Definition Of The Principles Of Art

What Are The Principles Of Art?

The Principles Of Art are rhythm, balance, emphasis, proportion, gradation, harmony, variety, and movement. Each of these play a critical role within the composition of art.

As we continue forward know that I have expanded explanations for many of these various principles. You may follow to the linked pages to read more where provided.

Rhythm As A Principle Of Art

Rhythm in art is unique in that it can encompass multiple uses and have different meanings. The easiest way to understand Rhythm as a Principle Of Art is by patterns such as found within beats of music.

Within art patterns can fall into different categories. Among these the most broadly used and accepted are regular, alternating, progressive, flowing, and random rhythm.

To give a brief example of how one of these are applied lets look at progressive rhythm. In this instance a portrait or painting of an orchard would apply to this kind of rhythm.

How the trees are spaced, and the point of view of the image, will progressively create a pattern. This pattern will alter based upon the viewers perspective such as proportion by size and distance of each tree.

This Principle Of Art aids in creating structure and order within the composition of the artwork. Our minds love structure and order to varied degrees.

It is through Rhythm that we find a tool to build beauty with according to ratios and symmetry that we naturally accept.

Balance As A Principle Of Art

Balance in art is among one of the greatest influences to aesthetics. Its most weighed influences can be found within Space and Form.

Essentially Balance is the use of space and how the objects within art interact within it. The same could be said of form when dealing with three dimensional works.

Balance can be categorized by Actual, Pictorial, Symmetrical, Asymmetrical, Ratio, and then there is Imbalance.

The easiest way to understand this application is by looking at Balance by Ratio. Here we would expect the objects within the art to be properly represented by proportion to other objects within its space.

Often what artists seek to achieve through the use of Balance is visual stability. The art can be weighed to one side or another and still have stability.

This principle can easily be recognized within photography. Here the angle of a shot can be used to capture a unique perspective that otherwise is not normally seen.

While the image may be weighed in a manner that is uncommon, its balance still yields the visual stability to build aesthetics that are pleasing and beautiful.

Emphasis As A Principle Of Art

Emphasis in art has been defined different ways by different people. Yet it can often be seen as a way to highlight or emphasize objects by contrast.

This Emphasis is achieved through the use of specific elements or a combination of their use within the creation of those objects. Commonly its purpose extends beyond the idea of mere contrast.

Most often Emphasis is used as a way to give prominence to an object or objects, such as the key subject matter of the art. In this way it highlights the more important aspects of the artwork.

Its use can be done within the scope of other principles such as Balance, Proportion, and Harmony, in order to build aesthetics and stability. Nevertheless it can also be used in other ways that are unique.

Emphasis can be used to create discomfort or share a warning. High contrast can convey a message quickly. This same concept has been applied to marketing tools to grab peoples attention with ad campaigns.

This Principle Of Art is a tool which can be used subtly or overtly to a specific end means. It is a great way to create a vehicle for a message which the artist wishes to convey to an audience.

Proportion As A Principle Of Art

Personally I count Proportion in art as a part of Balance. Nevertheless many within academia count it as its own independent Principle Of Art.

The reason for this is due to how it interacts with ratio. While ratio is specifically tied to Balance it most often speaks to the overall influence of objects within the space of the art.

By contrast Proportion can speak to individual objects or elements and their relationship to other elements. In this regard it is indeed separate and unique within its own right.

Proportion of an element or object can be used to exaggerate, create Emphasis, or highlight key aspects of art. It provides a way to work with individual parts rather than the total sum of the work.

This principle becomes critically important when working with art mediums which rely upon art symbols. Wood art for example can depend upon symbolic imagery to convey meaning.

Here the artist uses Proportion to capture the attention of the viewer to give an intended message through how the symbol is perceived.

Gradation As A Principle Of Art

Gradation in art is a simple concept. The easiest way to understand this Principle Of Art is by looking at a color scale.

Color will have a Gradation where it begins to transition into another color. This transition can be of like kind such as a monochrome format, or a blend to another color by compliment or contrast.

It is used as a transition point within the space of objects, or the space between them. Nevertheless it does have other uses.

The key to understanding Gradation is the word transition. The incremental transition of an object from a larger shape to a smaller one also falls within the scope of this principle.

Harmony As A Principle Of Art

Harmony in art focuses on combining similar accents through the elements of art. For example shape and color can provide Harmony between different objects even when the objects themselves are not alike.

Where complimenting elements are combined or used within the composition as an accent to a like kind, then Harmony is easily achieved. The easiest way to understand this principle is to think of matching colors.

Harmony can extend beyond the mere elements and into the meaning behind them within the objects they create. For instance art symbols can be build around harmonious likeness of color, shape, or how they are drawn with the line.

In this case the symbols can have different meaning but are composed in such a way to build a relationship between them. It is through this kind of power that even opposing ideas can be displayed in ways to share a part of a story.

Harmony is unique in how it can relate to the subject matter in this way. Its function exists beyond merely how elements are combined. It can come alive within the art in how it is represented.

Variety As A Principle Of Art

Variety in art is used to introduce diversity to the artwork. This Principle Of Art holds a relationship with a concept called Unity in art.

Where Unity seeks to build likeness between objects, Variety offers a way to share contrast. This contrast is most often seen by the shape, contour, and color of the object.

There is a natural tug of war which happens between Variety and Unity. Within the natural world everything is not completely uniform. Variety exists and it does so with beauty and purpose.

Contrast does not need to be avoided due to a fear of distracting or drawing attention away from the whole of the artwork. Rather when one considers that contrast by Variety exists all around us, it is in how this contrast is presented is what matters.

Movement As A Principle Of Art

Movement in art holds a relationship with many other concepts. This Principle Of Art is not tied to elements alone. It can also be influenced by other principles.

To give an example of this, the Line is an element of art which can be used to build Rhythm. Rhythm is found when the line is repeating.

Likewise this same repeating line can be used in a way that creates Movement. Van Gogh was famous for his use of this combination.

Juxtaposition of objects can also imply Movement. Similarly in conjunction with this idea the use of contrast by color can be used to add to this effect.

White caps we commonly find on waves as they come to shore when painted would be the contrast to imply this movement. The juxtaposition could be surfers on those waves.

There are many ways to create Movement in art by the use of elements and principles. The potential for its application is only limited by the imagination is what the artist can create.

How Principles Of Art Impact Composition

A composition in art can be said to be the sum of all its parts. When art principles are used some will hold greater weight than others.

Nevertheless multiple principles are typically involved in a select work. The artist will often choose a principle for the purpose of conveying the intent behind the art.

This focus of intent is where emphasis will be placed. Emphasis can be more than an object or a focus at one point. It can also be a broader concept which covers the whole of the art.

Movement can easily achieve this such as what we see within Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”. The movement within the composition becomes key to the impact of the whole piece.

The Anatomy Of Principles Of Art

Each Principle Of Art is comprised of or from elements of art. Elements are the foundational base upon which all things are built.

While a single element can be used as a principle, it is more common to find multiple elements working together in this creation.

Elements can be mixed and matched endlessly for a wide variety of application.

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