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Elements and Principles


Elementsof Art: The parts to an attractive or meaningful picture.

  • Line: An extended mark or stroke made with a tool onto a surface.
  • Value: Light or dark, including contrast, shades (color with black added), tints (color with white added), crosshatching, and reflective light.
  • Shape: An object recognized by the outline, contrasts in value, color, texture, pattern, positive and negative space.
  • Color: The reflection of light that forms primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. 
  • Space: In front and behind, near and far, scale, modeling, foreshortening, and perspective of where the object is located on the surface.
  • Form: The shape, appearance, or configuration, of an object (such as seen in 3D).
  • Texture: Actual texture is the way a surface feels, visual texture is created by the repetition of shape, line, color, and value with varying degrees of a pattern.


Principlesof Design: How the elements ofart are composed to create an attractive or meaningful picture.

  • Pattern: The repetition of such things as shape, line, value, and color in some order.
  • Emphasis: To make something more significant or important, to stand out.
  • Balance: A feeling of equality in weight, attention or attraction of different elements.
  • Movement: Giving the appearance of action by blurring the object or background, or using the elements of art to show a change in position.
  • Variety: Difference.


Composition: Rules that can bebroken, only to emphasis a point.

Repeat things indifferent amounts in different parts of the page and change them a little sothey are not boring.

Don’t put one big object in the middle of the page.

Don’t divide the page in half horizontally, diagonally, or vertically.

Don’t start and stop at the same level. This will look like the objects are stacked up,instead stagger them.

Overlap, by showing‘in front’ and ‘behind’.

Let some objects go off the edge of the page.

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DSISD - 510 W. Mercer St. - Dripping Springs, TX 78620 - Ph: 512.858.3000 - Metro: 512.465.6100 - Fx: 512.858.3099