Art Terminology

Wednesday: Visual Elements of Art

Wednesday: Art Terminology

There are 7 visual elements of all art that are the building blocks of composition in art.

1. Color: Color is what we see because of reflected light. Light contains different wavelengths of energy that we “see” as different colors.

Red, yellow and blue are the primary colors and can be used to mix every other color.

Red +yellow = orange, Red + blue = purple, and Blue + yellow = green. These are referred to as secondary colors.

There are warm colors: red, yellow, and orange.

There are cool colors: blue, green, and purple.


2. Texture: Texture is the look and feel of a surface. Can be created either optically (through sight) and physically (through touch).

Optically is created through the artist techniques to create a sense of texture.

Physically is created by using different materials (types of paint, sand, rust, grains of wood, etc.) to create texture.


3. Pattern: Patterns are constructed by repeating or echoing the elements of art to communicate a message. Patterns can either be man-made or natural.


4. Tone: Tone is the lightness or darkness of color.


5. Line: Line is the foundation of all drawing. It is the most versatile and first element of art. Line can be used in many ways. There are curved, jagged, horizontal, or vertical lines. There are broken or continuous lines. There are thick or thin lines.


6. Shape: Can be natural or man-made. They are either irregular or regular. They may also be flat (2-dimensional) or solid (3-dimensional). They can be positive or negative. They can also be transparent and opaque. Shapes might be abstract or representational. They might be geometric or organic. They can be symbolic or decorative in nature.


7. Form: Form refers to the physical volume of a shape and the space it occupies. Form can be abstract or representational. Generally, refers to 3-dimensional.


Sources:

Elements of Art Lesson Plans

Visual Elements

 

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