Elements of design in a drawing

Exhibition Booth Design
December 12, 2012
Zery Zamry
December 26, 2012

As with all art form and methods, composition plays an important part. Hence, with drawing, it is equally important if you want your artwork to stand out and to attract the viewer’s attention to the right areas of the art.

Typically, your drawing would have to exude the right expressions with the viewer. This means that you must always have a focal point. This is the very golden rule of strong composition in art. So when you are drawing, ensure you know where the focal point is. It might not necessarily be the main subject matter but it would be the starting point of your work.

The focal point here is very important because you want the viewer to switch the attention to the main object you are drawing. Essentially, all the surrounding objects in the background and middle-ground would ‘direct’ the viewer towards the focal point because it is the main object.

Apart from that, there are other elements that you must consider in your drawing. Overlapping is very important. This refers to the action where objects are placed in a layered form among one another. Essentially, it is how the objects are separated in the drawing between the foreground, middle ground and its surrounding space.
The negative space refers to the other spaces which are not used by the focal point or the main subject of interest of the drawing. Negative space is important in your drawing because what you do with them would eventually determine the outcome of your drawing.

In a drawing, you must consider elements like lines, balance, contrast and proportion. Here, lines refer to the element that is used to guide the viewer through the drawing. Typically, lines is used to help the viewer to ‘run’ through the drawing across all its objects.

On the other hand, balance refers to the arrangement of the many objects that are being used in the composition that makes up the drawing. It is important to achieve a certain level of balance for your drawing to look pleasing. Contrast refers to the tone of colours used in your drawing. As your drawing usually involves sketching and pencil drawing, the contrast here is achieved through the use of different pencil grades and shades.

The proportion element here refers to the space that is being allocated for the different objects and components of your drawing and it must involve the likes of perspectives and scales of the objects so that are not out of place.

The end product of your drawing would be balanced and complete if you have all the elements in place. For instance, the portrait might draw the viewer towards the eyes which are given prominence over the hair, cheeks, nose and mouth.
The rule of thumb is not to place the focal point in the centre of the drawing unless there is a specific reason to do so. Then draw the less interesting objects which would form the secondary focal points which will complement the focal point.