Elements of art

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Elements of art are the basic properties of a work of art that may be perceived through the senses. In a painting, for instance, the properties that may be perceived through our senses are texture, form, shape, color, line and value (tone). Other elements, for instance sound and time, may be perceived in other art forms such as music and video. The way the elements of an artwork relate to each other and are organized in the artwork are referred to as the principles of art.

Texture[edit]

The texture is the quality of a surface, often corresponding to its tactile character, or what may be sensed by touch. Texture may be used, for example, in portraying fabrics. It can be explicitly rendered, or implied with other artistic elements such as lines, shading, and variation of color. It also includes the blending with the colors.

Space[edit]

Space is the area provided for a particular purpose. Space includes the background, foreground and middle ground. Space refers to the distances or areas around, between and within things. It has two kinds: negative and positive.

Shape[edit]

Shape pertains to the use of areas in two-dimensional space that can be defined by edges, setting one flat specific space apart from another. Shapes can be geometric (e.g.: square, circle, hexagon, etc.) or organic (such as the shape of a puddle, blob, leaf, boomerang, etc.) Shapes are defined by other elements of art: Line, Shape, Form, Space, Value, Color, Texture.

Tone/Value[edit]

Value, or tone, refers to the use of light and dark, shade and highlight, in an artwork. In art, tone refers to the degree of lightness or darkness of an area. Tone varies from the bright white of a light source through shades of grey to the deepest black shadows.

Line[edit]

Line is defined as a mark that spans a distance between two points (or the path of a moving point), taking any form along the way. As an art element, line pertains to the use of various marks, outlines and implied lines in artwork and design, most often used to define shape in two-dimensional art work. It has thickness, direction, and length.

Color[edit]

Color is the element of art that is produced when light, striking an object, is reflected back to the eye. There are three properties to color. First is hue, which simply means the name we give to a color (red, yellow, blue, etc.). The second property is intensity, which refers to the strength and vividness of the color. For example, we may describe the color blue as "royal" (bright, rich, vibrant) or "dull" (grayed). The third and final property of color is its value, meaning its lightness or darkness. The terms shade and tint are in reference to value changes in colors.

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