Balance A large shape close to the center can be balanced by a small shape close to the edge. A large light toned shape will be balanced by a small dark toned shape (the darker the shape the heavier it appears to be)
Unity • Relating the design elements to the the idea being expressed in a painting reinforces the principal of unity. eg. a painting or with an active aggressive subject would work better with a dominant oblique direction, course, rough texture, angular lines etc. whereas a quiet passive subject would benefit from horizontal lines, soft texture and less tonal contrast. • Unity in a painting also refers to the visual linking of various elements of the work.
CONTRAST • Contrast is the proximity of opposing elements • Examples: • Opposite colors on the color wheel - red / green -blue / orange • contrast in tone or value - light / dark. • Contrast in direction - horizontal / vertical. The major contrast in a painting should be located at the center of interest. • Too much contrast can destroy unity and make a work difficult to look at. Unless you are trying to show chaos and confusion
GradationGradation of size and direction producelinear perspective. Gradation of colourfrom warm to cool and tone from dark tolight produce aerial perspective. Gradationcan add interest and movement to ashape. A gradation from dark to light willcause the eye to move along a shape.
HARMONY Harmony in painting is the visually satisfying effect of combining similar, related elements. eg.adjacent colors on the color wheel, similar shapes etc.
DOMINANCE Dominance gives a painting interest, counteracting confusion and monotony. Dominance can be applied to one or more of the elements to give emphasis
Proportion Proportion is the relationship in scale between one element and another, or between a whole object and one of its parts. Differing proportions within a composition can relate to different kinds of balance or symmetry, and can help establish visual weight and depth.
Positive and Negative Space • Positive and negative space refers to the position of figure and ground in a composition. The objects in the environment represent the positive space, and the environment itself is the negative space
Similarity, Proximity and Alignment • Items of similar size, shape and color tend to be grouped together by the brain, and a semantic relationship between the items is formed. In addition, items in close proximity to or aligned with one another tend to be grouped in a similar way. In the example, notice how much easier it is to group and define the shape of the objects in the upper left than the lower right
Rhythm • The repetition or alternation of elements, often with defined intervals between them. • Can create a sense of movement, and can establish pattern and texture. Different kinds of rhythm: • Regular: A regular rhythm occurs when the intervals between the elements, and often the elements themselves, are similar in size or length. • Flowing: A flowing rhythm gives a sense of movement, and is often more organic in nature. • Progressive: A progressive rhythm shows a sequence of forms through a progression of steps
Closure • the idea that the brain tends to fill in missing information when it perceives an object is missing some of its pieces. Objects can be deconstructed into groups of smaller parts, and when some of these parts are missing the brain tends to add information about an object to achieve closure.
Continuance idea • Continuance is the that once you begin looking in one direction, you will continue to do so until something more significant catches your attention. Perspective, or the use of dominant directional lines, tends to successfully direct the viewers eye in a given direction. In addition, the eye direction of any subjects in the design itself can cause a similar effect.