7 Principles of Art and Design - Deepstash
Managing People

Learn more about personaldevelopment with this collection

Conflict resolution

Motivating and inspiring others


Managing People

Discover 57 similar ideas in

It takes just

7 mins to read

Understanding the elements and principles of art and design

The elements and principles of art and design are the foundation of the language we use when we speak about art.

  • The elements of art are the visual tools an artist employs to create a composition: The elements are line, shape, colour, value, form, texture, and space.
  • The principles of art define how the artist uses the elements of art to help show the artist's intent. The principles are balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, rhythm, and unity/variety.


1.83K reads

A successful painting

It is generally agreed that a successful painting consists of the following:

  • It is unified
  • It has some variety created by areas of contrast and emphasis
  • It is visually balanced
  • It guides the viewer's eye around the composition.

The principles of art are often interlaced, and one will frequently depend on the other. That means that one principle of art can influence the effect and impact of another.


1.07K reads

Principles of art: Balance

The visual elements of a composition should feel balanced and stable. Imbalance causes the viewer to feel disturbed.

Balance can be achieved in three ways:

  1. Symmetry, where both sides of the composition have the same elements in the same position, such as the two sides of a face.
  2. Asymmetry, where the composition is balanced by the contrast of any of the elements of art. For example, a large circle on one side might be balanced by a small square on the other side.
  3. Radial symmetry, where the elements are equally spaced around a central point.


749 reads

Principles of art: Contrast

Contrast is when each element of art in a composition is made stronger in relation to the other. When next to each other, contrasting elements are among the first places that the viewer's eye is drawn.

Examples of contrast:

  • Negative/positive space.
  • Complementary colours placed next to each other.
  • Notan - light-dark harmony.


715 reads

Principles of art: Emphasis

It is mainly achieved through contrast.

A visually dominant area of the composition creates emphasis and commands the viewer's attention.


841 reads

Principles of art: Movement

It moves the viewer's eye around and inside the image.

A sense of movement can be created by diagonal or curvy lines, edges, the illusion of space, repetition, and energetic mark-making.


642 reads

Principles of art: Pattern

A pattern is a consistent repetition of any of the elements of art or any combination of it.

Some classic patterns are spirals, grids, weaves.


646 reads

Principles of art: Rhythm

Rhythm comes from movement implied through the elements of art in an organised but varied way.

While pattern demands consistency, rhythm relies on variety, similar to rhythm in music.


586 reads

Principles of art: Unity/variety

A painting will feel unified when all the elements fit together comfortably.

A painting needs both unity and variety. Too much unity makes it dull, and too much variety creates chaos. The best is to have areas of interest in your composition along with places for your eyes to rest.


628 reads



“You have to remember something: Everybody pities


Explore the World’s

Best Ideas

200,000+ ideas on pretty much any topic. Created by the smartest people around & well-organized so you can explore at will.

An Idea for Everything

Explore the biggest library of insights. And we've infused it with powerful filtering tools so you can easily find what you need.

Knowledge Library

Powerful Saving & Organizational Tools

Save ideas for later reading, for personalized stashes, or for remembering it later.

# Personal Growth

Take Your Ideas


Organize your ideas & listen on the go. And with Pro, there are no limits.

Listen on the go

Just press play and we take care of the words.

Never worry about spotty connections

No Internet access? No problem. Within the mobile app, all your ideas are available, even when offline.

Get Organized with Stashes

Ideas for your next work project? Quotes that inspire you? Put them in the right place so you never lose them.


2 Million Stashers


5,740 Reviews

App Store


72,690 Reviews

Google Play

Shankul Varada

Best app ever! You heard it right. This app has helped me get back on my quest to get things done while equipping myself with knowledge everyday.


Don’t look further if you love learning new things. A refreshing concept that provides quick ideas for busy thought leaders.

Sean Green

Great interesting short snippets of informative articles. Highly recommended to anyone who loves information and lacks patience.

Ashley Anthony

This app is LOADED with RELEVANT, HELPFUL, AND EDUCATIONAL material. It is creatively intellectual, yet minimal enough to not overstimulate and create a learning block. I am exceptionally impressed with this app!

Ghazala Begum

Even five minutes a day will improve your thinking. I've come across new ideas and learnt to improve existing ways to become more motivated, confident and happier.

Giovanna Scalzone

Brilliant. It feels fresh and encouraging. So many interesting pieces of information that are just enough to absorb and apply. So happy I found this.

Laetitia Berton

I have only been using it for a few days now, but I have found answers to questions I had never consciously formulated, or to problems I face everyday at work or at home. I wish I had found this earlier, highly recommended!

Jamyson Haug

Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.

Read & Learn

20x Faster





Access to 200,000+ ideas

Access to the mobile app

Unlimited idea saving & library

Unlimited history

Unlimited listening to ideas

Downloading & offline access

Personalized recommendations

Supercharge your mind with one idea per day

Enter your email and spend 1 minute every day to learn something new.


I agree to receive email updates