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Principles of Composition

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Presentation on theme: "Principles of Composition"— Presentation transcript:

1 Principles of Composition
(Principles of Design)

2 Principles of Composition
There are a total of 11 Principles of Composition (Principles of Design), although some are often grouped together. The Principles of Design are the ways that artists use the Elements of Art to create good Compositions (artwork)

3 Principles of Composition
Balance Emphasis Movement Repetition / Pattern / Rhythm Variety Harmony / Unity Proportion Contrast

4 Balance This principle of design refers to the visual equalization of the elements in a work of art. There are three major forms of balance: Radial, Symmetrical and Asymmetrical.

5 Radial balance: a kind of balance where the elements branch or radiate out from a central point.
Symmetrical balance: where the art elements in a composition are balanced in a mirror-like fashion (it does not have to be exact but close). Asymmetrical balance: where equilibrium is achieved by the balance differences in the art elements within a composition.

6 Balance - “Visual Weight”

7 Balance - Radial

8 Balance - Symmetrical

9 Balance - Asymmetrical

10 Emphasis (Dominance) The principle of design that is concerned with dominance; the development of a main idea or center of interest (also called focal point)

11 Emphasis (Dominance)

12 Movement Movement is the design principle that uses some of the elements of art to produce action, to achieve the look of action (Literal/Actual Movement), OR to cause the viewer’s eye to sweep over the art work in a certain manner (Compositional Movement).

13 Literal/Actual Movement
Compositional Movement

14 Rhythm / Repetition / Pattern
Repetition of an element of art (i.e., shapes, lines, or colors) to achieve a visual beat (Rhythm) or to create a decorative effect (pattern).


16 Variety Variety is achieved when the art elements are combined in various ways to increase visual interest. For instance, an assortment of shapes that are of a variety of sizes attracts more attention than an assortment of shapes all the same size.


18 Harmony / Unity This principle refers to the visual quality of wholeness or oneness that is achieved through effective use of the elements of art and principles of design


20 Proportion The relationship of one component (part) of a work of art to another. Proportion can be achieved through size, colour, quantity, etc.

21 Items in still life are “in proper proportion” (relative sizes)
                                                    Items in still life are “in proper proportion” (relative sizes) Figures in painting are “out of proportion” (relative sizes)

22 High proportion of colour (ie: purple)
Low proportion of colour (ie: purple) Even proportion of colour (ie: purple vs yellow)

23 Contrast A design principle that emphasizes differences between the art elements. For example, a painting may have bright colors that contrast with dull colors or angular shapes that contrast with rounded shapes. Sharp contrast draws attention and can direct a viewer to a focal point within a work of art.


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