What are principles of design?

13 May, 2022 - 00:05 0 Views
What are principles of design?

The ManicaPost


Friday Lessons With Sir Mwanyisa

GREETINGS learners, parents and guardians!

Welcome to your Visual and Performing Arts weekly lessons brought to you by your favourite newspaper, The Manica Post.

I expect you to have a exercise book and a pen to write the work given as exercises.


Today our topic is on principles of design.


You are expected to be able to explain at least any five elements of design.

Principles of design are important in the creation and judging of artworks.


It is the way the principles of design are used in artworks that will determine the extent of success of the artwork.


The elements of design are balance, emphasis, harmony, variety, alignment and harmony.


Now let us go through each of the elements of design.


An artwork should be balanced.


Balance refers to the visual stability.


The parts of the art work should have equal weight on all sides.


Balance can be symmetrical or asymmetrical.


Symmetrical balance arranges elements of art equally on both sides.


Asymmetrical balance arranges objects of various weights randomly such that they are balanced.


The elements of art used in producing an artwork should agree or be in unity.

For example in order to avoid a chaotic presentation of artworks there should be a smooth use of colours.


Colours should have relationships.


Some are contrasting and some are analogues.


The artwork should be one meaningful whole.


The relationship between the parts to another is called proportion.


This covers the scale and size of elements used should be related.


Proportion can affect the beauty of the artwork if not carefully considered.


An artwork can easily show the most important part of the artwork.


Thus stands out more than other elements of the artwork.

The greatest attention is given by the artist.


In a sculpture that artist may be emphasize the head, the mouth or the ears.


The eyes follow a path when observing a work of art.


This path the eyes follow is called rhythm.


Eyes have the ability to catch missing elements in artworks.


When information in the artwork is communicated well it means the principles of design have been used well.

Note that there is a danger of confusing elements of design and principle of design.


Elements are used in the production of artworks whilst principles are observed in judging the artworks.

Task: Using the Mbuya Nehanda Statue go through the stages of evaluating artworks we covered last week.

Step 1 Describe what you see.

Step 2 analyse what you see (use elements and principles of design).

Step 3 Interpret what is the meaning of the statue?

Step 4 Is it a successful work of art?


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