Definitions for ART and DESIGN + Examples

ELEMENTS:  are point, line, shape,value and texture.
On their own they have no meanings, but jointly create visual messages, called Principles.


PRINCIPLES:  are contrast, repetition, subordination and harmony.
These are created by combining the Elements of Art.

POINT:  is the smallest visible entity, a set place in space, an indication of location, and can create strong visual energy.
One point indicates location; two points imply measurement and
direction; multiple points imply location, measurement, and direction; while different point sizes create all of the above plus vibration.




LINE:  can be described as a path left by a moving point, i.e. a path of action.
It indicates a position and a direction.  Energy travels its length and is intensified at each end.  Most important is directional force.
Horizontal:   supporting lines – stable.
Vertical:  gravitational pull – implied.
Diagonal:  dynamic, implying action.
Lines can be straight, curved, thick, thin, direct, indirect, unbroken, broken, and implied.

There is no absolute QUALITY of any visual unit.  Every element is influenced by its environment and any inter-relations which are operating – e.g.straight line illusions.


A Cheer                                                  2. A Screech
3 A Death                                                             4 Deviousness

5 Gentleness                                                      6 Breathlessness

7 Out of Line                                        8 Line of Least Resistance

9 Breadline

LINE IN SPACE:  Changing one parameter at a time.




SHAPE:  awareness of the space within and the space outside of outlines.
Also of positive/negative relationships, figure/field reversal, and shape/space support.  Shapes can be either static or dynamic.

VALUE:  the relative lightness or darkness of surfaces.
Also called tone, tonal scales,tints and shades, tonal values.  It is the means by which we show volume on a 2D surface.  No values are absolute.

KEY:  is a balance between High, Intermediate and Low Values, i.e. lights and darks, within the whole work.
High is light, Intermediate is medium, and Low is dark.  Can be used to create moods within a work, e.g. happy, sombre.

TEXTURE:  is the tactile quality of a surface, or the representation of the quality.
Texture can be actual or implied.

PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN:  involve the character or quality of relationships within the work and between the work and its surroundings.
We will deal with proportion; repetition and rhythm; unity with variety; contrast; and emphasis and subordination.

PROPORTION:  a ‘rapport’ between two dimensions – can have meaning without any sense of measurement.
Size relationship of parts to each other and parts to the whole.
Golden Mean/ Golden Proportion/ Golden Section: naturally occurring proportion – is the rate of all growth in the world. 1:1.618 or close to 5/8ths.
Fibonacci Series:  2; 3; 5; 8; 13; 21; 34; 55; 89; etc.  Take any rwo numbers and draw a rectangle e.g. 5 x 8 cms or 8 x 13 cms.  It also has its basis in nature.
5:8 = 10 x 16 or 2.5 x 4

UNITY WITH VARIETY:  is the appearance of oneness – with some diversity, which can be value, shape, texture, colour, or scale change.

CONTRAST:  is the interaction of contradictory elements, e.g. contrast of shape with unity of colour, or vica versa.

EMPHASIS & SUBORDINATION:  Emphasis establishes a centre of interest, while subordination supports a centre of interest.

Jud House  1/09/2016

. . . . .