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Thread: The Elements and Principles of Art

  1. #1
    Tracker of Death Xero's Avatar
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    Feb 2012

    The Elements and Principles of Art


    Alright, this is for those who may need help on art, and want to achieve something more than just monochromatic doodles that no one can figure out.

    Let me explain.
    The Elements of art

    The Elements of Art are the basic building blocks to most, if not all artwork. They are what defines your artwork and helps it come to life.
    The elements are:
    -Shape or Form
    -Space and Perspective

    These are the elements used in artwork; Whether you realize it or not, you use these elements in the pictures you draw.
    HOWEVER! You may not have the knowledge to use them properly, I'll enlighten you in a moment, but for now we'll look at what each of these elements mean and/or represent.

    The basics of line are very simple. It is a path for a point to follow that moves throughout the space of your canvas (In this case).
    Line can be represented many different ways; It can be drawn straight, curved, spiraled, zig-zaged, etc

    Shape is defined as a spatial form in a space, usually represented 2-Dimensional. Form is more complex, it resides in a space much like shape, but it includes length, width, and depth, and is usually represented 3-Dimensional.

    Color is an element radiating from the spectrum of light, these are labeled into categories which fill sub-categories as they blend with each other.
    The categories are the 3 primary colors (Red, Yellow, and Blue), Secondary colors (Green, Orange, and Violet (Purple)), Tertiary (Blue-Violet, Red-violet, Red-Orange, Yellow Orange, Yellow green, and Blue green), and so on.
    The colors are organized into a color wheel and can vary even greater depending on hue, value, or intensity.

    In addition, 2 halves of the color wheel are also categorized into groups known as "Warm colors" and "Cool colors".
    As the names suggests, the colors indicated in the warm color group would suggest a brighter, warmer feel to an artwork, while cool colors suggest a cooler feel artwork.

    Value is a range of shade, with variable levels of lightness and darkness.
    See how the range from white contrasts to black as the value darkens.

    this can also apply to all the other colors. Correct value is crucial to achieving proper depth in art.

    To put it simply, texture is how an art feels by sense, the tactile qualities of a surface giving off visual representation.
    A depth art of say, a pearl would give off a smooth texture feel.

    Space is the organized area in which art is performed/made (a.k.a, your canvas).
    Perspective is volume of space, or an object with depth on a flat plane.

    Now you know the elements. "But Xero! How do I effectively use these elements to better help my artwork?"
    THAT my friends, is what we call the "Principles of Art".
    These are the methods to keep in mind when using the elements.
    The Principles of Art are:

    Movement is the motion or direction in which you use the elements.
    Take hair strands for example, you'd want the line's movement to flow down the the head from a starting point, and gradually vary as you make each stroke.

    Patterns are use of the elements which maintains some form of consistancy.

    Proportion is the part relation between a whole figure or shape.

    Balance is the impression of equilibrium.
    the 3 forms it comes in are symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial

    Unity is the combination and Blend of the elements, and how they work together to bring out an artwork. such as the unity of cool colors in a tropical scene.

    Emphasis is the point of use of a point of interest in an artwork, the point in which draws the viewers eye.

    Now I've explained both the Elements and Principles of art.
    It is up to you now, as an aspiring artist, or fellow doodler; It is up to you on how you will combine these both and create your art, and I hope this better helps your understanding on what a good artwork is composed of.

    Happy drawing!
    Last edited by Xero; 02-16-2013 at 10:01 AM.

  2. #2
    28/06/42/12 Shadowkirby's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
    Someone sticky this. Everyone needs to know this.

    Why are you wearing that stupid bunny suit?

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  3. #3
    Wraith Gaaading's Avatar
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    *Slow claps* Well done

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  4. #4
    Nanite's Avatar
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    Phil's Lipines
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowkirby View Post
    Someone sticky this. Everyone needs to know this.
    I agree, this is especially helpful to those starting out.

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  5. #5
    Tracker of Death Xero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowkirby View Post
    Someone sticky this. Everyone needs to know this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gaaading View Post
    *Slow claps* Well done
    Why thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by subzero1112 View Post
    I agree, this is especially helpful to those starting out.

    That was the plan.

  6. #6
    best fizz eu Gumball's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
    A mod should sticky this. Pm ultrachimp, he is online.
    "people who quote themselves should be shot" - me

  7. #7
    Weird Scout Leokill's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Nice work, sticky worthy.

    I hope this clears up terms some people here seem to be unaware of.

    La Da Da Da Da Da
    "Let's put our heads together. Let's put our teeth in a jar. Let's feed our hair to the birds. Let's leave our fingers under this tree."

  8. #8
    Tracker of Death Xero's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    Yeah, I'll try to get a mod to sticky this.

  9. #9
    Artist/Animator Arch-Angel's Avatar
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    Jan 2007

    `~ "What is broken can be reforged" ~`

  10. #10
    The Bad Guy Mr. Evil's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    I just learned more from you than 7 years of art-classes.
    I love you.

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