Student Resources
Principles of Organization
Balance: The sense of stability achieved through implied weight of an object. There are three different types of balance: symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial.
              Symmetrical balance: When one image is mirrored on the other side to repeat itself
              Asymmetrical balance: When different types of elements create a visual balance
              Radial balance: The distribution of elements around a central point in all directions
Proportion: The ratio of one art element to another. It is important to keep in mind the relationship between different elements of the composition so that the scale of your artwork always makes visual sense. For example, if you were drawing your best friend sitting in a chair, the size of the chair should be in proportion to the size of your friend.
Emphasis: When one element of an artwork stands out more than another. This creates a sense of importance and is intentionally used to communicate a message or feeling. Emphasis creates variety in your artwork. 
Variety: The counterweight to harmony and creates visual interest by slightly changing or using different elements together in a composition. It can be created with contrast, change, elaboration, or diversifying elements. With variety, it is important to consider how the elements are working together so that you still have harmony and unity within a composition. 
Movement: The visual flow of your artwork. It's the path that you intend your viewer's eye to follow. You can create this by purposefully placing art elements in a way that creates this path. 
Rhythm: A continual flow or sense of movement created by a pattern or repetition of visual units. It helps to achieve harmony in a composition.
Harmony: The quality of how the visual elements are working together in a composition. It is achieved when all elements have unity and cohesion, giving a sense of completion to an artwork. This does not mean that all elements have to be the same, but they must relate to each other in a purposeful way.
Basic Elements of Art
Line:  A continuous mark made on a surface by a moving point. Expressive, gestural lines shout the force, speed and emotion put into their making.
Shape: An enclosed space defined by a line or by contrast to its surroundings.
Form:  A three-dimensional object: a defined volume of space.
Value:  How light or dark an object or element is, independent of its color. Shading uses value to depict light and shadow and show volume/form.
Color: The visible spectrum of radiation reflected from an object. Terms used to talk about color include hue, intensity or saturation, value or brightness, tint, shade, tone, temperature (warm, cool,
neutral), and various color harmonies or schemes such as monochromatic, analogous and complementary.
Space: The distance or area around or between elements of an artwork. The illusion of depth
created on a flat surface through the use of perspective, overlapping elements, size, level of detail,color and value.
Texture:  The tactile sensation or feel of a surface (rough, smooth, spiky, etc.) or how something appears to feel.

Suggested Books 
These books are helpful no matter if you are a beginner or advanced.
Back to Top