Elements and Principles of Art

Elements and Principles of Art - In order to understand and...

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In order to understand and appreciate art, you must understand it’s language So, if Art is a language, what is its grammar or structure? We’ll find the answer in the Elements and Principles of Design
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The Elements and Principles of Design The Elements of Design are: Line, Shape, Form, Space, Value,Texture and Color These are considered to be the “grammar” of art The Principles of Design are: Unity, Variety, Balance, Contrast, Emphasis, Pattern, Proportion, Movement and Rhythm These are like the “rules of grammar”; they form the guidelines that artists follow when they combine the various elements of design As you study visual art, and the world around you, you will notice that these Elements and Principles never appear by themselves.
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Let’s practice looking! What elements do you see used in this geranium?
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If you said: Color (red and green) Shape (the outlines of flowers and leaves) Line (the stems, the veins of the leaves) and Texture (smooth petals and furry leaves) You were CORRECT!
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What principle(s) do you see used in these pictures? A glass skyscraper A plaid scarf A flying bird
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If you said: Unity, Pattern, Proportion Pattern, Unity, Contrast Movement, Rhythm Then you were CORRECT!
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Everywhere you look, you see lines. In nature you can see lines in tree branches: In a curving river: Or in a spiders web Line
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Lines formed by wires: Edges of buildings: And winding roads The manufactured world provides examples too
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As you have seen, lines can have many qualities: They can be: curved or straight Vertical horizontal diagonal Thick or thin smooth or rough Light or dark and continuous or broken In artworks, straight lines generally suggest directness or clarity while curving lines imply gentleness or movement. Vertical lines can give an artwork strength while horizontal lines convey calmness and tranquility. Diagonal lines convey action and energy—think of a lightening bolt or a falling tree. Very thick lines appear strong while a thin line appears weak or delicate. Fuzzy lines imply softness while smooth lines imply harder surfaces. Repeated lines can create patterns, textures and even rhythms .
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Lines can also be implied or real . A real line is one you can actually see (Ex. A) while an implied line is the suggestion of a line (Ex. B) An implied line may also be suggested by a string of objects (Ex. C) (A) (B) (C)
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Shape Shape is a 2-dimensional object (it is flat) It has height and width but no depth. Shapes can be either geometric or organic. Geometric shapes ---circles, squares and rectangles---are regular and precise. They can be measured. Organic shapes are irregular---seashells, leaves, flowers, etc.
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Shape An artwork is often made up of positive and negative shapes . The positive shapes are usually the solid objects that the artist depicts (see below). The negative shapes are formed by the areas around or between the objects (the sky, grass, mountains, etc)
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Form A form is 3-Dimensional . It has height, width AND depth . As with shapes , Forms can be regular and precise or irregular and organic.
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