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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 is
the essence of academicism. There is no such
    thing as good painting about nothing.
                 - Mark Rothko
Elements
The basic building blocks of art

             LINE
         SHAPE/FORM
            SPACE
            VALUE
           TEXTURE
            COLOR
LINE
A continuous point
(mark) used to delineate
an edge, or to lead the
eye through a work of
art.
Some lines are implied,
meaning they are created
by the edges of shapes,
forms, or color.




                           Bedroom at Arles (1992) Roy Lichtenstein
Elements of Art
Elements of Art
SHAPE/FORM
An area with clear
boundaries.
Shapes are 2-
dimensional, while forms
are 3-dimensional
Organic – occur
naturally
Geometric – human-
made




                           Midnight Sun, Loften (1937) William H. Johnson
Elements of Art
SPACE
Used to create a sense of
depth, and is made up of
two kinds of space:
Positive space – the area of
the object(s) in the
artwork.
Negative space – the area
around/between the
object(s) in the artwork.
Depth is represented using:
Foreground (closest)
Middle ground
Background (farthest)




                               Moon and Half Dome, Yosemite National Park (1960) Ansel Adams
Elements of Art
VALUE
The range from light to
dark in a piece of
artwork.
Can provide a sense of
depth.




                          Migrant Mother (1936) Dorothea Lange
Elements of Art
Elements of Art
TEXTURE
How a surface looks and/
or feels. In some forms of
art, the artist can create a
surface texture that can
be felt by hand. In other
forms of art, such as
photography or graphic
design, the texture is
implied but cannot be
felt.




                               Louise Bourgeois (1997) Annie Leibovitz
Elements of Art
COLOR
Color is what we see
when light reflects off of
an object.
Properties of Color:
Hue – the actual color
(ex. Red, green, etc.)
Value – the lightness/
darkness of a color
Saturation – the
intensity of the color




                             Image courtesy of: http://innman.blogspot.com/
Color
I try to apply colors like
words that shape poems,
like notes that shape
music.
          - Joan Miro




                             Bleu II (1961) Joan Miro
Elements of Art
Complementary
Colors
Are located directly
across from each other
on the color wheel
When used together,
make both colors appear
brighter or more intense




                           Cafe Terrace at Night (1888) Vincent Van Gough
Elements of Art
Analogous
Colors
Are located next to each
other on the color wheel
When used together,
create a sense of
harmony.


I found I could say
things with color and
shapes that I couldn't
say any other way--
things I had no words
for.
- Georgia O’Keefe



                           Red Canna (1923) Georgia O’Keefe
Elements of Art
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
Principles
Ways to combine the elements of art to
 make a more powerful composition

           EMPHASIS
           BALANCE
             UNITY
           CONTRAST
      MOVEMENT/RHYTHM
      PATTERN/REPETITION
EMPHASIS
or Focal Point
The emphasis, or focal
point, is the area of the
artwork to which the eye
is first drawn.
Artists create focal points
through myriad
methods, including the
use of color or contrast.




                              La Paysan (1891) Paul Cézanne
Elements of Art
BALANCE
Balance is a sense of
visual stability within a
piece of art.
It can be symmetrical
balance (mirror image),
or asymmetrical balance
(achieved by placing
similar or opposite size/
weight/color objects to
balance each other out).




                            Festival de las flores (1925) Diego Rivera
Elements of Art
UNITY
Unity occurs when all of
the elements work together
to make a well-balanced
whole. In other words, the
individual elements
support the overall theme/
object of the work.
In a successful painting
everything is integral… all
the parts belong to the
whole. If you remove an
aspect or element you are
removing its wholeness.
- Richard Diebenkorn




                              Seated Figure with Hat (1967) Richard Diebenkorn
Elements of Art
CONTRAST
Most often, people think
of contrast as pertaining
to value (the range of
light and dark) in
artwork. However,
contrast can also be
created using color,
shape, or any other
element that provides a
sense of visual discord.




                            Self-Portrait (1976) Samuel Fosso
Elements of Art
Elements of Art
MOVEMENT
Movement can be a
literal representation, or
implied through
repetition of shape
(rhythm) or the
alternation of lights and
darks. 


The sense of motion in
painting and sculpture
has long been considered
as one of the primary
elements of the
composition.
- Alexander Calder



                             Flamingo (1973) Alexander Calder
Elements of Art
Elements of Art
PATTERN/
REPETITION
An element (color,
shape, form, etc.) that
occurs over and over in a
piece of art.
It is more visually
appealing to vary the
repetition to some
degree.




                            Metamorphosis II (1940) M.C. Escher
Elements of Art
Elements of Art
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
Using the Elements & Principles
   in Photographic Compositions

  Keeping in mind the basic elements of art and how
they 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

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Elements of Art

  • 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 is the essence of academicism. There is no such thing as good painting about nothing. - Mark Rothko
  • 2. Elements The basic building blocks of art LINE SHAPE/FORM SPACE VALUE TEXTURE COLOR
  • 3. LINE A continuous point (mark) used to delineate an edge, or to lead the eye through a work of art. Some lines are implied, meaning they are created by the edges of shapes, forms, or color. Bedroom at Arles (1992) Roy Lichtenstein
  • 6. SHAPE/FORM An area with clear boundaries. Shapes are 2- dimensional, while forms are 3-dimensional Organic – occur naturally Geometric – human- made Midnight Sun, Loften (1937) William H. Johnson
  • 8. SPACE Used to create a sense of depth, and is made up of two kinds of space: Positive space – the area of the object(s) in the artwork. Negative space – the area around/between the object(s) in the artwork. Depth is represented using: Foreground (closest) Middle ground Background (farthest) Moon and Half Dome, Yosemite National Park (1960) Ansel Adams
  • 10. VALUE The range from light to dark in a piece of artwork. Can provide a sense of depth. Migrant Mother (1936) Dorothea Lange
  • 13. TEXTURE How a surface looks and/ or feels. In some forms of art, the artist can create a surface texture that can be felt by hand. In other forms of art, such as photography or graphic design, the texture is implied but cannot be felt. Louise Bourgeois (1997) Annie Leibovitz
  • 15. COLOR Color is what we see when light reflects off of an object. Properties of Color: Hue – the actual color (ex. Red, green, etc.) Value – the lightness/ darkness of a color Saturation – the intensity of the color Image courtesy of: http://innman.blogspot.com/
  • 16. Color I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music. - Joan Miro Bleu II (1961) Joan Miro
  • 18. Complementary Colors Are located directly across from each other on the color wheel When used together, make both colors appear brighter or more intense Cafe Terrace at Night (1888) Vincent Van Gough
  • 20. Analogous Colors Are located next to each other on the color wheel When used together, create a sense of harmony. I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way-- things I had no words for. - Georgia O’Keefe Red Canna (1923) Georgia O’Keefe
  • 22. 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
  • 23. Principles Ways to combine the elements of art to make a more powerful composition EMPHASIS BALANCE UNITY CONTRAST MOVEMENT/RHYTHM PATTERN/REPETITION
  • 24. EMPHASIS or Focal Point The emphasis, or focal point, is the area of the artwork to which the eye is first drawn. Artists create focal points through myriad methods, including the use of color or contrast. La Paysan (1891) Paul Cézanne
  • 26. BALANCE Balance is a sense of visual stability within a piece of art. It can be symmetrical balance (mirror image), or asymmetrical balance (achieved by placing similar or opposite size/ weight/color objects to balance each other out). Festival de las flores (1925) Diego Rivera
  • 28. UNITY Unity occurs when all of the elements work together to make a well-balanced whole. In other words, the individual elements support the overall theme/ object of the work. In a successful painting everything is integral… all the parts belong to the whole. If you remove an aspect or element you are removing its wholeness. - Richard Diebenkorn Seated Figure with Hat (1967) Richard Diebenkorn
  • 30. CONTRAST Most often, people think of contrast as pertaining to value (the range of light and dark) in artwork. However, contrast can also be created using color, shape, or any other element that provides a sense of visual discord. Self-Portrait (1976) Samuel Fosso
  • 33. MOVEMENT Movement can be a literal representation, or implied through repetition of shape (rhythm) or the alternation of lights and darks.  The sense of motion in painting and sculpture has long been considered as one of the primary elements of the composition. - Alexander Calder Flamingo (1973) Alexander Calder
  • 36. PATTERN/ REPETITION An element (color, shape, form, etc.) that occurs over and over in a piece of art. It is more visually appealing to vary the repetition to some degree. Metamorphosis II (1940) M.C. Escher
  • 39. 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
  • 40. Using the Elements & Principles in Photographic Compositions Keeping in mind the basic elements of art and how they 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