They are languages that all people speak that cut across racial, cultural, social, educational, and economic barriers and enhance cultural appreciation and awareness. They are symbol systems as important as letters and numbers. They integrate mind, body, and spirit. They provide opportunities for self- expression, bringing the inner world into the outer world of concrete reality. They offer the avenue to "flow states" and peak experiences. They create a seamless connection between motivation, instruction, assessment, and practical application--leading to deep understanding. They are an opportunity to experience processes from beginning to end.
They develop both independence and collaboration. They provide immediate feedback and opportunities for reflection. They make it possible to use personal strengths in meaningful ways and to bridge into understanding sometimes difficult abstractions through these strengths. They merge the learning of process and content. They improve academic achievement -- enhancing test scores, attitudes, social skills, critical and creative thinking. They exercise and develop higher order thinking skills including analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and "problem-finding." They are essential components of any alternative assessment program. They provide the means for every student to learnBy Dee Dickinson
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 Principles of design can be thought of as what we do to the elements of design. How we apply the Principles of design determines how successful we are in creating a work of art.
Line Color Texture Shape Form Space Value
is an element of art which refers to the continuous mark made on some surface by a moving point. It may be two dimensional, like a pencil mark on a paper or it may be three dimensional(wire) or implied( the edge of a shape or form) often it is a outline, contour or silhouette. For many art students as well as professional artists, Line seems to be one of the important Elements of Art. Imagine creating a painting, sculpture or design without drawing lines to divide the paper or canvas into recognizable shapes and forms. Think about how important a role Line plays in the creation process. Lines can communicate an idea or express a feeling. They can appear static or active. Lines define objects. We will take a look at how artists use line expressively.
Color Is an element of art with three properties1) Hue, the name of the color, e.g. red, yellow, etc. 2) Intensity or the purity and strength of the color such as brightness or dullness. And 3) value, or the lightness or darkness of the color What would our world look like without Color. There have been many studies into the psychological effects of Color. Artists have used Color in such ways as to create a mood or feeling of a piece of work. This is done by using colors realistically and by using colors "creatively". Color is also a very important Element Of Art. Many people would argue that the Element of "Color" has the most effect on a work of art. Consider what our world would look like if everything was black, white and shades of gray? The effects of "Color" on humans has been studied many times. Artists have known that "Color" has a powerful effect on their works and on the impressions of the viewers. Lets see what "Color" is and just how it is used in the visual arts.
The Primary colors of red, yellow, and blue are shown as rectangles and are connected by a solid line triangle. The Secondary colors, orange, green, and violet are circles and are connected by a dotted line triangle. The Tertiary (inter-mediate) colors are triangle shapes. They are red-violet, blue-violet, blue-green, yellow-green, yellow- orange, and red-orange. It is easy to see that orange is made by mixing red and yellow, violet is made by mixing red and blue, and green is made by mixing yellow and blue. In fact, that is why the secondary colors are placed midway between the primary colors. The intermediate colors are placed between the primary and secondary colors, indicating which colors are mixed together to make them.
Look at this wonderful painting. What strikesyou at first glance? Chances are you notice thecolors used first. Why do you think this is so?The artists use of complementary colors, orcolors opposite on the color wheel, creates anexciting painting. The colors appear veryintense together.Has the artist done this intentionally? Whatdoes he want you to "feel" about the messagewithin this work?Notice how the horses and clouds areexpressed in whites, violets and blues. Thepeople and the carousel are reds, golds andoranges. What parts of this painting do younotice first
Visual Texture is the illusion of a three-dimensional surface. We use our hands to feel real Texture. Think about what you feel when you run your hands over the bark of a tree. Now think about what the surface of a piece of sandpaper feels like. These objects have real Texture, texture you can feel as well as see. Artists strive very hard to imitate the look and feel of real Texture in works of art. Perhaps an artist cant "make" the bark of a tree in his landscape "feel" like real bark, but the viewer will "see" the Texture and be able to associate it with the rough feel of actual bark. Artists are masters of deception. In some works, the viewer is tempted to actually reach out and touch a work of art because it looks like it has a Texture. They are surprised to feel only brushstrokes or a flat surface. The eye is tricked into seeing a "real" Texture. Other artist purposefully add a "felt" texture to the surface of their work. This allows the viewer to see actual Texture and appreciate the interest Texture gives to a piece of art. Lets explore Texture and see how artists create visual Texture.
This is a self-portrait. That means that theartist painted a picture of him/her self. Thethick application of the paint and the use ofmany colors to accent the paint strokes givesthis painting a Textured quality.What was the artist trying to say by applyingthe paint and colors in such a way?
If you look around you, you will notice that almost everything we see is made up of a Shape or combination of Shapes. Some of the more common ones we have given names to, i.e.: circle, square and rectangle. Others are so unique we call them freeform shapes. Lines are used to draw Shapes. Artists draw Shapes when they are making preliminary sketches for a drawing, painting or sculpture. In the artroom it is often said "if you can draw the shapes, you can draw anything". Shapes are categorized as Geometric or Organic. Geometric shapes are usually angular and appear frequently in man-made objects. Organic shapes are usually more rounded and appear most often in nature. Now well see why Shape is an important Element Of Art.
This jaguar mask fromMexico also emphasizesShape. What shapes do yousee? Are they Geometric,Organic or both?Are the shapes arrangedsymmetrically orasymmetrically?What shape did the artist useto accent the nose? Howabout the eyes?What did the artist do to theyellow shapes that make upthe skin of the jaguar?
Form is an element of art that is three- dimensional and encloses volume. Cubes ,spheres,and cylinders are examples of various forms. Form refers to three-dimensional shapes that have length, width and depth. In fact, Forms are three-dimensional. They take up space. You can hold them, and walk around them. A sculptor uses Form three- dimensionally. However, a painter or illustrator has to create the illusion of Form in their works. Lets explore just how Form is created and manipulated in art.
Seurat creates theillusion of three-dimensional formby adding value tohis colors. Thedarker areasemphasize theshaded shaping ofthe figures in thispainting. Thistricks the viewerseye into seeingForm. The figureslook three-dimensional.
One of the most difficult Elements Of Art to teach art students about is Space. Often students look up and ask what Space has to do with anything. How an artists uses Space or chooses NOT to use Space adds a great deal to a work of art. Space is so important, that we have names for the types of Space in a work of art, Positive Space and Negative Space. Positive Space is the space created by an image or a sculpture. Negative Space is the Space around and between parts of an image or a sculpture. Lets see how Space is used in a work of art.
This poster provides us with aninteresting example of how artistsuse Space. The carver, including hishead, arms and tools represent thePositive Space. The rest of the spacebecomes the Negative Space. Shahnchooses not to leave the NegativeSpace empty. Instead he fills a largeportion of it with words. ThisNegative Space becomes a veryimportant part of Shahns message.The words speak to us about whatideals we, as humans, should live by.Shahn mentions ideas such as theRight To Be Safe and Justice For All.Note how the arms of the carverencircle the words. Why did Shahn dothat?Here the man appears to be"embracing the ideals" carved into theNegative Space.
Value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color. The benefits of knowing how to manage Value are very important to artists who work two- dimensional striving to make their subjects, or the objects in their work, "look" three-dimensional. Light effects a true three-dimensional object in unique ways. Artists work hard to reproduce these light effects in their works, even though the drawing or painting is actually flat, two-dimensional. How many times have you been tempted to reach into a painting to grab an apple from the still life that looks so real you would think it was actually there! The masteryof representing or imitating true Value has been one Element Of Art that many artists devote years of study. Young artists who apprenticed with the great artists of Europe, spent months and years learning how to control Value. The study of drapery, or how to make folded cloth look real in a painting or drawings was a required exercise. Once mastered, the viewer would look at the work and be tricked into thinking that the picture actually had folded drapery. Lets see just how Value is achieved. Well look at some examples of how artists use Value in their works.
If you look carefully at thisdrawing, you will begin tosee recognizable objects.This is a still life, a groupof inanimate objectsarranged together. Whatitems do you recognize?The wide range of white,gray and black values ofshading, give this work arealistic sense of form.Using values in drawings isa good way of showinglight reflection andshadows. Adding these willmake two-dimensionalobjects "look" like they arethree-dimensional.
Rhythm and movement Balance Proportion Variety and Emphasis Harmony and Unity
Rhythm is a word we are familiar with when we think of subjects such as music and dance. You might think of it as the drum beat to a song, the clapping of hands or even the tapping noise created by dancers on the floor. Words such as beat, tempo or pulsing may come to mind. These are examples of rhythms we hear. Now think of what rhythm means to a visual artist. Rhythm is one of the Principles of Design. To an artist, rhythm shows movement through the artists repetition of certain Elements Of Art. Just as in music when a beat is repeated over and over, an artist will use an Element of Art such as Color and repeat it over and over in a work of art. Lets look at an example.
Here is an example of a cutpaper tessellation design.What is used to create theappearance of Rhythm inthis work?Possible answers could be:a) the fish design is repeatedover and over.b) the colors white andorange appear as a pattern.Do you see anything elsethat is repeated in thisartwork? How about the linesthat form the scales of thefish. Or the black trianglesthat decorate the backboneof the fish
Movement is another very important Principle of Design. Perhaps you are thinking that artworks as a rule do not actually move. You are correct, but we are talking about visual movement. Artists know that if certain Elements Of Art are used to create a Rhythm, there will be visual movement. The viewers eye is drawn from one object to the next as they appear over and over in a piece of work. Lets take a look at an example.
In Starry Night, famed artist VincentVan Gogh creates Movement in hissky. How does he show us this?Possible answers could be:a) the swirling motion of the colorsin the sky showing the artistsinterpretation of windb) the repetition of the brushstrokesand paint dabs Can you findanything else that appears to givethis painting a sense of Movement?Look at the stars. They are all yellowand round, vary in size andplacement, and they have "halos" oflight encircling them. Look at thepainting and concentrate on howyour eyes bounce from one star toanother. This is an example of howan artist can create Movement in awork of art.
Another Principle of Design is Balance. We use Balance as a way of controlling gravity. When we walk, our body changes our weight from foot to foot. If we were to loose our balance, what would happen? Artists also recognize the importance of Balance in works of art. There are different types of visual Balance and artists use these types to create works that convey a particular message or idea to a viewer. Formal Balance usually is achieved by the artist placing objects in the work in a symmetrical or equal-sided arrangement. Informal Balance is created when an asymmetrical layout is used. There is also Radial Balance. Lets take a look at the different types of Balance.
Here is an example of apainting demonstratingFormal Balance. Note thatyou could visually divide thepaper in half. There wouldbe a poppy on both sides.No one side dominates thepictures. Neither poppyappears to be moreimportant than the other.Formal Balance pictures willhave an imaginary "line ofsymmetry".Be aware that in evaluatingworks of art, the symmetrydoes NOT have to illustratean exact mirror image.
When looking at this abstractpainting in the round, also knownas a tondo, see if you can find howthis piece was balanced.This is an example of InformalBalance. No matter how you turnit, there is no line of symmetry.Can you spot the Center OfInterest? Commonly called theFocal Point of a work, the center ofinterest is the area your eye isdrawn to in a work of art. Note howthis young artist adds lines andtriangles that point to the focalpoint of her work.
This is an example of RadialBalance. Consider looking for aspiral or spinning effect of thepattern. The axis is the centerpoint and the design or patternappears to "radiate" from thatpoint.Nature contains many examples ofradial designs as doesmanufactured objects that areusually round in shape, i.e..wheels, plates, and fans.This is known as a rose window. Itis made up of pieces of stainedglass held together by lead. Theornate dark areas are made ofconcrete and are called a tracery.
Proportion is the next Principle of Design we will look at. Proportion refers to one piece of an object in relation to the rest of the object. In ancient Greece, mathematicians sought the perfect proportional measurement. It became known as the "Golden Mean" or "Golden Rectangle". Today many artists feel that there is not necessarily one perfect means of proportion. Artists learned that distorting or exaggerating proportion could alter the effect of a work on the viewer. Lets take a look at some examples together.
Sometimes an artist deliberately changes the Proportion forunique reasons. Look at this family portrait painted byColumbian artist Fernando Botero. Why do you think the famimembers are painted with such large volume and size?He introduced inflated forms. These "puffed up forms"exaggerate the size of people. This larger than life sizecelebrates the life within, and sometimes mocks their role inthe world. Not without humor, the symbols of power andauthority everywhere - presidents, soldiers and churchmen -are targeted in his attacks on a society still unable to dealintelligently with social issues..When you look at this family portrait, what strikes you asunusual about the placement of the family members? Why isthe childrens nurse painted so much smaller than the otheradult figures in the painting?
There is an expression "Variety is the spice of life!" We enjoy variety in our lives. Think of how boring life would be if we ate the same food every meal, wore the same clothes as everyone else and had the same eye, skin and hair color as the rest of the world. Variety in art refers to the use of contrasting or different types of Elements in a work of art. An artist knows that adding contrast to a work of art adds interest. Sometimes an artist wants the viewer to look particularly close at a specific area of the work. The artist will manipulate the Elements of Art so that your eye is drawn to a particular area. How is this done? Lets see some works that show good use Emphasis and
This is an example of an abstractwork. The picture does not seemto represent a realistic scene orimage. Works such as these areconsidered Non-Objective.Kandinsky uses a Variety of lines,shapes and colors to give thispainting interest. He also overlapssome of these Elements. Look atthis painting carefully. What areais your eye drawn to? Why?Kandinsky emphasized the largeblack circle in the upper leftcorner of his work. The object isdifferent from everything else inthe painting and therefore it"stands out".
The Principles of Harmony and Unity are very important to works of art. The artist would like the viewer to see the completed work as "finished". The Elements Of Art used to create the artwork should appear to create a "whole" image, not just a series of independent Elements. Artists use certain Elements Of Art over again and again to create a sense of Harmony. Using related colors, repeating lines and shapes and themes will also make the work appear Harmonious. When you look at a work and sense that the piece is complete, you can appreciate the importance of Unity.
Why is this piece anexcellent example of a workof art that illustratesHarmony and Unity?Look at this detail of asingle section. Note thedetails of the embroideredimages, designs and words.Eight earthen colors wereused to create this marvel.The use of relatedcolors, stitcherytextures, two parallelborders, and a similartheme throughout makethis piece harmonious