Design Principle - Emphasis


Emphasis is a principle that artists use to control what you first notice about a work. It can be achieved in several ways.

One way is dominance, making one element the strongest or most important thing in a work.  The dominant element might be a certain kind of brushstroke, color or shape.

A second method is to set up a focal point or center of interest:

  • This may be done by isolating an important element from the space around it.
  • The most important element might be larger than others or be placed near the center of a work.
  • A contrasting element - one bright element in a dark area can also be a center of interest or focal point.
  • An arrangement of lines or paths that come together can seem to flow toward one main point in the work.


Can you write how dominance is shown in another work of art?