The Elements and Principles of Visual Design

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The Elements and Principles of Art:

The Elements and Principles of Art

The Elements of Art:

The Elements of Art The building blocks or ingredients of art.


LINE A mark with length and direction. A continuous mark made on a surface by a moving point. Ansel Adams Gustave Caillebotte

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Pablo Picasso


SHAPE An enclosed area defined and determined by other art elements; 2-dimensional. Joan Miro

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Gustave Caillebotte


FORM A 3-dimensional object; or something in a 2-dimensional artwork that appears to be 3-dimensional. For example, a triangle, which is 2-dimensional, is a shape, but a pyramid, which is 3-dimensional, is a form. Jean Arp Lucien Freud

S P A C E:

Robert Mapplethorpe Claude Monet S P A C E The distance or area between, around, above, below, or within things. Positive (filled with something) and Negative (empty areas). Foreground, Middleground and Background (creates DEPTH)

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TEXTURE The surface quality or "feel" of an object, its smoothness, roughness, softness, etc. Textures may be actual or implied.

Slide 10:

Cecil Buller


V A L U E The lightness or darkness of a color. MC Escher Pablo Picasso


C O L O R Consists of Hue (another word for color), Intensity (brightness) and Value (lightness or darkness). Henri Matisse Alexander Calder

The Principles of Art:

The Principles of Art What we use to organize the Elements of Art, or the tools to make art.


B A L A N C E The way the elements are arranged to create a feeling of stability in a work. Alexander Calder

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Symmetrical Balance The parts of an image are organized so that one side mirrors the other. Leonardo DaVinci

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Asymmetrical Balance When one side of a composition does not reflect the design of the other. James Whistler


EMPH A SIS The focal point of an image, or when one area or thing stand out the most. Jim Dine Gustav Klimt


CONTRAST A large difference between two things to create interest and tension. Ansel Adams Salvador Dali

PATTERN and Repetition:

P A T T E R N and Repetition Repetition of a design. Gustav Klimt


RHYTHM RHYTHM RHYTHM RHYTHM RHYTHM RHYTHM and MOVEMENT A regular repetition of elements to produce the look and feel of movement. Marcel Duchamp

Slide 21:

Vincent VanGogh


UNITY When all the elements and principles work together to create a pleasing image. Johannes Vermeer


V A R I E T Y The use of differences and change to increase the visual interest of the work. Marc Chagall


P R O P O R T I O N The comparative relationship of one part to another with respect to size, quantity, or degree; SCALE. Gustave Caillebotte

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