Principles of design are applied with elements of design to create one amazing design.
Balance is the first principle which is the prime need of a design. It is a state of equalized tension and equilibrium, which may not always be calm. Balance is the concept of visually equalizing the design which is related to our physical sense of balance. Balance in a three dimensional object is easy to understand. To understand balance in a two dimensional composition, we must use our imaginations to carry this three dimensional analogy forward to the flat surface. A large shape close to the center can be balanced by a small shape close to the edge.
A large light toned shape will be balanced by a small dark toned shape. Balance is the control of the elements in attracting attention. This attention must be evenly or unevenly spread over the area to make sure interest in kept up, all the way through the art work, without being static or chaotic.
Proportion refers to the relative size and scale of the various elements in a design. Proportion is about realistic relationship or ratio.It is the relation between objects, or parts, of a whole. It provides a focal point. Proportion doesn’t mean that elements have to be placed together, it means they should be visually connected in someway.
Repetition strengthens a design by tying together individual elements therefore, it is also a significant principle of design. It helps to create association and consistency. Repetition can create rhythm. Repetition can be regular or irregular and even or uneven, it may be in the form of gradation where the repeated elements slowly become smaller or larger. It is the use of similar or connected pictorial elements. For example, similar shapes, colours or lines that are used more than once.
Dominance is created by contrasting size, positioning, color, style, or shape. The focal point should dominate the design with scale and contrast without sacrificing the unity of the whole.It is about the focus given to a part of a work of art. It can be created by contrasting pictorial elements such as line, shape, tone, texture, direction, size or colour.
Harmony in painting is the visually satisfying effect of combining similar, related elements. eg.adjacent colours on the colour wheel, similar shapes etc. It can create feelings, similar elements can seem calm and pleasing. Harmony can be made where the eye is used to seeing objects together, so they form a group.
Contrast is the juxtaposition of opposing elements and allows the designer or artist to emphasize or highlight some of the key elements of design. The major contrast in a painting should be located at the center of interest. Too much contrast scattered throughout a painting can destroy unity and make a work difficult to look at. It gives variety and makes the elements more lively.
Unity is the sense of oneness, of things belonging together and making up a coherent whole. When all elements are in agreement, a design is considered unified. No individual part is viewed as more important than the whole design. A good balance between unity and variety must be established to avoid a chaotic or a lifeless design. Relating the design elements to the the idea being expressed in a painting reinforces the principal of unity.