Category Archives: Art Lessons

Art lessons ranging from beginning to intermediate level art students

Introduction to the Elements & Principles of Design

Hi there – I’m Eilee George, and this is the first in a sub-series of lessons in my Art Blog, on the Elements and Principles of Design. This short lesson is an introduction and brief overview. Once lessons begin in earnest, I will focus first on the Elements.

WebBackground03sThere is a language in art; it is technical and subjective at the same time, as is the nature of art itself. In fact, there are many texts and resources that can’t even agree on a consistent list of exactly what all of the Elements and Principles of Design are – although there are many similarities, there is fluctuation, depending on which source is consulted. I will try to encompass all of the classic elements and principles in my upcoming articles, focusing on them in more detail.

Elements of Design are basically the visual tools that we use to create a composition. These can include line, shape, form, hue, value, intensity, texture or pattern, space, proportion, and scale. You can create a piece using nothing but line, or with shapes. If you modulate the shapes to make them appear three-dimensional, you are in effect creating form, and you are probably incorporating different values to achieve the illusion of light and dark that describes that form, be it smoothly or via texture. You can create textures with lines and/or shapes. If your piece is in color, you’re using hue, and can use different intensities of the hues there to render things accurately, or to create mood or even to create a sense of space, which can also be achieved through the placement and scale of your shapes.

As you can see, you can use these tools in a lot of combinations, and not just in those I mentioned above. How you use them is where the Principles of Design come in. These are more conceptual tools you use to organize and manipulate the Elements. The Principles include balance, emphasis, dominance, unity, harmony, variety, contrast, rhythm, repetition, pattern, and movement. As you can already see, there is a little overlap between some of these terms, and they can be used in different combinations, too. It can be very powerful to plan a work around even one or two of these principles; it gives the work a razor focus, an edge, and a personality that stands out to the eye.

I will present lessons on most of these elements and principles, combining some that are closely related. I strongly believe these to be essential, useful learning for anyone who wants to become a better artist. Art isn’t a free-for-all; it has a structure, and one must learn the rules before one can break them with any success. I understand that the subject matter may at first sound a little dry for an eager beginner, but these quick exercises can awaken you not only to the possibilities in your own art, but to seeing their existence and use in the world around you – a truly global language.

This was Lesson #1 on the Elements and Principles of Design. Here are links to the next few lessons, in order since I sometimes refer to and build upon previous lessons:

#2 – LINE: The Most Basic Element

#3 – Elements of Design: SHAPE in Simple SPACE

#4 – Elements of Design: FORM, TEXTURE and PATTERN

#5 – Elements of Design: HUE, VALUE and INTENSITY

Or, to see all of them en masse (note they are in reverse chronological order, so read the bottom one first, etc.), try the category Elements and Principles of Design (or use these links here in order)

For a wider choice of even more lessons and topics, visit the Blog Intro.

Be sure to check back occasionally for more lessons on Elements and Principles of Design & more.

If you have any questions or need clarification concerning any of these design concepts, do feel free to contact me using the Contact Form. Be sure to put the words “Lesson Question” in the Subject line (but the quotation marks aren’t necessary). I run several sites as well as my fine arts production projects, and now occasional music gigs too, so I will get back to you as quickly as I can! Thanks!

– Eilee

 

 

 

All content on this site © 2013-2018/present L. Eilee S. George; all rights reserved.

PROSE: Blog Intro

I’m Eilee George, and I like to write anecdotal and how-to blog posts in several creative areas. A lot of my art lesson posts are collected under the Art menu heading above, but you can find them here, too, along with a lot of other topics. I am a strong believer that ANYONE can draw if they want to learn – it’s a set of skills and principles like anything else. As a prolific writer (although not always online), I prefer to use an unstructured, informal sort of prose as my writing style; thus I chose “prose” over the word “blog” in the menu tab title…but it is essentially a blog. On my own time, I write short stories, essays and lots of poetry and songs. Here, I try to categorize topics by media. The following table of contents will, for now, serve only as a teaser as to what you may be able to look forward to reading later on, if you’re continuing in your creative quest and if I find more time to write; some things may change. If you see a link I’ve already posted it. I’ll throw other unplanned entries in as special events occur. If the presentation gets confusing, shoot me an email here and let me know; I’ll try to fix it. For now, check the sidebar for what I’ve actually posted. I’m still figuring out my preferred blog organization and categories etc. So…let’s learn together!

DRAWING AND PAINTING
Elements and Principles of Design – Introduction
Elements of Design: Line
Elements of Design: Shape in Simple Space
Elements of Design: Form, Texture and Pattern
Elements of Design: Hue, Value, and Intensity
Elements of Design: More on Space, Proportion and Scale
Principles of Design: Balance
Principles of Design: Create Drama with Contrast
Principles of Design: Variety
Principles of Design: Movement
Principles of Design: Unity and Harmony
Principles of Design: Rhythm and Repetition
Principles of Design: Emphasis and Dominance
How to Create a Pleasing Two-Dimensional Composition
The Mind’s Artistic Eye
The Color Wheel: Primary/Secondary/Tertiary Colors
The Color Wheel: Value: Tints and Shades
The Color Wheel: Intensity, Compliments and Tones
The Color Wheel: Triads, Tetrads and Other Combinations
Color Psychology
Elementary Linear Perspective
Methodology of Atmospheric Perspective
Dissecting the Human Body: Finding Proportion in Figure Drawing
How to Break Down Proportion in a Face
Media Techniques: Working with Graphite
Media Techniques: Working with Charcoal
Media Techniques: Working with Pastels
Media Techniques: Working with Colored Pencil
Media Techniques: Working in the Acrylic Paint Medium
Media Techniques: Working in Other Paint Mediums
Style: A Wealth of History to Inspire the Future
Style: Interpretation and Finding your Unique Viewpoint
Style: Some Tips on Methods of Abstraction
Inspiration and Influences: You Don’t Live in a Vacuum
My Favorite Supplies and How They Earned the Distinction

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
How to Organize Your Inventory
Getting Up Close and Personal: Using the Macro Lens
Digital Photography: Framing Your Shot
Filters Aren’t Everything
Practical Uses For Digital Photography

CRAFT PROJECTS
How to Affix Weird Things to Each Other
How to Make a Working Lamp
Going the Extra Mile in Costume Concept and Construction
Making a Faerie or Angel Costume For Someone? Make Your Own Wings, Too
Doing Simple Sewing Repairs the Right Way (Or the Fast Way in a Jam)
How to Make Homemade Gifts They’ll Love

CLEANUP
An Ounce of Prevention…
How to Safely Remove Various Paint Stains/Adhesive Residues

GRAPHICS
The Beauty of Contrast and Clarity
How to Make a Legible Garage Sale Sign
Design a Simple Logo
Prioritizing information

BUSINESS
How & Where to Protect Your Work (Intellectual Property)
Artist Pitfalls in Business
Build a Brand and Be Consistent
How to Retain Clients, Vendors, Assistants, and Associates

ART IN RELATION TO OTHER SUBJECTS
Your Passion is Not an Island to Itself
ARTithmetic: Geometry Ordered My Artistic World

COOKING
How to Make a Beautifully Presented Rice Side Dish
Cooking Easy, Healthier Orange Chicken
Gluten-Free Beef Stroganoff
Mini Pizza hors d’oevres
Embellished Croissants
Russian Potato Salad
Medicinal Properties of Herbs and Spices
Cooking for Kids and Other Picky Eaters
Little Kitchen Tips and Tricks

LIFE’S UPS AND DOWNS, AND MISCELLANEA
Failure Redefined
How to Keep Your Sanity When You’re Laid Up for Months
The Best Selfish Things You’ll Ever Do
How to Keep Your Perspective When You Lose a Loved One
Facing Your Own Mortality and the Big C
Training a Kitten to Walk on a Leash
Dealing with Multiple Food Intolerances
What Faith Has Done for Me
Stuff I Learned By 40
Our Keys to a Fantastic Marriage
How to Keep Your Identity in a World of Conformity
Create if You Feel Like It (Doggone It)!

ANECDOTES, POEMS, RANTS, PROVERBS, AND/OR STORIES
(These just might end up on a new web site.)
Independence Day
New Music Page!
Upgrading Imagery

And Who Knows What Else…

 

AND, not part of the blog, but visit my MUSIC and VIDEOS pages!

 

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All content on this site © 2013-2018/present L. Eilee S. George; all rights reserved.