and sense the image. The above image shows the texture of a tree bark, which viewers may have sense or imagine that they are in the image since they can think of the feel of the texture.
  7. Space
    Space is important to draw the attention of the viewers to a specific object. In the above image, the sky acts as an empty space to draw the viewer’s attention towards Statue of Liberty.

Principles of Design

Principles of design are the criteria used in art making to demonstrate some messages in their work. Among them are balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, proportion, alignment and unity.

  1. BalanceBalance is the existence of a symmetry line in an image. The above image has a vertical symmetry line at the center, which the right and the left part are almost exactly the same. Thus, there is balance between the right and left parts of the image.
  2. ContrastContrast can be identified from any criteria of an image. The image shown above demonstrates the contrast in brightness, which the trees on the left are bright while the trees on the right are dark. Contrast may also be identified through numbers, color and other properties, but there is usually an imaginary line that clearly separates between the two opposite criteria.
  3. EmphasisEmphasis may be shown through its distinct properties apart from other part of an image. In the above image, the group of flowers is emphasized by focusing on it and blurring the background. This principle will draw viewer’s attention to the flowers.
  4. MovementMovement in an image is usually shown through a continuous line demonstrating the movement path of an object. The above image shows that the water is flowing down the rocks, demonstrated by the continuous line of the water. This principle increases the sense of viewer in imagining the situation of the place.
  5. PatternPattern is a principle in which something is repeated multiple times. In the above image, the hexagon-shaped lights are repeated several times to be like a bee-hive pattern.
  6. ProportionProportion shows the different size of an object with respect to another object. In the above image, the sign looks obviously larger than the building on the right. Since the building should be larger in the real world, viewers can conclude that the sign is nearer than the building based on the proportion.
  7. AlignmentAlignment is similar to pattern, but arranged in a line. The image shown above shows some flowers grown in a line instead of spread throughout the field. Viewers may also extend their views outside of the image, which there are more flowers in the line.
  8. UnityUnity is the principle that is used in most real images since the objects are arranged in a unified way. The above image shows the unity in nature. Although the bamboo hut is manmade, it unifies with the river and the trees since it is made of bamboo, which is natural. The color reflected by the water in the river is also green, which unifies with the green trees along the side of the river.


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