- ELEMENTS AND PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN
a short summary by Wade Dowdy, www.aestheticphotos.com
Elements: Line, Direction, Shape, Size, Texture, Color, Value
Line: edge created when two shapes meet, may be curved, straight, natural or manmade, implied
Direction: created by lines, may be horizontal, vertical or oblique, each creates a different feeling and eye movement (example - horizontal tends to be calm, vertical gives balance and strength, oblique indicates movement)
Shape: an area of form, many times geometric, shape is defined by its perimeter, may be 2 or 3 dimensional.
Size: the area or relationship of one shape to that of another
Texture: the surface quality of a shape, may be visually or physically implied, generally rough, smooth, soft, hard, glossy, etc.
Color: also called hue, may be complimentary, analogous, triadic, etc., may be subtractive (pigmentbased mixing of paint, adding towards black, absence of pigment produces white) or additive, (electronic, or CPU screen, light is added to screen to produce colors)
Value: the lightness or darkness of a color, Tone is another word for Value.
Principles: Balance, Graduation, Repetition, Contrast, Harmony, Dominance, Unity
Balance: balance between large and small shapes, light or dark, etc. Symmetry/Asymmetrical
Graduation: size and direction changing gradually, colors changing from warm to cool and dark to light, adds interest and movement to a shape
Repetition: element repeated with and or without variation, (Rhythm)
Contrast: opposing elements including color, shape, tone, value, light/dark, lines
Harmony: the balance or effect of combining similar related elements (colors, shapes) the Proportion of the elements
Dominance: emphasis of one or more elements and their proportion
Unity: relationship of the elements to the idea of the work, how are elements linked visually
Positive and Negative space: generally objects are +, space around objects is -
Rules of Third: generally thought that the most interesting or compositional focus may be located at intersection of imaginary lines dividing the study into thirds
Golden Mean: rules of thirds source, Fibonachi numbers, derived from this ratio 1.618, (0,1) 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, golden rectangle/triangle
Visual Center: not always the center of the image but the natural focus point