Elements of art

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Shape in art[edit]

Shape pertains to the use of areas in two-dimensional space that can be defined by edges. Shapes can be geometric or organic.Shapes are defined by other elements of art such as line, form, space, value, color, and texture.


The form pertains to the volume or perceived volume. Three-dimensional artwork has depth as well as width and height. Three-dimensional form is the basis of sculpture.[1] However, two-dimensional artwork can achieve the illusion of form with the use of perspective and/or shading or modeling techniques.[2][3]


Value refers not only to the use of lightness and darkness in a piece of artwork,but also in the Black and White spectrum (Black to white) the middle of the 2 extremes is called middle grey.[4] Adding white to lighten the color is called Tint while addition of black is called Shade.


Lines and curves are marks that span a distance between two points (or the path of a moving point). As an art element, line pertains to the use of various marks, outlines and implied lines in artwork and design. A line has a width, direction, and length.[1] A line's width is sometimes called its "thickness". Lines are sometimes called "strokes", especially when referring to lines in digital artwork.


Colour is the element of art that is produced when light, striking an object, is reflected back to the eye.[1] There are three properties to colour. The first is hue, which simply means the name we give to a color (red, yellow, blue, green, etc.). The second property is intensity, which refers to the vividness of the color.We may conversely describe a low-intensity blue color as "dull, subtle and grayed". A color's intensity is sometimes referred to as its "colorfulness", its "saturation", its "purity" or its "strength".The third and final property of color is its value, meaning how light or dark it is. The terms shade and tint are in reference to value changes in colors. In painting, shades are created by adding black to a color, while tints are created by adding white to a color.[2]


Space is an area that an artist provides for a particular purpose.[1] Space includes the background, foreground and middle ground, and refers to the distances or area(s) around, between, and within things. There are two kinds of space: negative space and positive space.[5] Negative space is the area in between, around, through or within an object. Positive spaces are the areas that are occupied by an object and/or form.


Texture, another element of art, is used to describe either the way a three-dimensional work actually feels when touched, or the visual "feel" of a two-dimensional work.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Understanding Formal Analysis". Getty. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Elements and Principles of Design". IncredibleArt.org. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "What Are the Elements of Art?". About.com. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "What is Value in Art?". 
  5. ^ "Vocabulary: Elements of Art, Principles of Art" (PDF). Oberlin. Retrieved 9 May 2014.