Visual Elements of Design
Visual Elements of Design are the component parts of art. The elements help define what principles are. There cannot be a principle without an element. The elements do not occur in isolation but one can be dominant. The elements give the artist a vocabulary to use in order to help explain their art.
A visual path of action, our eyes tend to follow lines.
Line is the connection between two points, it may be actual or implied. Line defines the edge and shape two dimensionally. Line has different qualities: thick, thin, light, dark, long, short, and broken. Line can create directional effects. Lines grouped together make patterns and textures. Lines define the contour of shape by moving in and out, back and forth.
A defined area. Two-dimensional shapes are areas that stand apart or out from the space around them because of a definite boundary or difference of value, color, or texture. Shapes may be geometric, organic, or composite. There are positive and negative shapes which is also referred to as a figure-ground relationship. A figure-ground reversal occurs when the eye switches from seeing a shape as foreground and sees it instead as background.
The surface feel of an object (actual) or the representation of surface character (implied). Texture can be experienced through both touch and vision.
The area around an object. Mass and forms occupy space. It can be actual (3-dimensional) or implied on 2-dimensional surfaces.
The range of light and dark on a shape or form or in an entire space. Value is the amount of lightness or darkness in a color. Red when lightened by white is called pink but is actually a light red. When gray or green is added to red it is darkened and we may call it maroon. Pink and maroon are thus light and dark values of red.
Chiaroscuro is the process of taking light into dark to model an organic form to appear three dimensional on a two dimensional surface. This process was developed in the Renaissance.
Three-dimensional shape that occupies space and has volume. Forms may be open or closed.
· Symmetrical (bilateral) balance is a form of balance achieved by the use of identical compositional units on either side of a vertical axis.
· Asymmetrical balance is a form of balance attained when unequal units create a sense of equilibrium in the pictorial field.
Primary red, blue, yellow
Secondary orange, green, violet
Intermediate red-orange, blue-green, etc.
Complementary colors two hues directly across one another on the color wheel. The complement of each primary is the secondary created by mixing the other two primaries (red-green; blue-orange; yellow-violet). When placed near each other, complementary colors tend to vibrate.
Value lightness or darkness of a color
Intensity brightness or dullness of a color due to its relative purity.
Shade a color modified by addition of black resulting in a darker hue
Tint a color modified by addition of white, resulting in a lighter hue