I know this can be mind boggling - at least it is to me. If you take each of the 7 Elements of Design there is the potential to apply each of the 8 Principles of Design mentioned in an earlier blog. In this blog I will talk about probably the least used Element of Design: Line. In future blogs I will probably not cover how to apply each Principle of Design to each Element of Design but will just try to put up some food for thought. These things are not all my own ideas because they have been mentioned in different ways by different people.
One of the Elements of Design is Line. Line is probably the least used Element in a painting except maybe when painting a power line or fence. Lines can be fat, thin, straight or curved. When using an Element like Line, we must then think how to possibly apply each Principle of Design:
1.Balance: How do we keep the element Line in balance in a painting I.e. are lines distributed right to give balance to the painting? There can be formal or informal balance i.e. a formal similar line or lines or informal balance where different types and numbers of lines are used to give the appearance of balance.
2. Harmony: Here we must think about the harmony of line types I.e. lines are similar in ways that give the painting a feeling of Harmony.
3. Gradation: Gradation can for instance be from a thick to a thin line or a dark to a light line, etc.
4. Alternation and 5. Variation: Alternation is like wall paper and Repetition is like maybe repeating the Line several times in the painting but keeping everything in balance.
6. Conflict: For example we may think thick against thin, curve against straight etc. Conflict can bring interest but too much can make the painting seem jumpy.
7. Dominance: Is there more thick than thin, more dark than light, more curve than straight. There are other ways I am sure to apply dominance.
8. Unity: I remember taking a workshop once and the instructor said if you cut your painting into pieces would you be able to tell if they all came from the same painting.
Below is a painting I did where I subtly applied lines in a curved fashion within the flower petals to direct the eye in the painting.