The Principles and Elements of Design


Elements: the things that make up a painting, drawing, design etc. All paintings will contain most of if not all the seven Elements of design:

  1. line: to create and delineate objects
  2. color: know the shades, tones, and hues. To generate emotions and define importance
  3. texture: conveying the feel of three dimensional objects in two-dimensional design
  4. shape: an area that stands out from the space next to or around it due to a defined or implied boundary
  5. size: how small or large something is
  6. value: the lightness or darkness of a colour. Value is also called Tone
  7. space: positive and negative. The area around or between elements



Principles: what we do to the elements of design. How we apply these principles determines how successful we are in creating a work of art. There are four Principles of Design:

  1. contrast: utilizing opposing colors and textures to allow the viewers eye to flow naturally
  2. alignment: every element is visually connected to another element.
  3. repetition: to breed cohesiveness and establish consistency
  4. proximity: to allow for visual unity, emphasize organisation and increase viewer comprehension

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