Monday, February 6, 2012

The Elements & Principles of Design Icons



These are handouts that I created for my practicum in visual arts this fall. I had the chance to teach the elements & principles unit for grade 9 and 10 and faced the challenge of trying to make these terms easily accessible for a range of students.

I found that by going though each element and principle with examples from art history, and then applying this in a studio session, the students got the concepts. The problem was then being able to remember them all.

I tried these handouts and they worked surprisingly well. I gave out blank versions, and had the students fill out each term and definition as we covered them in class. The important part is the final step, the icon, where I asked students to come up with an icon that mattered to them, and that they felt comfortable drawing. This way, the terms were reinforced with an immediate visual reference that is more memerorable than a definition- the handouts also work well as a study sheet for the final exam.

I've updated these and added links where you can download high-resolution pdfs here:
http://splitcomplementary.blogspot.ca/2012/08/new-and-improved-elements-and.html

- Patrick

54 comments:

  1. Hi there, I am a first year teacher in Australia - would you mind if I use this resource in my year 8 class?

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    1. Please use them! I'm glad that my forms might help. Also, have a look at some updated ones that I did over the summer:

      http://splitcomplementary.blogspot.ca/2012/08/new-and-improved-elements-and.html

      Cheers!

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    2. Thanks so much! They are really good resources and something I am finding it hard to create myself! Thanks again - from Australia :)

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  2. Hoping to use your concise descriptions with my class of 10 year olds. Would that be ok?

    --B. Greenhow

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    1. Yes, absolutely use them! Thanks for visiting- and feel free to use the updated version that I did recently here:

      http://splitcomplementary.blogspot.ca/2012/08/new-and-improved-elements-and.html

      - Pat

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  3. These icons are great. I will use your handouts for a 6th grade photography project later this year.

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  4. Thanks for the wonderful resource! I hope you don't mind me using them with my grade 9's!

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  5. Is there any way I could use these as part of a high school floral arts class? Slightly different, but the concepts remain the same.

    Thanks!

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    1. Yes, use them if you can. They've served me well for my high-school classes!

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  6. Pat,

    Would you mind If I used these as part of a high school ceramic class? These are great, something students can understand.

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  7. May I use this for my 7th grade Art Class? These are great!

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    1. Thank-you, yes please use them! Also, I made this slightly updated version as well:
      http://splitcomplementary.blogspot.ca/2012/08/new-and-improved-elements-and.html

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  8. Nice visuals. Sometimes it's difficult to find ones that are tastefully done. Would you mind if I posted these (or the updated version) on my blog as an extra resource for my students?

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    1. Thanks! Please feel free to post them and use them with your students.

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  9. These are very clear and easy to understand. I'd like to use them for my middle school photography class. Thank you!

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    1. You're welcome Chelle - thanks for the comment!

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  10. I'm in a rural area in Arizona and a completing a course in Structured English Immersion (as it relates to the Visual Arts) for our state requirements. I've been a teaching Artist for over 15 yrs and recently, I accepted a position to teach middle school Art. It's a whole new world for me, as they have not had a qualified arts teacher in the classroom all year. The students believe that drawing whatever is all art is. Your clear and understandable graphic handouts will be very helpful. I'd like to include them in my LiveBinder for not only my SEI, but for my students to be able to reference to whenever they need. Of course, I do cite you as a reference. Thank you for making my hectic life easier...

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  11. I teach in a rural area of Arizona and am completing a course in Structured English Immersion (SEI) (as it relates to Visual Art) for our state certification requirements.I've been a teaching Artist for over 15 yrs and recently accepted a middle school Arts position. What a whole new world! My students have not had a qualified Arts teacher all year and believe that art is just drawing whatever and has no connection to anything else, let alone a vocabulary. Your graphic handouts will make a wonderful reference to use in the classroom. With your permission, I'd also like to post them in my LiveBinder for both my SEI and my students to use whenever they need. Of course, I will cite you as a reference. Thank you for making my life a bit less hectic!

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    1. That sounds wonderful- please use them. I'm so glad the handouts can help!

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  12. Love this, really helpful.

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  13. These are wonderful! May I use them for our floral arts classes? The concepts are the same for floral design.

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    1. Absolutely, please feel free to use them!

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  14. Hi there, I'd like permission to use your handouts. I teach K-8 art. How would I download them? Thanks, Liz

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    1. Hi Ms Liz, please use them. There is no "download" feature on blogger yet, however, you can copy them by clicking on them to enlarge them and then copying them to you desktop. Enjoy!

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  15. Hi :) These are great references.
    Do you mind if I'll use them for my Architectural class homework?

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    1. Hi Judela,

      Absolutely, please use them. Thanks for asking!

      - Patrick

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  16. Reading all the comments above, it appears as though you are willing to let other teachers borrow this wonderful resource you made. I hope that is still the case! I am totally stealing this. You are a genius! Thanks so much!

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    1. Yes it is still the case, please feel free to use them- enjoy!

      - Patrick

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  17. (apologize if this posts twice)
    My wife and I run an educational site lizardpoint.com. It's primarily focused on geography but we're adding a section on Art. I'd like to feature a few of the icons above to illustrate these concepts, if you permit. We'd credit you of course. I usually try to find public domain images - but I haven't seen anything as good as these. Bill

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  18. Hi Bill,

    that's great! Please feel free to use any of these icons for your site. Thanks for checking out my work. All the best!

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  19. Hi Patrick,
    Do you have these available as a pdf? Not sure what I'm doing wrong but when I saved these and tried to print them off they came out fuzzy, even with a 1200dpi setting.

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  20. the newer version is the one I tried to print btw.

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    1. Hi Cheryl,

      thanks for your interest in these files! I've added a download link to high resolution pdfs for both- you can find them in the new + improved elements and principles of design post (August 2012): http://splitcomplementary.blogspot.ca/2012/08/new-and-improved-elements-and.html

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    2. I printed them and they look awesome!! Thank you so much for doing that! You rock!

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  21. Thanks for creating such an awesome resource for teachers!

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  22. I have just published an online watercolor course on udemy.com and want to add material for students to download about the elements and principals of design. May I use your wonderful charts?

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  23. Absolutely! Also, there are downloadable and updated versions here: http://splitcomplementary.blogspot.ca/2012/08/new-and-improved-elements-and.html

    Cheers!

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  24. Pat, I'm a veteran teacher but new to art so these charts will be great resource. Thanks so much! ~Natalie

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  25. These are great to use in my class. Loved the idea of connecting each element and principle with examples from art history. If possible can you please help as to which art did you use for which element or principle. I have just started teaching middle school and high school art.Its my first time and your help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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    1. Hi! I change the art that I sue to explain the elements and principles every time I teach it based on the interests of the students in the class. That is what I love about teaching this, is that examples can be found in any kind of image. Here are some of the artists that have worked well for me, for line, I like using the work of M.C. Escher; for Shape, I use stencil graffiti artists (like Banksy); for Form I use sculpture (such as Bernini); for colour I use Mucha; for texture, Emily Carr and Tom Thomson; for space, I use M.C. Escher again.

      For the principles: For pattern I use greek architecture and mosque ceiling architecture; for contrast: Shepard Fairey and Caravaggio; for emphasis: Turner; for balance: Monet; for Scale: Hokusai; for harmony: Raphael, for Movement: Caravaggio. I hope this helps!

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  26. Hello, I love this, really clear and concise.
    I am a teacher and want to add this to a pack to support teachers in Digital Technology. I work for a company though. Are you OK for us to use your Principles of Design and Elements of Design posters in a commercial context with credit to you? hill.i.w.s@gmail.com if you have more questions. Cheers!

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  27. These charts are an excellent distillation of important points for all artists to consider. I am leading a small group of fiber artists here in Virginia, and we plan to use your charts to guide our "play dates" together. Thank you so much!

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    1. Hi Janet- that sounds great! Glad these are helpful.
      Cheers!

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  28. Your blog is so fabulous! I haven't taught art full time in years. Now that I'm committed to teach two sections of Art-1 for secondary students this year I need to get my mind back into the curriculum. I love your Elements & Principles worksheets, may I use them this year? Merrie Busch, Willows High School. Willows, CA US

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    1. Thanks! You can definitely use them. I hope your students enjoy them! Cheers

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  29. Your blog is really wonderful! Points and figures are nicely presented in the hangouts. I am a new art teacher at a secondary school. May I use them in my lessons?

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    1. Thanks! Yes, you can definitely use them. I've added updated handouts with downloadable files here: http://splitcomplementary.blogspot.ca/2012/08/new-and-improved-elements-and.html

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  30. Greetings from South Africa, we really like your handouts, may we use them in our art classes? We would also really like to use them in a free, teacher's manual for art teachers in South Africa, if that is ok with you? Kind regards

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    1. Greetings! I'm so glad that you want to use the handouts. Feel free to use them, I only ask that you please site my blog or my name on these pages whenever used. All the best!

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    2. Thank you very much! Yes we will definitely site your name and blog. Thank you again, Kind regards

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