Designing with Materials By: Pete edwards

Element Cuts


Asymmetry: A lack of equality or equivalence between parts or aspects of something.

Balance: The way in which the elements in visual arts are arranged to create a feeling of equilibrium in an artwork. The three types of balance are symmetry, asymmetry, and radial.

Collage: An artistic composition made of various materials (e.g., paper, cloth, or wood) glued on a surface.

Composition: The overall placement and organization of elements in a work of art, as well as the interrelationships between individual elements.

Elements of Design: Sensory components used to create and talk about works of art: Line, color, shape/form, texture, value, space.

Geometric Shape: Any shape or form having more mathematic than organic design. Geometric designs are typically made with straight lines or shapes from geometry.

Line: An element of art that refers to the continuous marke made on a surface by a moving point. In visual art, a delineation or fracturing of space in color or black and white. Line qualities can vary in width, length, gesture, color, direction, etc.

Negative Space: Shapes or spaces that are or represent the area unoccupied by objects.

Positive Space: Shapes or spaces in an image that represent solid objects or forms.

Principles of Design: A design concept describingthe ways in which the elements of an image are arranged (ie. balance, contrast, dominance, emphasis, movement, repitition, rhythm, variatition, unity)

Shape: A two-dimensional area or plane that may be open or closed, free form or geometric. It can be found in nature or created by humans.

Space: The area between, around, above, below, or contained within objects. Spaces are areas defined by the shapes and forms around them and within them, just as shapes and forms are defined by the space around and within them.

Symmetry: A balance of parts on opposite sides of a perceived midline, giving the appearance of equal visual weight.

Step 1: Draw 4 sketches of possible designs
Step 2: Choose a design and make a final sketch
Cut out your shapes and place them on the paper
Glue down your pieces on your construction
Add your piece of colored construction paper to create a focal point


In the Elements Cuts Project, I used a piece of white and black construction paper to create a balanced composition. My composition has similar amounts of white and black, and contains only geometric shapes. The piece is slightly asymmetrical, and it is weighted toward the bottom. The shapes have sharp angles and empty space in the middle to make the piece more balanced.

The principles of design that I focused on in my composition are balance, unity, and emphasis. Balance can be seen as the shapes in my composition are equally distributed and are of equal size and thickness, which also contributes to the pieces unity. The focal point in my piece also provides a point of emphasis. I chose blue for the focal point to give the piece a sense of calmness. I used the Rule of Thirds to find a place to put my focal point. Also, for the most part, my craftsmenship in the piece was good; however, because I used an knife to cut out my pieces, the edges were choppy in some places.

Fused Glass

The final product of the project

Description: Description is identifying the literal qualities or realistic presentation of subject matter, along with the elements of art found. It demands only the facts of what can be seen, often in one or more works of art; and partly two or more works can be described by comparing them to each other.

Design: A plan, or to plan. The organization or composition of a work; the skilled arrangement of its parts. An effective design is one in which the elements of art and principles of design have been combined to achieve an overall sense of unity.

Dominance: The part of a composition that is emphasized, has the greatest visual weight, the most important, powerful, or has the most influence. A certain color can be dominant, and so can an object,line, shape, or texture.

Form: The element of art that refers to an object with three-dimensions (height, width, and depth) and encloses volume.

Hue: The colors name. Example: red

Proportion: The relation of one thing to another with respect to size and placement.

Variety: The combination of elements or art, such as line, shape, or color, in an artwork. Variety is a principle of design.


In my piece, I attempted to make a symmetrical piece using geometric shapes. By only stacking my glass three pieces high, I achieved the desired height of 1/4 inch. I used a square piece of opaque green, a rectangle of dark blue, and two squares of lighter blue to create a "plus" sign. The design maintained its original form ofter firing. I tried to stick with cool colors for the piece, as my mom, who I'm giving the piece to, likes these.



Contour: The outline of a shape.

Cross-hatching: A method of showing value by using parallel lines at different angles that get darker as they are drawn closer together.

Focal Point: The area in a work of art that an artist emphasizes.

Horizon Line: In an artwork, the line where the ground and sky appear to meet.

Monochromatic: A color scheme using only tints and shades of a single color.

Mono print: A print made from a plate that can be used only once.

Neutrals: A word used for black, white, and tints and shades of gray. (Some artists use tints and shades of brown as neutrals.)

Plate: In printmaking, a piece of flat material, such as wood or metal, with a design on the surface. The plate is used to print the design.

Print: An artwork created by making an impression of a design.

Print making: The transference of an image from one surface (plate or block) to another (usually paper) with ink. The process of making one or more prints.

Relief Printing: A print made by covering a printing block with ink or paint and pressing paper onto the block. The areas or lines gouged out do not print. (Examples: woodcut, block print, linocut, styrofoam plate, etc.


When planning my design, I knew that I wanted to do a landscape design and I knew that I wanted to include an animal, and after consideration, I figured that a penguin would work well because they are good examples of positive and negative space. My design is original because I incorporated a three dimensional icebergs. I decided to use colors comparable to those in nature, as the water is blue and the penguin is black and white. I made no changes to the color choices as I wanted to make the design look as realistic as possible. I prefer the color reduction method, as it is possible to make multiple, identical prints without using too much effort, and it is possible to create prints that are more than three colors.

Mixed Media

By strategically placing painter's tape on a sheet of paper, paint is resisted to form designs. Also, the salt technique provides texture.
The geometric design is created through the screen painting technique
The purple on the edges of the design is created by applying acrylic paint with rubber "brushes". I also applied string gel on some of the white areas of the design
Zentangles were added to the design in order to give the piece more life and provide movement. They also served as the foreground.
Then, I glued the piece to a wood block and cut of the edges so the piece would be easier to mount.


Abstract: A style of art that is not realistic. Unusual lines, colors, and shapes make the subject look unrealistic. It is often characterized by the use of geometric lines and shapes and bold, bright colors.

Acrylics: Quick drying, plastic polymer pigment used with water.

Additives:The process of adding or joining parts and/or visual elements together to create a painting, collage or sculpture (as opposed to subtractive).

Background: The part of the picture plane that seems to be farthest from the viewer.

Foreground: Part of a two-dimensional artwork that appears to be nearer the viewer or in the “front” of the image. Middle ground and background are the parts of the picture that appear to be farther and farthest away.

Intensity: Also called chroma or saturation; refers to the brightness of a color (a color is full in intensity only when in its pure form and unmixed). Color intensity can be changed by adding black, white, gray or an opposite color on the color wheel.

Middle Ground: Area of a two-dimensional work of art between the foreground (closest to the front) and background (furthest receded).:

Mixed Media: An artwork in which more than one type of art material is used.

Nonobjective: Having no recognizable object or subject; also, nonrepresentational.

Watercolor: A transparent pigment used with water. Paintings done with this medium are known as watercolors.


During the designing process, I learned many new terms, including foreground (the part of the piece that appears closest to the viewer), middle ground (the area between the foreground and background), and background (the part of a piece that appears furthest from the viewer). In my design, the background is the watercolor and the rubber cement resist as they are layered behind everything else. The middle ground would be the white tape resist lines and screen painting. Finally, the foreground is the zentangle and the acrylic because they are on top of everything else and they have the most intense color.

In my opinion, the hardest thing about the layering process is finding colors and designs that work well together. Also, it is tough to find ways to include a lot designs into your piece, but not make it feel crowded. If I had to know one thing before beginning this project, I wish that I knew what the final stage of string gel looked like because I most likely wouldn't have added it. Other than string gel, I like the way that my piece turned out and I would not change anything else on it.

Silk Painting


Analogous Color: Colors that appear next to each other on the color wheel. Analagous colors have one hue in common. For example, blue, blue-green, and blue-violet all contain blue. Also called related colors.

Color: The visual sensation dependent on the reflection or absorption of light from a given surface. An element of art made up of three distinct qualities: hue, intensity, and value.

Complementary Colors: Colors that contrast with one another. Complementary colors are opposite one another on the color wheel.

Cool Colors: The family of colors that includes greens, blues, and violets. Cool colors bring to mind cool things, places, and feelings.

Gutta Resist: Prevents dye from reaching the fabric; it resists the dye.

Intermediate Colors: Colors that are a mixture of a primary and a secondary color. Blue-green, red-orange, and red-violet are examples of intermediate colors.

Primary Colors: Colors that are mixed to make all other colors. The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue.

Secondary Color: A color made by mixing two primary colors. An equal mixture of primary colors. The secondary colors are green, violet, and orange.

Warm Color: The family of colors that includes reds, yellows, and oranges. Warm colors bring to mind warm things, places, and feelings.


In this project, my design is a nature seen with a single tree and grass in front of a blue sky. I incorporated my name into the leaves on the tree. The graffiti style of the name is rounded to match the style of the tree. I used water techniques in two different ways in my design. First, I placed water in my name to give the appearance of polka dots, and second, I used water in the grass to give the appearance of bushes.

In my opinion, the hardest thing about this project was meticulously painting to make sure that no colors bled over the gutta. I feel like I did a good job of this and I think that my piece is neat and clean. The colors that I picked worked well together, and they are consistent throughout the painting.


Chroma: The purity of a color or its freedom from white or gray.

Color relationships: Also called color schemes or harmonies. The relationships of colors on the color wheel. Basic color schemes include monochromatic, analogous, and complementary

Color Wheel: A circular diagram of the spectrum used to show the relationships between the colors

Contrast: The differences in elements, opposites.

Emphasis: The significance or importance given to an element of design.

Movement: Visual flow through the composition.

Pattern: Repeated colors, lines, shapes, or textures in an artwork. Pattern is a principal of design. Also, a plan or model to be followed when making something.

Repetition: Repetition refers to one object or shape repeated.

Rhythm: The repeating of one or several elements to create movement.

Tint: A color such as pink that is created by mixing a hue with white. Also, a light value of a color.

Tjanting: A tool used in creating batik patterns. (Batik is a wax resist decorative technique used on fabric.) They hold and dispense hot wax in such a way that the artist can control the pattern laid down by the wax with a great deal of precision.

Triad: The three color scheme on the color wheel based on a logical relationship.

Value: The element of art that describes the lightness or darkness of a hue.


In my batik, I dyed in order from lightest to darkest. Starting with white, I then moved on to yellow, multiple shades of green, brown and then black. In opinion, the hardest thing about the batik process was placing the colors in an order to avoid creating brown where it wasn't wanted. Another thing that was hard is making sure that the wax goes through the cloth all the way. During the batiking process, I learned how to plan ahead when stacking dyes, and I feel that this skill will be helpful if I choose to continue my artistic career.

If I were to have known one thing before starting my batik, I wish I would have known not to use wax when it isn't hot enough because it makes it much more difficult to make the colors come out clean. Finally, if I were to do the project over again, I wish I didn't use so many shades of green because there isn't much contrast in my batik.

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