Principles and Elements of Art By McKenzie Morrill
COLOR- Element The response of vision to wave lengths of light. It has three properties- hue, value ,a and intensity or chroma
Color Georges Seurat (1859-1891). Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Oil on Canvas
LINE- Element The path of a point moving through space. A record of action or movement.
Line Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890). Oil on paper.
SHAPE- Element When a line moves through space until it meets itself and forms an enclosure, it becomes a shape, form or mass. A shape is the area enclosed by a line when the ends meet in 2-d design the title, shape, is used.
Shape Georgia O’Keeffee, 1887 -1986. Goat’s Horn with Red, 1945. Pastel on paperboard mounted on paperboard.
SPACE- Element The element which can be thought of as the distance of area between, above, below, or within shapes.
Space M.C. Escher, Belvedere, 1958. Lithograph.
TEXTURE- Element Concerned with how things feel or look as if they might feel on the surface.
Texture Vincent van Gogh. La Mousme (1888). Oil on canvas.
VALUE- Element Portrays the contrast between light and dark. Also a property of color as it create lighter or darker shades of different hues.
Value Rembrandt Van Ryn (1606-1669) The Mill, c. 1650 Oil on canvas.
Balance- Principle A feeling of visual weight. Contains both formal (symmetrical) and informal (asymmetrical) balance.
Balance Henri Rosseau, The Football Players, 1908. Oil on canvas.
Unity- Principle Makes all the separate elements of an artwork look like they belong together. It is a harmonious blend of all elements.
Unity Diego Rivera (1886-1957). Night of the Poor (detail). Oil on canvas.
Movement- Principle Gives life to an artwork. It catches and simulates motion to create an illusion in art.
Movement Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night (1889) . Oil on canvas
Proportion- Principle The relationship of one part to the whole or to another part.
Proportion Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) Portrait of the Artist’s Wife, Jeanne Hebuterne, 1918 . Oil on canvas.
Repetition, Rhythm, Pattern – Principle Repetition in the world of nature and art forms rhythm and pattern.
Repetition Rhythm Pattern Andy Warhol, Green Coca Cola Bottles, 1962. Oil on canvas.
Emphasis- Principle That which catches your eye when you first look at an artwork. The focal point or center of attention.
Emphasis Mary Cassat (1844-1926). Sketch of Mother and Daughter Looking at the Baby, ca 1908. Pastel on paper.
Variety- Principle Concerned with differences; “the spice of life” even in art. It enlivens artwork!
Variety Romare Bearden, The Block (detail). Cut and pasted paper on masonite.