Good Morning Wildcats!
In order to understand any field, it’s important to have a solid foundation from which to grow. For ALL visual art, this means understanding the Elements of Art. These creative building blocks are essential and having a grasp on how they work is important both for artists and for lovers of art. By gaining a deeper understanding of the elements of art, it’s easier to analyze, unravel, and create any type of artwork from painting and photography to sculpture and architecture.
While the concepts may seem simple, once mastered they can stretch and grow in all directions, no matter what style of art is being created or appreciated. The Elements of Art are concrete visual components that work in tandem with principals of art that organize and harmonize them.
Line, color, shape, form, value, space, and texture are the SEVEN CORE Elements of Art and they often overlap and inform one another. Whether talking about drawing, painting, sculpture, or design, these components of art all need to be taken into consideration. Once you have a handle on these seven visual elements, it’s even easier to create your own art.
But you don’t need to be an artist yourself to find the elements of art useful. Any art lover will be able to view artwork in a more meaningful way by learning more about these core visual components.
WHAT ARE THE SEVEN ELEMENTS OF ART?
Elements of Art are stylistic features that are included within an art piece to help the artist communicate. The seven most common elements include line, shape, texture, form, space, color and value, sometimes with the additions of mark making, and materiality. When analyzing these intentionally utilized elements, the viewer is guided towards a deeper understanding of an artwork they are creating or viewing.
These marks span a distance between two points and can be straight or curved, continuous or broken, and can be any width or texture. In visual art, lines don’t only need to be made with marks and outlines. They can also be implied or abstract.
Whether two-dimensional or three-dimensional, there’s no denying that lines have a huge impact on the rest of the elements of art. They can be used to create shape and form, as well as give a sense of depth and structure. Lines are the foundation of drawing and are a powerful tool unto themselves. Using different types of lines—continuous, broken, vertical, jagged, horizontal—drastically changes the psychology of an artwork, impacting the viewer greatly.
SHAPE = 2D
The result of closed lines, shapes are two-dimensional, flat, and only have height and width. Geometric shapes like circles and squares are mathematical and precise, while organic shapes take cues from nature and tend to be curved and abstract.
There are different types of shapes an artist can use and fall under either geometrical, defined by mathematics, or organic shapes, created by the artist or that occur in nature.
Simplistic, geometrical shapes include circles, triangles and squares, and provide a symbolic and synthetic feeling, whereas acute angled shapes with sharp points are perceived as dangerous shapes. Rectilinear shapes are viewed as dependable and more structurally sound, while curvilinear shapes are chaotic and adaptable. Organic shapes are complex and imprecise. They give works of art a natural feeling.
FORM = 3D
Masters like Van Gogh, Monet, and Toulouse-Lautrec all expertly manipulated color in their art to provoke different feelings. Color can be used symbolically or to create a pattern. It can be selected for contrast or to set a specific mood. A deep understanding of color theory helps any artist make better use of the colors they have at their disposal.
Color is present when light strikes an object and it is reflected back into the eye, a reaction to a hue arising in the optic nerve.
Related to color, value is the lightness and darkness of a color. And is often described in varying levels of contrast. White is the lightest value while black is the darkest. To create a tint of a color, the artist adds white. To create a shade, the artist adds black.
Texture refers to the tactile qualities of a surface. This element of art deals with the way objects feel or the way it looks like they would feel.
Tactile vs Visual Texture
For instance, an artist look for a hyper-realistic result would want clouds to appear fluffy, while another artist wishing to subvert conventions might play with texture to create a surreal experience for the viewer. 19th-century sculptor Antonio Canova was a master of this, as exemplified by his portrait of Napoleon’s sister where she’s resting on a cushion that seems so soft and touchable, it’s hard to believe that it’s marble.
Space is the element of art that is concerned with how an artwork depicts depth. It is how artists make a two-dimensional surface (paintings and drawings) look three-dimensional. Space can give the illusion of objects in an artwork being close, far away, or overlapping one another.
This element of art can be manipulated based on how an artist places lines, shapes, forms, and color. The placement of these other elements creates space.
Space can be either positive or negative. Positive space is an area occupied by an object or form, while negative space is an area that runs between, through, around, or within objects. There are different types of spaces an artist can achieve for different effect. Positive space refers to the areas of the work with a subject, while negative space is the space without a subject. Open and closed space coincides with three-dimensional art, like sculptures, where open spaces are empty, and closed spaces contain physical sculptural elements.
Artists often think about the foreground, middle ground, and background of their artwork, purposefully placing shapes and lines throughout the space to achieve the perfect composition. A sense of depth in two-dimensional works is often achieved by perspective = distance between and around and proportion = size between shapes and objects and how their relationship with the foreground or background is perceived.
MARK MAKING + MATERIALITY
It is easy to think of a mark as a building block for whatever you choose to create:
In the past decade, a greater attention to the art object and its materiality has enhanced the study of art history, opening new avenues of investigation. Combined with more historical methodologies, the focus on the materiality of artworks is offering profound insights into their meanings. Artists across time and space have infused materials not only with ritual and symbolic significance but also social, political, and economic functions.
Elements of art are stylistic features that are included within an art piece to help the artist communicate – no matter what art form you create in = drawing, paintings, digital, mixed media, graphic, photography, sculpting in clay, stone, earth etc. When analyzing these intentionally utilized elements, the viewer is guided towards a deeper understanding of the work.
After reading (mostly looking at pictures of amazing artwork) there is a video to watch and questions to answer. Remember answers can be found in both the text and the video!
I look forward to hearing about your Color Therapy Meditation and seeing your Earth Day Environmental Art creations!
Below is the list of assignments to review – make sure you have completed and submitted each of them in a timely manner. And please remember I am always here if you need any type of assistance via email, phone or virtual meet up.
Also during locker clean out (which began Monday 5/4) there is table of supplies located outside the art room… on this table you will find your SKETCHBOOKS and basic art supplies such as glue sticks, gel pens, markers and colored pencils. If you are in need of supplies, please only take what you need and plan to return them at the end of the school year in June.
Hope you all are well, practice social distancing, wear a face mask when necessary and remember to wash your hands!
Nicole Webster Clark
ASSIGNMENT + VIDEO
Questions can be located at the bottom of this post as well as in our Google Classroom.
DUE DATE Submit answers to me via Google Classroom or email by Tuesday May 12th 12/midnight
UNDERSTANDING THE ELEMENTS OF ART
This video will explain all of the parts that are used to create an artwork: line, value, color, space, shape, form, and texture. These things are called the elements of art.
ELEMENTS OF ART QUESTIONS
1. What are two analogies the video uses to describe the Elements of Art?
2. You can use all kinds of adjectives to describe line - provide two examples of types/styles of line.
3. What is line variation?
4. What does line variation create?
5. What are some of the first lines that you learn to draw when you are introduced to art making?
6. What is a blind contour line?
7. What is a value scale (gradation)?
8. What do you need in order to SEE color?
9. What is white light?
10. What are some words (adjectives) you can use to describe different colors without using hue/color name?
11. What are the two types of space in artwork?
12. Describe shallow space.
13. Describe deep space.
14. What is positive space?
15. What is negative space?
16. What is the difference between shape and form?
17. What are they two ways to describe shape and form?
18. What shape/form are the exception to the geometric rule?
19. What is the difference between geometric and organic shapes?
20. Texture is how something actually/physically feels OR how it appears to feel or how you would imagine it to feel = the artist implies a feeling. Give examples (objects) of physical texture for each of these descriptions: soft, rough, smooth and sharp.
21. What is/are your favorite(s) Elements of Art to work with?
POSTS + ASSIGNMENTS SO FAR
4/5 Hello + Welcome: Introduction, Syllabus etc.
4/6 Monday Art Mission: Still Life Self Portrait
4/8 Wednesday Watch: Prehistoric Stone Age Art
4/10 Fragment + Fortify Friday: Norman Rockwell
4/13 Monday Art Mission: Color Theory w/ Color Wheel Still Life or Color Wheel Collage
4/15 Wednesday Watch: Medieval Illuminations
4/17 Fragment + Fortify Friday: The Dark Crystal
4/20 Monday Art Mission: Contour Drawings + Google Pictionary
4/22 Wednesday Watch: Earth Day + Environmental Art
4/24 Fragment + Fortify Friday: COVID19-Themed Murals + Graffiti Related To Coronavirus
4/27 Monday Art Mission: Review + Catch Up
4/30 Wednesday Watch: Gothic Architecture
5/1 Fragment + Fortify Friday: May Day + The RGB Colorspace Atlas
5/4 Monday Art Mission: Color Therapy Altar + Guided Meditation
5/6 Wednesday Watch: Elements of Art Questions