Experimentation San Diego Jewish Academy

AP Studio Art

Principles of Art/Design

Rhythm and Pattern


Rhythm - Regular | Flowing | Progressive

Pattern - Shape Vocabulary | Points and Basic Shapes | Lines

The Interrelationships of Forms | Detachment | Touching | Overlapping | Interpenetration | Union | Subtraction

Repetition of Forms | Shape | Size | Color | Texture | Direction | Experiment

“To understand is to perceive patterns” Isaiah Berlin - political philosopher and historian of ideas, regarded as one of the leading liberal thinkers of the twentieth century.


Worth checking out:

Drawing Prompts - Each artist link provides an opening representative image suitable for drawing by students. Additional images and information are also provided to help students explore the vast posibilities of artistic expression.


Site Map | Color - Element of Art/Design | Balance - Principle of Art/Design | Andy Goldsworthy - Elements of Art/Design | Historical and Cultural Context | Quotes | Glossary | Graphic Organizers | Rules of Thumb | Co-Teachers - Doug and Melissa | Gallery
E-Mail Doug at mrdoug@aznet.net


In looking for ways to help students develop a bag of design tricks, I found Principles of Form and Design, by Wucius Wong. I liked that he put names to things I had been doing as a designer and creative problem solver.

I have often said that creativity is nothing more than following a systematic process, allowing random connections to take place, and using your intuition to develop unique solutions. Oh, by the way, it's much easier and much more fun when you work with others throughout the process.

The page below provides terms with visual examples to the steps in the process. Start simple and work with each of the seven elements of visual art and design - line, shape, form, space, value, texture, color. Use one step and vary elements. Combine steps and keep the elements the same. Go crazy until you either run out of time or you have found the perfect solution. You will probably run out of time, but you will also have a very good solution as a result. Perhaps not perfect, but better than you would have reason to expect.


Rhythm | Top

1. movement or procedure with uniform or patterned recurrence of a beat, accent, or the like. 4. Art. a patterned repetition of a motif, formal element, etc., at regular or irregular intervals in the same or a modified form. [Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Thunder Bay Press, San Diego, CA 2001, p 1652]


Rhythm is the repetition or alternation of elements, often with defined intervals between them. Rhythm can create a sense of movement, and can establish pattern and texture. There are many different kinds of rhythm, often defined by the feeling it evokes when looking at it. [http://www.digital-web.com/articles/principles_of_design/]

Regular | Top

A regular rhythm occurs when the intervals between the elements, and often the elements themselves, are similar in size or length. [http://www.digital-web.com/articles/principles_of_design/]

Marimekko-Hevoskastanja
Marimekko - Hevoskastanja


Flowing | Top

A flowing rhythm gives a sense of movement, and is often more organic in nature. [http://www.digital-web.com/articles/principles_of_design/]

marimekko spring 08

Marimekko - Pelimanni and Matkalla Maalle

GKlimt-Blood

Gustav Klimt - The Blood of Fish


Progressive| Top

A progressive rhythm shows a sequence of shapes and forms through a progression of steps. [http://www.digital-web.com/articles/principles_of_design/]

Sea of Holes

Yellow Submarine - Sea of Holes

WT-BananaSplits

Wayne Thiebaud - Banana Splits

Grant Wood-Fall Plowing

Grant Wood - Fall Plowing


Pattern | Top

1. a decorative design, as for wallpaper, china, textile fabrics, etc. 2. decoration or ornament having such a design. 3. a natural or chance marking, configuration, or design. 4. a distinctive style, model, or form. 5. a combination of qualities, acts, tendencies, forming a consistent or characteristic arrangement. [Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Thunder Bay Press, San Diego, CA 2001, p 1423]


Shape Vocabulary| Top

Just as we develop a vocabulary of words to make statements to express our thoughts, shape vocabulary does the same thing through the use of, you guessed it, shapes; a two-dimensional area or plane that may be organic or inorganic, free-form or geocentric, open or closed, natural or of human origin.

A line defines the inside or outside edge of a shape.

On a very basic level words are made of letters or characters. Similarly, shapes are comprised of smaller units of points and lines.


Points and Basic Shapes | Top

In living organisms, the cell is the smallest unit of an organism that is classified as living, and is sometimes called the building block of life. In art, the point functions similarly to the cell to form lines and shapes. The example below shows basic shapes and simple orientations. Certainly, many more possibilities exist and as you develop your own shape vocabulary these possibilities will grow.

Point Matrix

PaulSignac-PinkCloud

Paul Signac - Pink Cloud

Signac - Detail

Paul Signac - Palais des Papes Avignon - Detail

Paul Signac - Palais des Papes Avignon

Paul Signac - Palais des Papes Avignon


Lines | Top

An identifiable path of a point moving in space. It can vary in width, direction, and length. The thickness, length, and "shape" of the line affects its evocative qualities, how it makes us feel when we see it.

Lines

Van Gogh - Starry Night

Vincent Van Gogh - Starry Night

EMunch -  The Scream

Edvard Munch - The Scream

Jawlensky - Meditation

Alexei von Jawlensky - Meditation - 1935


The interrelationships of shapes and forms | Top

In the context of this page I use form as a more general term to represent three-dimensional volume or the illusion of three dimensions, as well as, shapes, two-dimensional objects.

A single point may not hold artistic value, however, when you manipulate it and put it in the context of other elements: forms, shapes, lines, color, value, texture, and space you create patterns and hopefully, art.

Interrelated Forms

PMondrian-29

Piet Mondrian


Detachment | Top

Two shapes or forms remain separate from each other.

Detachment

As the number of shapes or forms increases within the basic pattern the spacing between and among the forms adds to the connections, symbolism, communication, and flow of the pattern.

Grouping


Touching | Top

Two shapes or forms touch.

Touching


Overlapping |Top

One shape or form crosses over the other and appears to remain above.

Overlapping


Interpenetration | Top

Same as overlapping, but the shapes or forms appear transparent. There is no obvious above-and-below relationship among them, and the contours of the shapes or forms remain entirely visible.

Interpenetration


Union | Top

Same as overlapping, but the two shapes or forms are joined together and become a new, bigger form. Both shapes or forms lose one part of their contours when they are in union.

Union


Subtraction | Top

When an invisible shape or form crosses over a visible form, the result is subtraction. The portion of the visible shape or form that is covered up by the invisible form becomes invisible also. Subtraction may be regarded as the overlapping of a negative shape or form on a positive shape or form.

A white circle is over the black circle.Subtraction


Repetition of Shapes or Forms| Top

The act or an instance of repeating or being repeated. Repetition provides a sense of harmony, rhythm, and or discordance. It can provide information about the content elements relationships to one another. It can show movement, distance, scale, and proportion. Repeating elements can place emphasis on the whole while obscuring individual elements or place emphasis on the individual in the context of the whole.

"The whole is greater than the sum of it's parts." [emergence]

In philosophy, systems theory and the sciences, emergence refers to the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions.

 

MCEscher

M C Escher - Vogels

WMorris-Wallpaper

William Morris - Floral Wallpaper


Shape| Top

Repeating shapes while changing sizes, colors, orientation, etc. creates a sense of a common idea, while exploring the notion of variety and possibly change. You may think of shapes looking exactly alike, or, by observing nature see that no two leaves or flowers are exactly alike. They are similar enough to identify them as the same, but each has it's own individual characteristic.

ShapeX

G O'K Autumn Leaves

Georgia O'Keeffe - Autumn Leaves

WMorris-Blue Willow

William Morris - Blue Willow


Size | Top

Repeating the same or similar size of a shape or form while changing one or more aspects of the shape or form provides commonality or general equality, but can also place more emphasis on individual shapes or forms.

SizeX

WMorris-Early

William Morris - Early Pattern | Top

Warhol-Che

Andy Warhol - Che


Color | Top

All the shapes or forms are of the same color but their shapes and sizes may vary.

ColorX

Matisse-Dance

Henri Matisse - Dance

Klimt-Adeir

Gustav Klimt - Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I


Texture | Top

All shapes or forms can be of the same texture but they may be of different shapes, sizes, or colors.

TextureX

A Goldsworth - Blue and Red Stones

Andy Goldsworthy - Blue and Red Stones

JPollock-Untitled 1947

Jackson Pollock - Untitled, 1947


Direction | Top

This is possible only when the shapes or forms show a definite sense of direction without the slightest ambiguity.

DirectionX


MoholyNagy-Construction-1934

László Moholy Nagy - Construction 1934

ABeardsley

Aubrey Beardsley - Design for chapter heading from Le Morte Darthur, 1893-4

FFrieseke-Through the Vines

Frederick Carl Frieseke - Through the Vines


Experiment | Top

You can combine shapes and lines with different relationships and repeat the patterns to create a completely different pattern.

Experimentation

André Derain, Charing Cross Bridge, London

HMatisse-Harmony in Red

Henri Matisse, Harmony in Red (The Dessert)


The key to creativity is nothing more than following a systematic process, allowing random connections to take place, and using your intuition to develop unique solutions.
Oh, by the way, it's much easier and much more fun when you work with others throughout the process."
Doug
Site Map | Color - Element of Art/Design | Balance - Principle of Art/Design | Andy Goldsworthy - Elements of Art/Design | Historical and Cultural Context | Quotes | Glossary | Graphic Organizers | Rules of Thumb | Co-Teachers - Doug and Melissa | Gallery | Top
E-Mail Doug at mrdoug@aznet.net

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