Studio Musings

Monday, August 27, 2012

Vocabulary Review - The Elements of Design so Far

Right now I'm running a series covering the elements of design, introducing a new element every Monday.  Well, with the Bead Soup Reveal and Blog Hop this past weekend, I'm a little behind.   I thought I'd do a vocab review this week, then start in again fresh next Monday.  Figured it would work well for anyone just joining in to!

I also went hunting for additional links for each of the topics.

Value and Contrast

Value - the quality(ies) of lightness or darkness in a particular object or composition.

Contrast - how the different values in a composition work together.

Read the full post.

Additional Links: 
Inside Out Style takes a fun look at value and contrast using the coloring of a number of actresses for comparison.  The post also has a nice value scale photo in black & white and three colors. 

The design notes for Jim Saw's Art 104: Design and Composition class at Palomar College.  It's written as notes for a college class - heavy on information, but with fewer pictures.  Great if you want to really drill into the subject.  Also has a nice section on value and contrast as it relates to photography.

Hue and Intensity

Hue refers to the specific name of a particular shade of a color.  For instance Peacock blue versus Sky Blue.

Intensity allows us to look at the relative clarity of a particular Hue in reference to its base primary color.

Read the full post.

Additional Links:
The Color Cube has an in-depth look at color.  They use the terms "Chroma" and "Saturation" to look at what I term "Intensity".

Colors by Hue.  Microsoft put this list together for web designers, but it's a great reference for anyone studying color.   

Color Temperature and Undertones

Color Temperature - the inherent warmth or coolness of a particular color (especially in relation to its place on the color wheel).

Undertones - temperature variations within the same color family.  

Read the full post.

Additional Links:
There are no pictures, but Kate Smith at Sensational Color provides a a great explanation of undertones.

Again no pictures, but Exterior House Paint Colors goes into great detail about the relative effects of undertones on your overall composition.

Maria Killam has written an entire series on undertones.  Her focus is more interior design, but still useful.  And it has pictures!

So, there's my vocabulary recap.  Hope you have a chance to look at the original posts if you didn't catch them earlier.

And if you have links you think are particularly useful for any of these topics, please share - I'd love to put together a link library

And next Monday, we'll start looking at the color wheel. 


  1. Wow, thanks for all the resources.

  2. Thanks KJ! I had a lot of fun putting these together. I learn something new every time.