Elements and principles of art and design

There are different elements used in artwork and design. These elements improve the visual quality of your work thus creating market. Art and design are improving each day as technology continues to advance the more reason why you should improve on your art elements to meet most customer’s needs. Here are some elements and principles of art and design.


Lines are used to outline, create shading, decorate and direct the viewer’s eye. Lines can be hard, sharp, and geometric; they can also be organic, soft, loopy, wavy or flowing. Lines can remain in a constant thickness or vary thickness along their length. Gestural lines shout the force and emotion put in their making. As artists are trying to capture their subject to display interest or character they use more confident lines. Lines divide the space they are in and they can be united to tie elements together.


Color is the visible spectrum of radiation reflected from an object .There is three properties of color in art and design:

  • Brightness-The darkness or lightness of a color can be used to depict shadow and light on a color and show its form.
  • Intensity-The purity of the color can be either bright more neutral or intense.
  • Hue-The name of the color.

There are different color harmonies that are used in art and design such like complementary and monochromatic.


This is the difference between in quality two instances of an element which can be in texture, shape or even color. Contrast plays a great role in artwork since the greater the contrast the more an item calls for attention. In some cases contrast is used to set the mood of the work. Low contrast shows the work is calm or soothing while high contrast shows a more vibrant work.

Harmony and unity

Harmonious elements have a logical relationship which creates unity. Using harmonious similarities and closure of design elements in different parts of the work for the parts to relate to each other creates a unified whole greater than the sum of the parts. This creates a meaningful assortment of elements.


Value is the independent of the color of an element. Using limited range of values sets the mood of the piece and can make it more pleasing. Work where only the bright and very dark colors are used can be bold and stark. Works with mostly dark colors are called low key and are used to create a sense secretive of things hidden from sight. Works with brightly lit subjects and white backgrounds are called high key, they are used in female portrait to convey delicacy or innocence.


This is the distribution of visual weight in a work. If all the interesting elements of a work are centered at one spot the work is off-balance since the viewer will gaze in one place ignoring the rest of the piece. Symmetric is one type of balance where elements of an art are arranged such that they draw the viewers attention.