workshop slide gallery theory help   

01. Relationship of dot, line and plane
02. Dot
03. Constellations
04. Line
05. Grids & Patterns
06. Shapes
07. Openings (shapes within shapes)
08. Colour
09. The colour wheel & natural order of colours
10. Color Harmony
11. Texture
12. Light & Shade, Shadows
13. Three-dimensional form
14. Voids
15. Space
16. Composition
17. Principles of basic design
18. Proportion and Scale


5. Grids and Patterns

Working with the grid has been criticised by some visual artists. The grid produces results that are stifling, rigid and non-creative. However the grid can produce interesting images and compositions if used in a sophisticated manner.

The chessboard is probably the best example of a grid. Though essentially a repetitive and monotonous pattern, the alternating black and white units increase the visual interest. Any composition can be analysed diagrammatically, using a grid structure. This will help in defining the actual subject of the composition, while simultaneously identifying the other elements complementing it, and also in understanding the relative positions of the various elements and objects. Thus the eye picks up the thing nearest to us in the composition and travels down to the one farthest from us. The zones of interest in the composition are also easily distinguished.

Elementary art workshops recommend the use of the grid in copying works of art, either exactly to scale or when the reproduction has to be a blown-up version of the original. A grid determines the orientation of the images in the composition. It has several characteristics: it can appear flat or contribute to the illusion of space. Generally a grid is geometric and ordered. It is most often repetitive and gives a regular interval to the organization of the visual image.

A simple grid is composed of equally spaced horizontal and vertical lines that create square areas of equal size. Variations on a simple grid tend to make compositions more dynamic since pure repetition tends to become monotonous. The squares in a simple grid can be divided into smaller, more complex areas - however, even these smaller shapes must be equal in size and shape. A shift or drop grid is achieved by shifting alternate rows of a simple grid - up or down, or from side to side, usually by a uniform distance, although the rows may be shifted non-uniformly. A rectangular grid is achieved by changing the proportions of the simple grid - and is used to emphasize the horizontality or verticality of the composition. The vertical and horizontal grid lines can change direction, assuming any angle, to create a more dynamic directional grid, which can be further divided to form the more complex triangular grid. The final variation is the expansion grid, which starts with the simple grid and combines areas into larger and often more complex shapes. However, all edges should touch - that is, there should be no leftover space between combinations.


Surface pattern is different from a single unit composition, such as a painting or a poster. A surface pattern is normally intended to work over a larger area. Typical applications are floor coverings, wallpaper, drapery and clothing fabric - wherein the pattern must connect, physically and visually, in all directions. Most patterns make multiple use of a motif or an image. This is referred to as periodic structure, where the same image is repeated at regular intervals. Images may be repeated in small sizes and infinite numbers, which often give the appearance of a visual texture rather than a surface pattern.



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For more details contact - Ar. Shirish Sukhatme
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