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Elements of Art



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  • 1. The Elements of Art and Principles of Design It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints as long as it is well painted. This isthe essence of academicism. There is no such thing as good painting about nothing. - Mark Rothko
  • 2. ElementsThe basic building blocks of art LINE SHAPE/FORM SPACE VALUE TEXTURE COLOR
  • 3. LINEA continuous point(mark) used to delineatean edge, or to lead theeye through a work ofart.Some lines are implied,meaning they are createdby the edges of shapes,forms, or color. Bedroom at Arles (1992) Roy Lichtenstein
  • 4. SHAPE/FORMAn area with clearboundaries.Shapes are 2-dimensional, while formsare 3-dimensionalOrganic – occurnaturallyGeometric – human-made Midnight Sun, Loften (1937) William H. Johnson
  • 5. SPACEUsed to create a sense ofdepth, and is made up oftwo kinds of space:Positive space – the area ofthe object(s) in theartwork.Negative space – the areaaround/between theobject(s) in the artwork.Depth is represented using:Foreground (closest)Middle groundBackground (farthest) Moon and Half Dome, Yosemite National Park (1960) Ansel Adams
  • 6. VALUEThe range from light todark in a piece ofartwork.Can provide a sense ofdepth. Migrant Mother (1936) Dorothea Lange
  • 7. TEXTUREHow a surface looks and/or feels. In some forms ofart, the artist can create asurface texture that canbe felt by hand. In otherforms of art, such asphotography or graphicdesign, the texture isimplied but cannot befelt. Louise Bourgeois (1997) Annie Leibovitz
  • 8. COLORColor is what we seewhen light reflects off ofan object.Properties of Color:Hue – the actual color(ex. Red, green, etc.)Value – the lightness/darkness of a colorSaturation – theintensity of the color Image courtesy of:
  • 9. ColorI try to apply colors likewords that shape poems,like notes that shapemusic. - Joan Miro Bleu II (1961) Joan Miro
  • 10. ComplementaryColorsAre located directlyacross from each otheron the color wheelWhen used together,make both colors appearbrighter or more intense Cafe Terrace at Night (1888) Vincent Van Gough
  • 11. AnalogousColorsAre located next to eachother on the color wheelWhen used together,create a sense ofharmony.I found I could saythings with color andshapes that I couldntsay any other way--things I had no wordsfor.- Georgia O’Keefe Red Canna (1923) Georgia O’Keefe
  • 12. The Elements Line Shape/Form Space Value Texture Color For the next 5-10 minutes, analyze this work of art in terms of the elements you see. Le Dimanche Matin (1975) Graciela Rodo Boulanger
  • 13. PrinciplesWays to combine the elements of art to make a more powerful composition EMPHASIS BALANCE UNITY CONTRAST MOVEMENT/RHYTHM PATTERN/REPETITION
  • 14. EMPHASISor Focal PointThe emphasis, or focalpoint, is the area of theartwork to which the eyeis first drawn.Artists create focal pointsthrough myriadmethods, including theuse of color or contrast. La Paysan (1891) Paul Cézanne
  • 15. BALANCEBalance is a sense ofvisual stability within apiece of art.It can be symmetricalbalance (mirror image),or asymmetrical balance(achieved by placingsimilar or opposite size/weight/color objects tobalance each other out). Festival de las flores (1925) Diego Rivera
  • 16. UNITYUnity occurs when all ofthe elements work togetherto make a well-balancedwhole. In other words, theindividual elementssupport the overall theme/object of the work.In a successful paintingeverything is integral… allthe parts belong to thewhole. If you remove anaspect or element you areremoving its wholeness.- Richard Diebenkorn Seated Figure with Hat (1967) Richard Diebenkorn
  • 17. CONTRASTMost often, people thinkof contrast as pertainingto value (the range oflight and dark) inartwork. However,contrast can also becreated using color,shape, or any otherelement that provides asense of visual discord. Self-Portrait (1976) Samuel Fosso
  • 18. MOVEMENTMovement can be aliteral representation, orimplied throughrepetition of shape(rhythm) or thealternation of lights anddarks. The sense of motion inpainting and sculpturehas long been consideredas one of the primaryelements of thecomposition.- Alexander Calder Flamingo (1973) Alexander Calder
  • 19. PATTERN/REPETITIONAn element (color,shape, form, etc.) thatoccurs over and over in apiece of art.It is more visuallyappealing to vary therepetition to somedegree. Metamorphosis II (1940) M.C. Escher
  • 20. The Principles Emphasis Balance Unity Contrast Movement/ Rhythm Pattern/ Repetition For the next 5-10 minutes, analyze this work of art in terms of the principles you see. Starry Night (1889) Vincent van Gough
  • 21. Using the Elements & Principles in Photographic Compositions Keeping in mind the basic elements of art and howthey fit together using design principles can help you construct a more aesthetically pleasing photograph.However, these are not hard and fast rules – there is always room for experimentation! Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. - Scott Adams