The principles of design in art can be a little abstract which can make them tricky to introduce to kids. But once kids understand that these principles are just tools that artists use it all falls into place.
The principles of design in art are like tools of the trade….
When I say tools I don’t mean a specific medium or a type paintbrush. In this case tools is more akin to “tricks.” How an artist gets a viewer to look at a certain spot or gets the viewers eyes to move across an entire work of art is the “trick” in this case. Many artists do this instinctively and without naming the process. But knowledge is power. Knowing the terminology and reasoning behind the principles of design is a good place to start in an art education!
Start with the elements of art….
In order to truly understand the principles of design in art you must first understand the elements of art. The elements are more concrete concepts that make up a work of art. This is a sister printable for the elements of art that can be used as a precursor to this principles of design in art printable. You ‘gotta crawl before you walk!
This free printable book about the elements of art is also a great place to start for the elementary crowd or the student that has no experience with the elements of art!
The following links will hook you up with a free one page printable about each element. These are perfect for the older student as they include a more complete explanation and examples; color, line, shape, texture, value, space, and form.
It’s really impossible to teach the principles of design in art until you understand what the elements of art are and this is why. The elements are simple ideas. You can practice making different types of line, mixing colors, and recreating textures. Simple, right??
The principles of design in art are a little more out there, a little more abstract. It’s harder to identify what balance is. Does this look “emphasized?”
Artists use the principles of design to organize the elements of art within a work of art. They create emphasis by using an element not seen elsewhere in their art work. Or they create contrast by using two complementary color next to each other.
These principles of design in art are guidelines; suggestions for an artist to take into account. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to what makes art “good” or acceptable. That’s the fun of it!
Knowing that as an artist these tools are at your disposal and there for you to use (or not) is the beauty of making your own art! The rules are kinda’ there for the breaking!
Apply that knowledge……
Now that you have your “cheat sheet” of basic definitions above you’re ready to tackle these printables. Match up the name of the principle of design with the correct definition. Some principles are grouped together for ease of use and understanding.
For beginners the differences between principles of design like “rhythm and pattern” are too minute to sort out. Artists use them to accomplish a similar purpose. Grouping them together makes sense for the beginner.
Does this look weird to you……
Now I know this principles of design in art printable may look a little wonky. But, I promise, it will all work out. Fold the printable above into halves. Open the halves back-up and fold each half into half (fourths) again so that the words meet in the middle. Now you’ve got a clever place to cut out glue the definitions below.
The principles of design definitions are in the same order on each handout. If you want your student to be able to identify the correct definitions you may want to cut them apart and mix them up prior to giving them to them!
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