Principles of Arts

the fundamentals of art

A principle refers to the fundamental aspects or rules of something. In the visual arts, it would refer to its fundamentals or rules. A set of rules that artists follow that informs the composition? Often, these are also criteria used to analyze artworks.



There are three primary aspects or elements related to color, namely, hue, value, and intensity (this is also sometimes referred to as saturation or chroma).


Value is another element of art closely connected to color, which refers to the lightness and darkness of any color.


Line in visual art is considered one of the more important elements. There are different types of lines, namely, vertical, horizontal, and diagonal.


Form as an art element refers to the three-dimensionality of an object, it is usually described as having volume, which comprises width, height, and depth.


Shape relates closely to form, but the main difference is that a shape refers to two-dimensionality. It is often described as “flat”, with only length and width.


Space is often described as the “distance” either “within”, “around”, or “between” the compositional space, which can be a canvas, a sculptural space, or any other form of art.


Texture is all about feeling, and there are typically two primary ways it is conveyed in visual art: in real life, or three-dimensional space, or through illusion.

THE Six principles OF ART


Balance is about the compositional “weight of visual elements”, whether these are applied in such a manner that provides the effect of even distribution.

contrast and emphasis

Contrast refers to the placements of different elements in a composition. Emphasis refers to a “focal point” in a composition.

movement and rhythm

Movement is about leading the eye to the focal point or central subject, and rhythm is created through repeating elements or placing them in patterns.


Variety is basically about different elements in a composition that gives it its uniqueness. It provides a continuing contrast.

unity and harmony

Harmony relates to how art elements are used in conjunction. Unity is relating to the entire compositional coherence.


Proportion refers to how an object’s parts in a composition relate to each other due to their size or shape. This will either create emphasis or different visual effects.