Use of Elements and Application of Principles of Art and Design in the Creation of Pictorial Compositions among Fine Art Students at Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya

  • Kamau Wango, PhD Kenyatta University
Keywords: Elements, Colour, Line, Tones, Value, Principles, Pictorial Composition, Form
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In the creation of any work of art, whether in two or three dimension, the use of elements and principles is fundamental. It has been acknowledged across ages that the purpose of the creation of any work of art is to create some form of defined meaning or express some artistic phenomenon. It has also been acknowledged that elements and principles have a symbiotic relationship. In examining the paintings and drawings presented by students, this study seeks to explore the relationship between elements and principles as they are applied in the paintings and drawings to determine the effectiveness of this synchrony in terms of visual enhancement and the eventual creation of meaning. The study features students' work at various levels where they spontaneously created their paintings and drawings with focus on the use of elements and principles. However, their usage and application were spontaneous and not geared towards specific responses, which was necessary for the outcome of the study. From preliminary enquiry, it emerged that although students had received adequate tutorials about the use of elements and principles in the creation of artwork, they did not apply them from an academic perspective but instinctively. It was therefore envisaged that focusing on the quality of their work would ultimately yield better results about their comprehension of the use of elements and principles as featured in their work. This study, therefore, used the execution and analysis of their practical work as testimony to their comprehension. The selection of 35 presentations, including black and white pencil drawings, provided a wide spectrum and depicted how students used and understood the application of both elements and principles and were deemed adequate for the study. The paintings featured the use of colour as an integral element, and the pencil drawings were strong in depicting textural effects and using value. The presentations featured different subject matter which was important for the creative essence of work


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15 April, 2024
How to Cite
Wango, K. (2024). Use of Elements and Application of Principles of Art and Design in the Creation of Pictorial Compositions among Fine Art Students at Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya. East African Journal of Arts and Social Sciences, 7(1), 189-218.

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