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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Elements of Design

As I sat trying to come up with some ideas for a new painting I got to thinking about the different things that make up a drawing, picture, sculpture or just about any visual art work. All works of art from drawing to photography use the same principles in creating a successful outcome. So I googled elements of design and this is what Wikepedia has to say:

The various visual elements, known as elements of design, formal elements, or elements of art, are the vocabulary with which the visual artist composes. These elements in the overall design usually relate to each other and to the whole art work.

The elements of design are:

* Line - the visual path that enables the eye to move within the piece
* Shape - areas defined by edges within the piece, whether geometric or organic
Line and shape: Literal lines do not exist in nature, but are the optical phenomena created when objects curve away from the viewer. Nonetheless, line-like shapes are for all intents considered line elements by the artist; for example, telephone and power cables or rigging on boats. Any such elements can be of dramatic use in the composition of the image. Additionally, less obvious lines can be created, intentionally or not, which influence the direction of the viewer's gaze. These could be the borders of areas of differing color or contrast, or sequences of discrete elements, or the artist may exaggerate or create lines perhaps as part of his style, for this purpose. Many lines without a clear subject point suggest chaos in the image and may conflict with the mood the artist is trying to evoke.

Movement is also a source of line, and blur can also create a reaction. Subject lines by means of illusion contribute to both mood and linear perspective, giving the illusion of depth. Oblique lines convey a sense of movement and angular lines generally convey a sense of dynamism and possibly tension. Lines can also direct attention towards the main subject of picture, or contribute to organization by dividing it into compartments.

The brain often unconsciously reads near continuous lines between different elements and subjects at varying distances.
[edit] Straight lines

Straight lines are called linear when used in a piece of art work. Straight lines add affection and make it look more detailed and challenging. Horizontal, vertical, and angled lines all contribute to creating different moods of a picture. The angle and the relationship to the size of the frame both work to determine the influence the line has on the image. They are also strongly influenced by tone, color, and repetition in relation to the rest of the photograph. Horizontal lines, commonly found in landscape photography, gives the impression of calm, tranquility, and space. An image filled with strong vertical lines tends to have the impression of height, and grandeur. Tightly angled convergent lines give a dynamic, lively, and active effect to the image. Viewpoint is very important when dealing with lines particularly in photography, because every different perspective elicits a different response to the photograph.
[edit] Curved lines

Curved lines are generally used to create a sense of flow within an image. They are also generally more aesthetically pleasing, as we associate them with soft things. Compared to straight lines, curves provide a greater dynamic influence in a picture.

In photography, curved lines can give gradated shadows when paired with soft-directional lighting, which usually results in a very harmonious line structure within the image.

* Color - hues with their various values and intensities:
Color is characterized by attributes such as hue, value, and saturation. Colors have been associated with different moods, dependent on the society of the time. For example, white has long been viewed as purity, whereas it can also take slightly different meanings such as peace, innocence and even death (in eastern cultures).

* Texture
- surface qualities which translate into tactile illusions.
In the visual arts, texture is the perceived surface quality of an artwork. It is an element of two-dimensional and three-dimensional design and is broadly distinguished by its perceived visual and physical properties. Use of texture, along with other elements of design, can convey a variety of messages and emotions.

* Form - 3-D length, width, or depth
Form refers to the shape, visual appearance, or configuration of an object.

* Value - Shading used to emphasize form. The lightness and darkness of the design.

* Space - the space taken up by (positive) or in between (negative) objects. Space is the boundless, three-dimensional extent in which objects and events occur and have relative position and direction.

Here is one of my drawings that I hope has these all of these elements used:

Thanks for stopping by.


Lee said...

Very informative and a great reference. Super drawing! Thanks for sharing, Marlene!

Paper Moon Delights said...

Yes I agree, wow alot of great information and Love your drawing!! :) Thanks so much! Lisa