Art lesson n.2 – principles of design

5 Jul

balance          dominance              movement               repetition                    variety                   unity

are the princples of design used in organizing composition.


Something is balanced if they have the same visual weight.

symetrical or formal balance  _    the parts are visually equal and creates a feeling of structure and stateliness

                              assymetrical or informal balance _ the parts are visually unequal and creates a sense of activity and interest

radical balance _ real or immaginary central point. Balance is NB to achieving unity in a composition. It depends on the ideas and feelings the artists wants to communicate.


Something that STANDS OUT from everything. There are many ways of achieving dominance:

  1. sharp contrast between light and dark
  2. making it large
  3. giving it a strong colour
  4. shape distorted
  5. placed in an nb position – in the center for ex.

M O V E M E N T     A   N   D     R E P I T I T I O N

                                                                                             M O V E M E N T     A   N   D     R E P I T I T I O N

Movement is used to show activity. Repeated lines or shapes lead the ey from place to place in a rhymthic way. You can used repeated colours, paters of texture or light.

Giacomo Balla


One way is through contrasting colours where they are warm and cool,

Ennio Finzi

Contrasting shapes may be large and small, contrasting textures may be rough and smooth. ( NO IMAGES HERE YOU CAN IMAGINE WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE OK?)


Visual unity is acchieved by a careful choice of the visual elements. You may use similar lines, shapes, colours and textures.

Paula Phelps Unity


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