The Principles of design can be thought of as what we do to the elements of design. How we apply the Principles of design determines how successful we are in creating a work of art.
THE PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN
Balance in design is similar to balance in physics
A large shape close to the center can be balanced
by a small shape close to the edge.
Dominance gives a painting interest, counteracting confusion and monotony. Dominance can be applied to one or more of the elements to give emphasis
Repetition with variation is interesting, without variation repetition can become monotonous.
Contrast is the juxtaposition of opposing elements e.g. Opposite colours on the colour wheel – red / green, blue / orange etc. Contrast in tone or value – light / dark. Contrast in direction – horizontal / vertical.
Harmony in painting is the visually satisfying effect of combining similar, related elements.
Relating the design elements to the the idea being expressed in a painting reinforces the principal of unity.
Gradation can add interest and movement to a shape. A gradation from dark to light will cause the eye to move along a shape.
THE ELEMENTS OF DESIGN
The elements and principles of design are the building blocks used to create a work of art. The elements of design can be thought of as the things that make up a painting, drawing, design etc. Good or bad – all paintings will contain most of if not all, the seven elements of design.
Line can be considered in two ways. The linear marks made with a pen or brush or the edge created when two shapes meet.
A shape is a self contained defined area of geometric or organic form. A positive shape in a painting automatically creates a negative shape.
Texture is the surface quality of a shape – rough, smooth, soft hard glossy.