design

Finding A Way To Create

It’s kind of funny that I call this blog an art journal. I have been resisting actually creating from my journals. Drawing is not one of my talents but I have noticed that actually drawing more often seems to be aiding in that. In any case I have come up with a way to create samples displaying the elements and principles of design and at the same time using my slowly developing journaling skills.

I wrote the elements and principles on index cards, cut them out, put all of the words from each category in separate bags and randomly chose pairings. I chose an element first then a principle. For example, I chose line out of bag number one (elements). Then I chose movement from bag two (principles). I put those two together and will now make a sample textile adhering to both line and movement simutaneously. I had three principles left at the end of this exercise: proportion, balance and rhythm so I put the elements back in the bag and chose three, etc., etc. I quickly sketched some ideas in my journal that I will use to make the pieces. I didn’t want to get bogged down worrying about trying to draw perfectly so I had all of the sketches done in less than half an hour.

Here are the prompt combos:

line & movement

shape & variety

form & pattern

space & repetition & proportion

texture & unity & balance

color & emphasis & rhythm

And here are the pieces:
I like wonky. I guess it shows in the following misshapen felt samples.

design

Elements and Principles

By knowing and absorbing the elements and principles of design you attain a valuable intuitive resource. As with the layouts, experimentation is the best way to gain familiarity with these pesky but important precepts.

Elements 

Line – a mark with greater length than width which can be thick, thin, diagonal, straight, vertical, horizontal or curved; defines contours; indicates movement and direction; can suggest a mood.
Working with line can be enlightening. It can turn what starts out as a little dot into a beautiful work of art. Paul Klee is one of the artists who took line to a spiritual plane in my view. Check out some of his work if you want to learn about the art of line.

Shape – a closed line that can be organic (my favorite–for now), geometric or flat expressing length and width.

Form – 3-D shapes that express length, width and depth; conveys volume.

Space – the area between and around objects; referred to as negative when around the object and has shape; can refer to the feeling or illusion of depth; real space is 3-D.

Texture – the surface quality that can be seen, imagined or felt; can be rough, smooth, hard or soft.

Color – the light reflected off of objects; hue (blue, green, etc.), value (the lightness or darkness), intensity (how bright or how dull).
Color is my utopia. I am eternally, desperately in love with color. Although, a blank canvas can make quite a statement.

Principles

Balance – the distribution of visual weight; concerning the heaviness or lightness of objects, color, texture and space; balance can make a design feel stable or chaotic.

Emphasis – the part of the design that catches the attention of the viewer; usually a focal area that stands out due to contrast; a difference in size, color, texture, shape, etc.

Movement – the route the viewer’s eye travels while observing the work; usually along line edges, shape and color planes.

Pattern – repeating of an object or symbol all over the artwork.

Repetition – creates unity within the work.

Proportion – brings the feeling of unity through the appropriate use of size, amount and number.

Rhythm – when one or more elements of design is used repetitiously in order to create a feeling of organized action; creates a mood.

Variety – the use of several elements of design to hold the attention of the viewer; guides the viewer’s eye throughout the work.

Unity – the feeling of harmony; all parts of the work create a sense of integrity; completeness.

I will attempt to create some good examples of each in my next post. Wish me luck!

design

Compositional Layouts

Compositional layouts are the standard ways in which elements are organized in a design. They help bring a sense of purpose and organization to a piece. Thank goodness for collage! The basic nature of the method is for it to be ad hoc and you don’t necessarily need to use any of these plans. On the other hand, if you are trying to send a message or convey a specific feeling, experimenting with and learning about composition will be a beneficial part of your art trek.

The following is a list of twelve layouts and their representations:

Horizontal – calm

Vertical – growth

Diagonal – dynamic

Radiating – explosive

Circular – eternal

Triangular – uplifting

Framed – contained

Vanishing – depth

Grid – architectural

Overall – chaotic

Asymmetrical – off balance

Symmetrical – balanced

I used wallpaper scraps and cardstock to make some examples: