• Elements of Design Vocabulary

    What makes Art, Art (Line, shape, form, color, value, space, texture, time)


    Line—a mark drawn with a pointed, moving tool. A line is also considered the path of a dot through space and is used by an artist to control the viewer’s eye movement. There are five kinds of lines:  Vertical, horizontal, diagonal, curved, and zigzag.


    Shape—A two-dimensional area that is defined in some way. A shape has only height and width. There are two kinds of shapes; geometric, and free-form.


    Form—objects having three dimensions. Like a shape, a form has height and width, but also has depth. Forms are also either geometric or free-form.


    Color—an element of art that is derived from reflected light. The sensation of color is aroused in the brain by response of the eyes to different wave lengths of light. Color has three properties: hue, value, and intensity.


    Value—art element that describes the darkness or lightless of an object.  Value depends on how much light an object reflects. Value is also one of the three properties of color.


    Space—element of design that refers to the emptiness or area between, around, above, below, or within objects. Shapes and forms are defined by space around or within them.


    Texture—the element of design that refers to how things feel, or look as if they might feel if touched. Texture is perceived by touch and sight.


    Time—the element of design that deals with the passage of time, how materials change over time, or an action that occurs over time. 





    Principles of Design

    Adj. (Pattern, Contrast, Unity, Rhythm, Movement, balance, emphasis, Proportion)


    Pattern—principle of design that uses the art elements in planned or random repetitions. Patterns often occur in nature and artists develop pattern through the use of similar repeated motifs.


    Contrast—principle of design that refers to differences in values, colors, textures, shapes and other elements. Contrast creates visual excitement and adds interest to work.


    Unity—the principle of design that provides a cohesive quality that makes a work of art appear whole or complete. Unity can be achieved through the use of the elements of design in repetition.


    Rhythm—the principle of design that indicates movement by the repetition of elements. Visual rhythm is rhythm you perceive through your eyes rather than your ears. Types of rhythm are random, regular, flowing, progressive, and alternating.


    Movement—principle of design that deals with creating the illusion of action or physical change in position to guide the viewer’s eye throughout the work of art.


    Balance—principle of design concerned with equalizing visual forces, or elements in a work of art. If a work has visual balance, the viewer feels the elements have been arranged in a satisfying way. The two types of balance are formal (symmetrical) and informal (asymmetrical).


    Emphasis—principle of design that makes one part of a work dominant over the other parts. The element first noticed is called dominant, the elements noticed later are called subordinate.


    Proportion—Principle of design that deals with design elements size relative to each other. Proportion can be affected by shape, color, value and texture.