Teacher: Evelyn Vidal-Armour
Art Films at the King County Library
Multimedia Copyright PowerPoint Presentation
Elements of Design PowerPoint Presentation
Son of Citation Machine Need help with your citations?
Definitions of Art Elements and Principles of Design
Analyzing and evaluating artwork
ELEMENTS are the basic building blocks artists use when composing a visual work.
COLOR comes from light rays and is broken into the spectrum, or rainbow. In art, color has three properties:
HUE – the color’s name, i.e. red
INTENSITY – the purity and brightness of a color
VALUE – the tints, tones, or shades of the color
VALUE is the lightness or darkness in a work, as in the gray scale. (in B&W art)
LINE is a continuous mark made by a moving point; an outline, contour or edge.
TEXTURE is how things feel or how they look like they would feel if you could actually touch them. Some art is very flat and smooth, yet the shapes or things represented have a lot of texture. Uneven repetitions of lines and shapes can create virtual texture.
SHAPE is a two dimensional (2D, height and width) area of color, texture, value, etc. in a
FORM is a three dimensional (3D) area in artwork that has depth as well as height and
width. Sculpture and architecture are examples of art with 3 dimensions.
SPACE is the area of the artwork, often divided into positive and negative space. Positive refers to the figure or main objects portrayed, negative refers to the background.
PRINCIPLES of visual art are the different guidelines artists use to combine the elements when creating art, and the ways we can analyze how a work was created. The overall principle is UNITY, or the sense of completeness or wholeness of the work. UNITY is achieved by effective use of the elements and principles, whether these were intentional or subconscious on the part of the artist.
BALANCE is using elements to create equilibrium, a sense that nothing is outweighing or overshadowing the rest. It can be formal (symmetric) or informal (asymmetric).
EMPHASIS is combining elements to stress differences and create centers of interest that
catch the eye. These can be color, shape, texture, etc. Rule of thirds is useful.
HARMONY is combining the elements to stress their similarities, often through
repetition of one or more element in another area of the artwork.
VARIETY is using different elements in complicated and intricate relationships, often creating depth or layers that draw the viewer into the work.
GRADATION is using a series of similar elements and varying them slightly, as in a row of trees gradually getting smaller, or a color getting brighter or softer, light or dark.
MOVEMENT or RHYTHM is combining elements to create the look of action, or to establish a rhythm (pattern of repetition), or to cause the viewer’s eye to move around the work
PROPORTION is arranging the elements in relationship to each other and the whole piece so as to create unity, whether harmonious or upsetting. It has to do with size relationships, amounts of color, texture, etc. and where they are put in the work
ARTiculation: Art analysis website including Elements of design, Principles of design, Reading the Credit Line, and Art Critique Operations. http://www.brigantine.atlnet.org/
ARTSnet Minnesota- many connections for the educator from Minneapolis Institute of Art and Walker Art Center, and also student activities
Activities online are at
Teen online activities at Museum of Modern Art
Look here to find links to all kinds of art and many artists. Some of the links are commercial (poster sales), but there are many links to museum websites which have works by the artist you choose.
You can view art and enlarge it with this Artcyclopedia link:
Women artists from many time periods can be found at this link:
Click on a time period. The more famous artists have one of their works pictured by their names. Click on a name and get more information and links to works in museums the world over.
Also choose art styles to browse in or enter an artist’s name in the search engine.
A fun list to check out in Artcyclopedia is the Top 30 artists (the 30 most often searched in the last month). Pictures included.
The National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC)
Search the collection (check Images only) for a specific artist or browse
The Egyptian Museum in Cairo has an excellent web collection.
Other museums around the world can be located at this site:
Some have online collections and others don’t, but it is easy to museum-hop from this site.
WebMuseum Paris- Great site to explore art from different times and places, easy to navigate, has all the information you need if you find your artist in their collection.
Art History on the Web- General Art history site with links to different places and times.
Once you have chosen an artist, use Google or another search engine to find information on the artist.
PRINT OUT ALL WEBSITE MATERIAL USED FOR YOUR WORK, INCLUDING url (ADDRESS) AND TURN IT IN WITH YOUR BACKGROUND INFORMATION. YOUR WORK SHOULD HAVE ONLY WRITING IN YOUR OWN WORDS.
WEBSITES FOR REFERENCE AND ENJOYMENT
Web Gallery of Art http://www.wga.hu/