Elements and Principles of Art
Lines are marks that span a distance between two points (or the path of a moving point). As an art element, line pertains to the use of various marks, outlines and implied lines in artwork and design. A line has a width, direction, and length. A line's width is sometimes called its "thickness". Lines are sometimes called "strokes", especially when referring to lines in digital artwork.
A shape is an enclosed space defined by a line or by contrast to its surroundings. Shapes are two-dimensional (flat): circle, square, triangle, organic blob, etc. In everyday usage, the word 'shape' is also used to talk about three-dimensional form, often as something of a shorthand for referring to the two-dimensional outline or silhouette of the object. When discussing art, your meaning will be clearer if you reserve using 'shape' to talk about two-dimensional shapes on a plane.
A three-dimensional object: a defined volume of space.
The visible spectrum of radiation reflected from an object. Three properties of color are hue, intensity/saturation, and value/brightness.
How light or dark an object or element is, independent of its color. Shading uses value to depict light and shadow and show volume/form.
The tactile sensation or feel of a surface (rough, smooth, spiky, etc.) or how something appears to feel.
The distance or area around or between elements of an artwork. The illusion of depth created on a flat surface through the use of perspective, overlapping elements, size, level of detail, color and value.
Repeating art elements in regular or cyclical fashion to create interest, movement, and/or harmony and unity. Rhythms can be random, regular, alternating, flowing, and progressive. Classes of pattern include mosaics, lattices, spirals, meanders, waves, symmetry and fractals, among others.
The difference in quality between two instances of an art element, or using opposing qualities next to each other. For example, black and white (contrasting values), organic/curvy and geometric/angular (contrasting lines/shapes/forms), and rough and smooth (contrasting textures).
Emphasis is created by visually reinforcing something we want the viewer to pay attention to.
The distribution of interest or visual weight in a work. If all the visually interesting elements of a work are centered in one spot, the work is off-balance and the viewer's gaze will be stuck in one place, ignoring the rest of the piece. A balanced piece of work will have art elements arranged such that different areas draw the viewer's eye around or through the whole piece. Some types of balance are symmetric, asymmetric, and radial.
Proportion is the relationship of sizes between different parts of a work. For example, how wide it is compared to how tall it is. Some proportions, such as the golden ratio and the rule of thirds, are thought to be more naturally pleasing.
I chose this picture because although it is ironic and unrealistic, it represents the proportion between the human and the sculpture they are looking at well. It shows how the sculpture is much larger than the humans, allowing the viewer to see the proportion between the human and what it's looking at.
Harmonious elements have a logical relationship or progression - in some way they work together and complement each other. When a jarring element is added - something that goes against the whole - it is said to be dissonant, just like an off-note in a musical performance. Unity is created by using harmonious similarity and repetition, continuance, proximity and alignment, and closure of design elements in different parts of the work so that the parts relate to each other and create a unified whole, that can be greater than the sum of the parts, rather than an ill-fitting and meaningless assortment of elements.
Using art elements to direct a viewer's eye along a path through the artwork, and/or to show movement, action and direction. Also, giving some elements the ability to be moved or move on their own, via internal or external power.