Unit 3: Evaluation – Principles of Design

Unit 3: Evaluation – Principles of Design


Remember, to really think through a work of art, we’re thinking about the artist’s choices. With the Principles of Design, we start thinking about a more complex set of choices. Now we’re looking at the relationships between all of the Visual Elements, and even the relationship of the work to you as the viewer. Which parts of the work are emphasized? Which are repeated? Is there a rhythm to some of the elements? Does the work seem to be balanced or unbalanced? Unified or chaotic? How does that affect your reaction?

Like with the individual Visual Elements, part of the meaning of the work emerges from these relationships between them, which we’ve called the Principles of Design.

Unit Learning Outcomes

Define symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial balance. (CLO 1, 2, 3)

Explain the relationship between emphasis and a focal point. (CLO 1, 2, 3)

Differentiate between scale and proportion. (CLO 1, 2, 3)

Describe the relationship between pattern, repetition, and rhythm. (CLO 1, 2, 3)

Discuss the traditional relationship between unity and variety. (CLO 1, 2, 3)


Take a look at the image of the painting Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps by Kehinde Wiley (2005) (Links to an external site.).


Write an evaluation (150 to 300 words) about each artistic principle and how it’s used in the work. Use the following image below to help guide your evaluation.

Submit the written response as a Word or PDF document named: Assignment3.lastname.doc.

Pick three (3) of these principles of design:








unity or variety

and describe how the artist uses them in this work.

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