Elements & Principles Presentation

Elements of Art
Principles of Design
Why Study The Elements & Principles?
• Art objects are unique arrangements of the
obvious and the not so obvious. In order to
understand any art object, you need to be
able to analyze its parts (the elements of art)
and the way they are put together (the
principles of design).
Think of a football team. The different positions on the field
are the tools the coach has to work with. The coach
designs plays using the different positions to achieve a
particular goal.
The elements of art are like the positions—they are the
building blocks of the art. The principles of design are like
the plays—the elements are combined in different ways to
achieve different outcomes.
The Elements of Art
• A line is a
continuous mark.
• A line separates,
shapes, and defines
spaces in the
Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Igor
Stravinski, 1920
Line can create depth and movement.
Kathe Kollwitz, Self-Portrait,
Vincent VanGogh, Starry Night,
Claude Monet, Rouen
Cathedral Diminished
Sun, 1893-1894
Claude Monet, Rouen
Cathedral Full
Sunlight, 1894
Claude Monet, Rouen
Cathedral at the End
of the Day (Sunlight
Effect), 1893-1894
• Color is
determined by
the wavelengths
of light reflected
off an object.
Victor Vasarely, Sons Two, 1966
• Value refers to
the lightness
and darkness
in a work of
• Value is one
of color.
Ansel Adams, Rose and Driftwood, 1932
Color can affect the
mood of a painting.
Claude Monet, Terrace at Ste.
Adresse, 1866
Pablo Picasso, The
Tragedy, 1903
Texture refers to the way something
feels or appears to feel.
John Singer Sargent,
Nonchaloir (Repose), 1911
Albrecht Durer, A Young
Hare, 1503
• Shape is the twodimensional outline
of an object or area.
Stained glass window
Notre Dame, ca 1250
Both the object and the background area
have shape.
The background is called negative space.
• Form refers to the
volume and mass of
a 3-dimensional
object that takes up
Jeff Koons, Hanging Heart,
1994-2006, (sold for
$23.6 mil in 2007)
Form can be actual or implied.
Paul Revere (yes, the same Paul
Revere), Pair of Sauceboats, ca
Shading can give the illusion
of form on a flat surface.
Though this bowl is made from a thin circle of
glass, its form is much larger.
Dale Chihuly, Glass Bowl, title and
date unknown
• Space is a threedimensional volume
that can be empty or
filled with objects.
The background area is
called negative space.
Roman copy of Greek
original by Myron, The
Discus Thrower, 450 BC
give the
illusion of
visual depth of
space in two
Canaletto (Giovanni
Antonio Canal), Campo di
Rialto, 1758-1763
Principles of Design
There are lots of design principles, and they often have different names:
• Balance
• Economy
• Proportion
• Scale
• Contrast
• Repetition
• Pattern
• Rhythm
• Movement
• Variety
• Harmony
• Emphasis
• Unity
We will only focus on a few in this class.
• Balance refers to the distribution of visual
weight in a work of art.
Focal Point
How do these pieces
establish balance?
Jacques-Louis David, Oath of the
Horatii, 1784
Louis Cartier, Portique
Mystery Clock, 1923
Formal and informal balance
Background divided into thirds
Subject in three triangles
Bilateral symmetry
• Proportion describes
the way sizes of parts
Leonardo daVinci, Vitruvian Man,
ca 1467
Proportion can be manipulated for effect.
• A repeated
repeated results
in a pattern.
Andy Warhol, Twenty Jackies, 1964
What elements of art are repeated here?
Unknown Panama Kuna Native, Scorpion Mola, date unknown
Repetition of
elements creates a
Henri Matisse, The Dessert
Harmony in Red, 1908
Frank Lloyd Wright, detail of
Sumac window, Dana House,
• Movement is real
or implied motion
in a work of art.
• This woodblock
print uses line to
convey movement.
Not only does it
look like it is
moving, but it
moves your eye
through the work.
Hokusai, The Great Wave at Kanagawa,
ca 1830-1833
Repetition can cause a feeling
of movement.
Marcel Duchamp, Nude
Descending a Staircase,
Giacomo Balla, Dynamism of a Dog on
a Leash, 1912
• Contrast
emphasizes the
between artistic
Rembrandt van Rijn, Self-Portrait in a
Gorget, ca 1629
How many kinds of contrast are employed here?
Edgar Degas, Waiting, 1882
• Variety adds interest
to a piece by
incorporating several
different elements.
Piel Freres, Dragonfly Buckle, ca
Frank O Gehry, Hotel Marques De Riscal, 2006
Emphasis is used by
artists to create
dominance and focus in
their work. The area
where your eye rests is
called the focal point or
center of interest.
Artists use the principles
of design to establish the
focal point.
Rogier van der Weyden
Portrait of a Lady, c. 1460
How is emphasis achieved here?
Francisco Goya, The Third of May 1808, 1814
• Unity refers to the look
and feel of wholeness
or oneness in a work
of art.
• Unity provides the
cohesive quality that
makes an art work feel
complete and finished.
Dante Marioni, Colored
Vessel Display, 2006
When all the elements in a work look as though they
belong together, the artist has achieved unity.
Gustav Klimt, Portrait of Adele
Bloch-Bauer I, 1907
Patty Gray, Combed Glass Platter,
date unknown
Notice how the
shapes, the
movement through
the painting, the
textures, and the
colors all work
together to create a
unified composition.
Leonardo daVinci, Mona
Lisa, 1503-1506
This one, not so much.
How do you see the principles
of design used in the following
works of art?
Diego Rivera, Baile
Tehunatepec, 1928
Peter Max, Liberty Head, 2000
Eugene Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People, 1830