Elements of Art
All art is created with one or more of the art elements defined below. To make art, we need to understand these seven elements of art. To study the elements, we can look at each one separately. However, most of the time the elements are combined when they are used in a work of art.
Line -A line is the path made by a moving point. Artists draw lines with many different materials like brushes, pens, pencils, sticks dipped in paint, etc. Lines can also be found in nature- in tree branches, stripes on animals, in the web created by a spider, on a sandy beach where the water has receeded.
Shape- A shape is a flat, enclosed area that has only two dimensions- length and width. A shape is either enclosed by a line, or has implied edges- change in color or value allow us to see its edges. A shape that is made to look like it has volume is called a Form. Shapes can be organic or geometric. Organic shapes are irregular shapes... kind of like "blobs" or like something you might see under a microscope! Geometric shapes are regular shapes have hard edges and are precise like triangles, squares, circles, rectangles, etc.
Color- There are three properties or characteristics of color- hue, value and intensity. Hue is simply the name for a color. Hue and color are two words for the same thing. Value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color. Values include tints, tones and shades. Intensity refers to the brightness of a color. If we want to dull a color, we mix in a little of its complementary color. Primary colors are red, yellow and blue, the most important colors. All other colors can be made by mixing primary colors together. Secondary colors are created by mixing two primary colors. Intermediate colors are created by mixing a primary and a secondary color together. For a more in depth discussion on color theory, check out the Color Theory section on my website!
Value- Value is the lightness and darkness in a work of art. Value can be in shades of gray or in color. Colors like yellow and orange are lighter values while colors like blue and purple are darker values. Adding black to any color will make it a darker value (shade). Adding white to any color will make it a lighter value (tint). Gray added to any color makes it a middle value (tone).
Form- Form describes any objects that are three-dimensional (having length, width, and height). An object that is only two-dimensional (having only length and width) is called a shape. Form takes up space. We are surrounded by form.
Texture- Texture describes the actual feel of a surface or the implied feel of a surface. Actual texture can be felt with your hand- rough, smooth, sharp, fluffy. Implied textures are drawn, painted or printed. It LOOKS like it's textured, but would not feel textured if you put your hand on it.
Space- Space describes the illusion of depth in a work of art.