LEARN THE PRINCIPLES. We’ve talked about elements of design; now let’s talk about how these are used in art. We make these elements do what we want them to by harnessing them with the principles of design: balance, emphasis, movement, pattern, repetition, proportion, rhythm, variety, and unity. What happens when you repeat a line? You get repetition and pattern. What happens when you turn it diagonally and give it a curve? You get movement. What happens when you put a big line on one side and a tiny line on the other? You don’t get balance--and you might not want balance. Maybe you’re trying to communicate tension or pain; well, imbalance would be a great tool for you to use. The point here is to see the rules of how these elements can be used. This will make your art--or your child’s--stronger than not knowing the rules at all. So for today, explore some of these principles with your child. Notice the variety of flowers in a garden or the repetition of string lights over the streets downtown. Try putting one big shape in the lower left of a composition and two small shapes in the upper right; you’ve got asymmetrical balance! See how the drawing feels when one person is much bigger than the others--you’ve got emphasis, which signifies importance, and this might be exactly what your child intended. Next week we’ll learn about using these principles for our purposes. Stay tuned for a very reptilian project idea!