The elements and principle create composition in artwork. Composition is an orderly arrangement of visual structures (elements and principles) to create a mood, add meaning and direct the viewers' attention to the purpose of the artwork. Compositions are said to be 'designed' according to the specific intent of the artist.
In any work of art, there is a thought process for composition. The artist who works with the rules will create a more interesting piece of art with strong visual impact. Viewers will not look away but instead be drawn into the work. Knowledge of composition is essential in producing good artwork. Some artists today like to challenge, bend or break these rules or guides and experiment with visual language and expression.
The elements of art are simple ways to communicate a basic idea directly. Think of the visual symbols on highway signs or restaurant restrooms. The principles of design are more elaborate and are always created by the elements.
Principles of Design are elaborate ways of organizing the elements. If the elements are nouns then the principles are verbs, adverbs and adjectives. Principles help you to carefully plan and to organize the elements of art so that your composition will hold interest and command attention, this is called visual impact.
The principles of design are the recipe for a good work of art. The principles combine the elements to create an aesthetic placement of things that will produce a good design.