I wrote this article for my members at ManipulateThis when I found that most of them had no idea what I was speaking about when I try to explain something in their deviation concerning a principle or element of design. So, since this is PhotoManipulation month, I thought I'd educate those of you who did not know about the Elements And Principles of design, and how to use the Elements to help you add pizazz to your deviations.
Question: What is meant by the Elements and Principles of Design?
Answer: Elements are the parts of a design, and the Principles are ways to use the parts.</b>
All art is comprised of Elements being arranged following the rules set by the Principles. Knowing the Elements and Principles can help you create more dynamic images. You must know and understand the rules that the Principles are based on before you can break away from them.
Let's first take a look at each Elements.
Color is light reflected off of objects. The three characteristics of Color are hue, value and intensity.
Light is needed to see color. Grey tones are a result of the little light on an object. The less light, the darker the grey. Therefore, black is the absence of all light.
A typical Color Wheel showing the hue, value and intensity of Color. This one also shows three Tints (see below) for each color.
Hue refers to the name of the individual colors, that is, the primary colors, the secondary colors, and the tertiary colors.
Value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color. Adding white to a color with make a Tint of that color, and adding black to a color will make a </b>Shade</b> of that color.
Intensity refers to the brightness or dullness of a color.
Line is a stroke from one point to another. Lines are straight, curved, or wavy. They can be broken or continuous.They can go in a horizontal, diagonal or vertical direction. They can be long, short, thick or thin.
Shape is a line that has been closed. There are geometric Shapes, abstract Shapes and organic Shapes. Shapes can be made from thick or thin outlines, or have color within the outline, but they are always flat.
Form is a 3-Dimentional shape. Forms have length, width and depth. Boxes, spears, and cylinders are examples of Forms.
Space is the area between and around objects. The Space around objects is called Negative Space while the object itself is taking up Positive Space. Space also refers to the illusion ofDepth in 2-dimentional art.
Texture is how a surface feels when touched, or how it looks like it should feel if touched. Smooth, rough, soft, hard, bumpy are all examples of Textures.
Now for the Principles.
Balance is the way the Elements are distributed on the picture plane. The Elements are equal on both sides from the center in Symmetrical Balance. Asymmetrical Balance has one side different from the other. Radial Balance is when the Elements are arranged around the central point.
Emphasis is the part of the design that catches the viewer’s attention. Usually Emphasis is created by doing something different with one or more Element in contrast with the other Elements.
Movement is a path through a design that is created with one or more of the Elements. The viewer eyes will catch the Element(s) and move in the direction that it/they take.
Repetition is repeating an Element at least one time.
Pattern happens when the Repetition of one or more Elements are done exactly the same over and over.
Proportion deals with the relationship between parts of a design and how they are related. For example, when drawing the human figure, proportion can refer to the size of the head compared to the rest of the body.
Rhythm is created when one or more Elements of design are used repeatedly through the design to create a feeling of organized movement.
Variety is doing something different to hold the viewer's attention.
Unity is the compilation of the Principles to create the feeling of harmony between all parts of the design. It also gives a sense of togetherness.
In this last section I want to cover how the Principles are used together to create Unity in the Photo-Manipulation above.
The left and right background walls are establishing Symmetrical balance, while the mannikins and the drapes in the background create a sense of Asymmetrical balance.
Since the "doll" (the model) is in the center of the back wall, and the color of her skin is brighter than anything else in the image, she becomes the Emphasis.
The lighter tones of the doll house, hat, tea cups, and tea pot help create Movement because the eye follows them towards the back of the image.
The Repetition of the Colors help maintain the togetherness feeling of the image.
There is Pattern in the wallpaper.
The two mannequins and the similar colors establish a strong sense of Rhythm by moving the eye around the art work.
Even though there is blue in both the painting on the right wall and the tea pot, the blue in the painting is brighter, and therefore adds a little touch of Variety.
That's all. I hope this helps you be more aware of what you're doing when you're planning a Photo-Manipulation. Using the Elements purposefully following the rules as define in the Principles should give you more exciting and interesting looking images.
Good luck with your deviations, and have fun creating art!
Some definitions are adapted from KIDSPACE ART.new.4-hcurriculum.org/projects…