Class 12 | Value + Emphasis + Scale



  • Elements: Value
  • Principles: Emphasis, Focal Point, Contrast
  • PLUS: Open and Close Value Composition and Scale
    • Closed-Value Composition: Values are limited by the boundaries of shapes and clearly isolate individual parts of the composition. This type of composition could create dramatic mood through contrasting values.
    • Open-Value Composition: Values cross shape boundaries, integrating parts with adjoining areas and unifying the composition. This type of composition could create a mysterious fog or haze using closely related values.
    • Proportion: Relationship between parts of a whole or related units.
      • Scale: Associations of size, related to a constant size, unit of measure, relative whole (such as a the human body, or picture plane)


A quick look at the use of the GRID in visual design.

What is a GRID?

  • A network of lines, which typically run horizontally and vertically and are used to align elements in relationship to each other.
  • Helps organize both positive and negative spaces (the entire page) and contributes to the overall rhythm in a composition.
  • Examples of the grid can be found in magazine layouts, informational structures, street in modern and ancient cities, and the architectural frames of buildings.

LAB – Assignment #3


  • Using the printouts of the portraits taken last class, transfer the grid provided to the printouts. Measure, mark in pencil, and cut out each square carefully.
  • Use variety of scale to develop contrast, hierarchy and emphasis. Some of the squares in your grid should be small, some large, some medium.
  • Rearrange and experiment with your portrait pieces until your develop 2 unified compositions as follows:
    • (1) Narrow Value Range: either high-key or low-key
    • (1) Broad Value Range
    • (Both) Create a focal point wherein one area or element is emphasized (even within the narrow range) through size, placement, value contrast, or isolation.
  • DO NOT GLUE THEM DOWN YET! Have the Professor review your work before continuing.
  • NEXT
    • Take a photo of  your finished and approved collages, just for future reference.
    • Make sure each square of your composition is properly marked on the back, indicating the TOP and numbered from left to right, top to bottom.
    • Position each square in your collage composition on a piece of paper. Use a small piece of tape to adhere your squares to the paper.
    • Using your collage pieces as a visual reference, you will be painting each square independently from its neighbor. Keep everything clean and neat.


  1. Complete both Collage compositions and finish at least 1 Painted Composition. See Assignment #3 and class outline above for details.
  2. Check website on Thursday for instructions for next class — online class or field trip!
  3. NOTE: If you missed class today, you will need to printout your photograph. Download the archive here: Assignment #3