Elements of Design

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Elements of Design The elements of design were created by Arthur Wesley Dow to help people see, describe, and create visual qualities in a systematic way. It consists of 7 elements: line, shape, form, colour, value, texture and space. Lines are paths or marks left by moving points and they can be outlines or edges of shapes and forms. Lines have qualities which can help communicate ideas and feelings such as straight or curved, thick or thin, dark or light, and continuous or broken. Implied lines suggest motion or organize an artwork and they are not actually seen, but they are present in the way edges of shapes are lined up. Shapes are two- dimensional surfaces such as circles or squares, and forms are three-dimensional shapes like spheres or cubes. A concave form has a pushed-in surface like the inside of a bowl and a convex form has a raised surface like the outside of a bowl. When you are looking at shapes and forms, the shape that you see first is called a figure or positive shape and the area around it is called the ground or the negative shape. The natural curves in different objects, such as trees or clouds are called organic shapes. Geometric shapes and forms are precise and regular such as cubes, pyramids, and circles. A free-form is an irregular invented shape or form that has qualities of a geometric form or an organic form. Light is what lets you experience colour. The pigment of the retina in your eyes is sensitive to different lengths of light waves which allows you to see different colours. The wavelengths of light that humans can see are called the visible colour spectrum. Hue is the common name for the colours in the spectrum which are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. A pigment is a colouring ag... ... middle of paper ... ...ything fits together and disunity is the opposite, it’s a feeling of disorder. In art, unity is often achieved by the repetition of a shape, colour or another visual element. Simplicity is another method and it’s the use of one major colour, kind of shape or element to unify a work. Another technique is harmony where related colours, textures, and materials might be combined. Theme and variation is another method that allows artists to organize a work around one major element like a circle, and variations of circles. Works are sometimes unified by proximity or continuity. Proximity means that parts are grouped together, enclosed or clustered into sets. Continuity means that edges of forms are lined up so your eye moves from one part to another in a definite order. Variety is like a spice in art and it is the use of contrasting elements to make something interesting.
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