DESIGN AND COLOUR
The elements and principles of design are the building
blocks used to create a work of art. The elements of design
can be thought of as the things that make up a painting,
drawing, design etc. Good or bad - all paintings will contain
most of if not all, the seven elements of design.
THE ELEMENTS OF DESIGN
Line can be considered in two ways. The linear marks made with a pen or
brush or the edge created when two shapes meet.
A shape is a self contained defined area of geometric or organic form. A
positive shape in a painting automatically creates a negative shape.
All lines have direction - Horizontal, Vertical or Oblique. Horizontal
suggests calmness, stability and tranquillity. Vertical gives a feeling of
balance, formality and alertness. Oblique suggests movement and action
The Planning of a Design starts with setting on a shape, in which design
elements will be arranged. The dimension or area of a layout is an
important design decision.
The most pleasing shape is a rectangle. We frequently encounter this
shape in our daily lives.
For ex- Furniture, Layouts, Room, Stationary so on.
The ideal shape known as a Golden Rectangle. We can divide our layout as
a monotonous, pleasing & subtle.
Value is the lightness or darkness of a colour. Value is also called Tone
Tone are of various degrees- Shinning to dull and smooth to rough. A
rough surface can be sensed visually as having texture.
Size is simply the relationship of the area occupied by one shape to that of
Texture is the surface quality of a shape - rough, smooth, soft hard glossy
etc. Texture can be physical (tactile) or visual.
Texture is an obvious and important element in a painting. To save
confusion it can be broken into two parts.
• Physical Texture is the texture you can actually feel with your hand. The
build up of paint, slipperiness of soft pastel, layering of collage - all the
things that change the nature of the papers surface.
• Visual Texture is the illusion of physical texture, created with the
materials you use. Paint can be manipulated to give the impression of
texture, while the paper surface remains smooth and flat.
The Principles of Design
( COMPOSTION OF LAYOUT DESIGN)
Composition means how you put together all the design elements in a
Where will the image appear?
Where will you put the text?
How will the image and text be aligned?
What will be the Background?
What colors will be used?
A GOOD DESIGN is always balanced composition of all these elements.
The important elements of composition are:
3. White Space
There are 3 ways of using Balance in Design:-
Symmetrical Balance: Place similar sized and shaped objects on the right
and left side of the page. If you have an image on the left side, balance it
with same amount of text on the right side.
When you fold a composition with Symmetrical balance, you will find that
it has the same objects on both the sides of the fold.
ASymmetrical Balance(Un Even): Place different sized or shaped objects
on both sides of the page and create balance.
Radial Balance: The Graphic elements flow from the centre to the outer
areas of the page in a spiral or circular manner.
Contrast is another important rule of a Good Composition. It means using
two different or opposite objects or colors together in a design.
Contrast is the juxtaposition of opposing elements eg. opposite colours on
the colour wheel - red / green, blue / orange etc. 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 scattered throughout a painting can destroy
unity and make a work difficult to look at. Unless a feeling of chaos and
confusion are what you are seeking, it is a good idea to carefully consider
where to place your areas of maximum contrast.
White Space refers to blank space in a Design- no text, no images/ other
Use of White Space:
Makes a Design less confusing and cluttered.
Breaks up the text and graphics on a layout.
Makes the Design Visually more attractive, clean & balanced.
The Basic element of Rhythm is Repetition. In design,too. Rhythm is
produced by the regular repetition of similar lines, shapes and tones or
colors. For ex- A Newspaper Page. Its columns, grids form a repeating
pattern on the page. The readers eye spots the rhythm and moves
smoothly over the page.
Repetition with variation is interesting, without variation repetition can
The five squares above are all the same. They can be taken in and
understood with a single glance.
When variation is introduced, the five squares, although similar, are much
more interesting to look at. They can no longer be absorbed properly with
a single glance. The individual character of each square needs to be
Harmony in painting is the visually satisfying effect of combining similar,
related elements. eg.adjacent colours on the colour wheel, similar shapes
Relating the design elements to the the idea being expressed in a painting
reinforces the principal of unity.eg. a painting 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