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Principles of Art

PRINCIPLES OF ART: Balance, emphasis, movement, proportion,
rhythm, unity, and variety; the means an artist uses to organize elements within a work of art.
Rhythm
A principle of design that indicates movement, created by the careful placement of repeated elements in a work of art to cause a visual tempo or beat.
Balance
A way of combining elements to add a feeling of equilibrium or stability to a work of art. Major types are symmetrical and asymmetrical.
Emphasis
(contrast)
A way of combining elements to stress the differences
between those elements.
Proportion
A principle of design that refers to the relationship of certain elements to the whole and to each other.
Gradation
A way of combining elements by using a series of gradual changes in those elements. (large shapes to small shapes, dark hue to light hue, etc)
Harmony
A way of combining similar elements in an artwork to accent their similarities (achieved through use of repetitions and subtle gradual changes)
Variety
A principle of design concerned with diversity or contrast. Variety is achieved by using different shapes, sizes, and/or colors in a work of art.
Movement
A principle of design used to create the look and feeling of action and to guide the viewer’s eye throughout the work of art.

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