Two mosaic Compositions

Two mosaic Compositions

by: Jill Waffner

Two mosaic Compositions

by: Chris Hom

Two mosaic Compositions



Gray scale pattern design


Overlapping planes

Gray scale pattern design


Overlapping planes

by: Fiona Ho

Overlapping planes

by: Miki Asukura

Overlapping planes

by: Sam Manera

Overlapping planes

Overlapping planes

by: Po Ying Leung

Overlapping planes

by: Ying Yan


Gray Scale Exercise

By: Margaret Belch

Gray Scale Exercise

By: Tom Indermaur

Gray Scale

Camille Morishige

Gray Scale Exercise

By: Saori Kimura

Gray Scale

Paul Gorman

Gray Scale Exercise

Elena Delgado

Gray Scale Composition

Gray Scale Composition

By: Isabelle Ospital

Gray Scale Composition


Color Wheel Exercise

by: Andres Chavez

Color Wheel Exercise

by: Jeffrey Hewitt

Color Wheel Exercise

by: Mary Yun

Color Wheel Exercise

by: Debbie Yu

Color Wheel Exercise

by: Margaret Belch


Tile Design Project

by:Yang Lu

Monochromatic perspective

Monochromatic perspective

by: Nilu Zargham

Monochromatic perspective

Perspective Space and Monochromatic Project

Monochromatic perspective

by:Camille Morishige

Perspective Space and Monochromatic Project

by:Oliver Paradie

Monochromatic perspective

by: Jeffrey Hewitt

Perspective Space and Monochromatic Project

by: Sara Camp


Tile Design Project

by:Tatiana Tsevetkova

Tile Design Project

by: Cecile Mongemana

Split Complement tile design

By: Ami Inose

Tile Design Project
Tile Design Project


Updated January 14, 2004


Usually most suited for: Drawing, painting, Printmaking, Photography, Architectural design, Visual Communication and Multi Media.


  • Plans
  • Signs
  • Information
  • decoration
  • visual communication
  • publication


  • What is Design?
  • The historical evolution. Utility and Significance,
  • Objects
  • Communications
  • Environments
  • Identities
  • Systems
  • Contexts
  • Futures


  • Planning
  • Drawing
  • Accuracy
  • Layouts
  • Formats


  • Dimensions: height, width,
  • Illusion of depth
  • Axis of x and y, illusion of z


    Problem solving and ideation techniques. All take place through the process of concept, plan and execution. Any presentation of form that is signified by height and width. Orthographic projection and planning Painting (all forms) Drawing (all forms) Inks Mixed Media Print technologies


  • Manual techniques
  • Computers
  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Dry and wet media


    Basic design takes place on a two-dimensional surface and the picture edge or the margin defines that surface. This space within the margin is called "composition space". The elements of design and the Principles of organization are used to create the finished result called the composition. The result of organizing all of the elements of a work of fine or applied art into a harmoniously unified whole. Each element used may have characteristics that create interest, but must function in a way that the whole is more important than the sum of its parts. The make up of a picture which can involve one, all or some of the elements of design and one, some or all of the organizing principles of design creates the composition of a picture. This can also be known as the content of a picture.


    This is characterized as boundless or unlimited extension in all directions with an option to contain or not to contain mass. Art orientation uses the term to describe the interval or measurable distance between pre-established points. An area such as a blank page which can be drawn upon, or an open field, room, or area which can be manipulated. Space can be further affected by one, two, and three-point perspective. It is the area to be affected by the elements and principles of organization in design.
    Boundless or unlimited extension in all directions; void of matter. Used to describe the interval or measurable distance between pre-established points. An area, in which design or drawing can be arranged, worked or placed within.

  • 1. Can be seen or utilized as two-dimensional.
  • 2. Can be seen or utilized as three-dimensional.
  • 3. Deep or infinite, shallow, plastic, decorative, size, position, overlapping transparency, fractional representation, converging parallels geometric perspective, atmospheric, intuitive.
  • 4. The area affected by the elements of design 2D or 3D. 1, 2, 3-point perspective.
  • 5. Foreground/background, overlapping planes.


  • Centralized
  • Linear
  • Radial
  • Clustered
  • Grid


  • 1. Illusion of space: There is a need to transcend the picture plane as an option to add space and depth. This allows the inclusion of space as an illusion on the 2D surface. Size can be a tool to create an illusion of depth by using diminution.
  • 2. Overlapping shapes: A simple practice for showing the illusion of depth in a picture. Greater depth is created by greater variation of size as well as more overlap of these shapes.
  • 3. Transparent shape: Two or more shapes or forms seen through one another as compared to overlap which is usually opaque. Transparency makes it difficult to determine which is in front of which unless there is a reduction of size.
  • 4. Atmospheric/aerial perspective: The use of color or value to show depth. Warm color and light value appear closer and cool color and dark value appear further back into the distance. Distant objects gradually reduce in contrast with each other and appear neutral. Spatial recession by size is greatly reduced by darker surface values of overlapping planes.
  • 5. Linear perspective: A traditional system of three versions of a point of view which is used to enhance the illusion of depth in a picture or to translate a scene to a picture through a mechanical technique. There are some natural limitations to this system in that it is an approximation of what our eyes see. It also does not allow for eye movement. Our natural reaction is to focus on several parts of our view at any time.
  • 6. Amplified perspective: To be used for dynamic purposes to create a more dramatic quality into pictures such as foreshortening. The technique used to overtly draw the viewer into the picture.
  • 7. Multiple perspective: Looking at a figure or an object from more than one point of view simultaneously.
  • 8. Open form/closed form: Pictures that go out beyond the picture plane versus those which are enclosed within the frame or margin. The complete scene versus a section.
  • 9. Spatial puzzle: The unexpected image that goes beyond the set rules to play with the viewers mind or eye such as a house within a window frame of an interior view. Usually seen as illogical, these views play with the minds' perception of normal pictures.


    Basic design takes place on a two-dimensional surface and the picture edge or the margin defines that surface. This space within the margin is called "composition space". The configuration of the space within the Picture plane as defined by frames, borders or limitations that represent the "Format." The surface can be:

  • Transparent
  • Translucent
  • Opaque
  • Imagined
  • Illusory
  • Perspective space


  • Any surface on which the elements that will be used to build a design are placed. Structure is the way these elements are placed in the format.
  • Horizontal: Landscape
  • Vertical: Portrait
  • Square: Both and Otherwise
  • Circular
  • Sequential and multi-framed, Etc.


  • More Realistic--------------------------------------------------------Less Realistic
  • Representational Semi-Representational Non-Representational
  • Objective Semi-Objective Non-Objective
  • Figurative Semi-Figurative Non-Figurative INTERFACES/SCREENS/PLANES:
  • Plane
  • Screen: Interactive
  • Viewfinder
  • Paper
  • Walls
  • Panels
  • Photographs
  • Plan: Architecture



    The initial and minimal contact with the working surface to affect two dimensional space. Point, mark, spot, emphasis, speck, foundation, position, isolation, place, start. A unit which can call attention to a target or act as a guide. The indication or impression. placement, focal point, minimum effect, mark, stipple. The point or mark as the minimum effect or description on the picture plane.

  • 1. Describes surface location and quality.
  • 2. Variety of dots and sizes of dots or marks.
  • 3. Converging dots and indications of abbreviated forms of lines. (Straight, bent, and curved. (Wavy, zig-zag, broken sporatic curved, aimless, invisible dashed, dotted, descriptive, patterned, expressive, heavy, light, weak, strong, thick, thin, wide, narrow, rhythmic, direction, quality, etc.)
  • 4. Architectural or man made. (Man made or nature created)
  • 5. Tension created by closeness or distance from each other. (Value)


    The path of a moving point such as a mark made by a tool or instrument as it is drawn or dragged across a surface. It is usually made visible by the fact that it contrasts with the surface upon which it is drawn. Foundation, description, edge, divide, quality. Different types: Diagramatic, structural, calligraphic, delineating, density, direction, color, dashed, dotted, an organizer, the foundation. The most flexible lines for making shape are curved, bent, or straight. A visual element used to divide and to organize space.

  • 1. Describes space, shape and texture.
  • 2. Variety of lines: straight, bent, and curved. (Wavy, zig-zag, broken sporatic curved, aimless, invisible dashed, dotted, descriptive, patterned, expressive, heavy, light, weak, strong, thick, thin, wide, narrow, rhythmic, direction, quality, etc.
  • 3. Converging lines and target circles or concentric circles can emphasize.
  • 4. Line can be referred to as edge.
  • 5. Architectural or man made. (Man made or nature created)
  • 6. Tension created by closeness or distance from each other. (Value) Line applied to design
  • 7. Line is a moving dot with an infinite number of points.
  • 8. It is a basic suggestion of movement.
  • 9. There is an infinite number of terms and possibilities of line such as angry, happy, calm, nervous, free, quiet, excited, calm, graceful, dancing, etc.
  • 10. Line is used to describe the shape of objects and can be called artistic shorthand. It can also describe space or texture. Line can be described as edge and is sometimes used to describe a story or journey.
  • 11. Line can be described as architectural or organic as well as natural or man made.
  • 12. Lines can create tension or value by being close or far apart.
  • 13. Line is a foundation used to divide and organize space.
  • 14. Converging lines and target circles or concentric circles can emphasize a space.
  • 15. The most common lines are straight, bent, and curved.


    An area that stands out from the space next to or around it because of a defined boundary or a difference in value, color, or texture. Form is the three-dimensional description of shape as mass or bulk in space. Can also be described as outline. Outline and mass using line or value, geometric, biomorphic positive/negative, naturalistic, abstract, varieties, organic, ambiguous, color, silhouette. Any element that can be used to give or determine form. An enclosed area of space where line has begun at an edge or point and ends at an edge or point.

  • 1. Line that describes becomes a shape.
  • 2. Shapes in space connect with an edge or can float in space.
  • 3. Use line to make shape in space.
  • 4. Know the difference between shape and form.

    Some other options for understanding shape are:

  • Naturalism
  • Rectilinear
  • Distortion
  • Positive/Negative
  • Idealism
  • Curvilinear
  • Abstract
  • Non-Objective
  • Massed Particles (Such As Dots)


    The relative degree of lightness or darkness distributed or applied to an area by the amount of light reflected from it. A gradual or step by step difference of light to dark in shading through any visual recording media. Black, grays, and white. Light to dark scale. Full strength or diluted, high contrast. The relative degree of lightness and darkness.

  • 1. Cast shadow
  • 2. Chiaroscuro
  • 3. Decorative value
  • 4. Highlight
  • 5. Local value
  • 6. Shadow, shade, shading
  • 7. Tenebrism; (dark)
  • 8. 2D value pattern
  • 9. 3D value pattern
  • 10. Value
  • 11. Value pattern


    The surface feel of an object or the representation of surface character. Texture is the tactile (physical) and visual (mental) feel of surface area as it is arranged and altered by nature. Pattern can appear as texture though it is better understood as a predictable representation of a visible idea through rhythm or repetition. The three best known kinds of texture are; actual, simulated, and invented. Actual is actual. Simulated is the imitation of real or actual. Invented or decorative textures do not imitate textures of real life. The artist invents them. The surface character of a material that can be experienced through touch or the illusion of touch (such as vision).

  • 1. Actual texture
  • 2. Artificial texture
  • 3. Collage
  • 4. Invented texture
  • 5. Natural texture
  • 6. Simulated texture
  • 7. Tactile
  • 8. Trompe l'oeil
  • 9. Illusionism
  • 10. Paint quality.


    The character of a surface that is the result of the response of vision to the wavelength of light reflected from that surface. Color can be used with all of the above and adds the quality of emotion as well as other variables derived from the electromagnetic spectrum. The scientific and theoretical practice of hue, value, and chroma as well as the relationships and characteristics. Involves physics (illumination), chemistry (pigmentation), Physiology (the eye), and psychology (perception/interpretation). Warm and cool, Neuropsychological, color mixing, theory. Perception, dynamics, functions, identity, expression, local, optical, arbitrary. The visible area of the electromagnetic spectrum.

  • 1. Hue, value and chroma (intensity)
  • 2. Tint, tone and shade
  • 3. The application of warm and cool color
  • 4. Effect on space
  • 5. The emotional and psychological effects


  • Illusion of Movement
  • Viewing Time
  • Controlled Time
  • Free Time
  • Timelessness


  • Duration: Running Time
  • Tempo: Speed in which time passes.
  • Intensity: Level of energy or quality of duration.
  • Scope: Extent of our perception or range of ideas our minds can grasp.
  • Temporary: Range of action within a given moment.
  • Setting: Physical and temporal location of a story or setting.
  • Chronology: Temporal order such as real time, a foot race: starting gun, running, finish.



  • 1. Unity /Harmony
  • 2. Repetition
  • 3. Variety
  • 4. Rhythm
  • 5. Balance:
  • 6. Emphasis/Focal Point/Dominance
  • 7. Economy
  • 8. Proportion/Scale


    Implies congruity or agreement among the elements in design. They look as if they belong together. There is some visual connection. If not harmonious, they look as if they are separate or unrelated. The organization of the elements into a unified pattern. They can include proximity, repetition, continuation, and unity with variety. *Unity :The term is sometimes listed as one of the organizing principles of design, but in this book it is used to connote the combined result of all principles of design (repetition, variety, rhythm, balance, emphasis, economy, and proportion).


    Elements that insinuate eye movement or non-still images. They include memory images that can be many figures in stop action. There is figure or shape repetition. Fuzzy outline or many lines overlapped which make shapes such as multiple images. Optical movement or "op-art".


    As with any of the above especially when all or many of them can be used. The quality of variation which creates a natural opposite of sameness within a composition. The spacing of pictorial space with visual seasoning or a blend of visual texture.


    A principle we associate with hearing as well as movement. The movement of the viewers eye. Any visual pattern which causes the eye to move quickly and smoothly from one element to another. Based upon repetition. Involves a clear repetition of elements that are the same if only slightly modified. Can also include repetition, alternating rhythm and progressing rhythm that means a repetition of a shape that changes in a regular manner.


    An innate need for a sense of balance. Unbalanced is disturbing. Leaning elements are uncomfortable generally. Equilibrium is needed. Equal distribution of visual weight. It does not mean that there is no need for imbalance. This can include symmetry or asymmetry, color, value, shape, texture, position, eye direction, radial balance, all over pattern.

    Emphasis/Focal Point/Dominance:

    Avoid boredom and attract attention. Applies to objective or non-objective images. Avoid too many. With many elements the same size, a larger one will seem more important. Recognition also adds to importance. They can include emphasis by contrast, isolation, placement, and degree of emphasis and absence of a focal point.


    Yet another way of creating emphasis is to limit the viewer's focus to only a few elements of design. This device is called visual economy--stripping away all nonessentials to reveal the essence of a visual idea. This esthetic eliminates clutter, allowing the mind to focus on the beauty of the seemingly simple.


    Size versus relative size. The scale of the art with respect to the size of the work. The scale within the work relative to the overall area of the format. It can be observed as big in one format yet small in another. Scale confusion that is a deliberate change to intrigue or mystify as in surrealism. The human figure as a measure or nearly all things. The golden mean.

    Copyright Raymond Holbert July 10, 2005:Use of these images is prohibited without written permission from the author.


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