Elements Of Art Unlocking and Discovering theKey Building Blocks of Art*Line*Line*Value*Value*Shape*Shape*Form*Form*Color*Color*Texture*Texture*Space*SpaceHenri Matisse. Interior with Egyptian Curtain 1948. Oil Painting
LineWhen you, as a child, first picked up a crayon, a linemight have been the first mark you made. You use linesto write numbers, symbols, and the letter of the alphabet.You use lines to draw pictures. Lines are everywhere. Indrawing, line is an element of art that is the path of amoving point through space.What type of lines doyou see around you?
Artists use line to lead your eyes around a work of art. This isbecause the artist wants to lead you through their composition. Linecreates movement, and leads your eye into, around, and out of visualimages as in this painting by Yvonne Jacquette. Oil, 1988Notice how the artist uses theline of the highway to pullyour eyes into the artwork.Line has width as well aslength, but usually the widthof the line is smaller than thelength.Artists create lines in manydifferent ways. A line can bedrawn on a paper with pencilor scratched in clay with astick.
Some lines that we think we see in nature really do notexist. For instance, when you look at the edges of shapes,you think of lines. In the photo of the dogwood blossom,notice that there are no black lines around the flower, onlyblack against white. However in a sketch of the sameblossom, lines are used to define the shape of the flower.
Kinds Of LineVerticalHorizontalDiagonalCurvedZig Zag, or also known as geometric
ValueValue is the element of artthat describes the darknessor lightness of an object.Value depends on how muchlight a surface reflects. Asurface has a dark value if itreflects little light. It has alight value if it reflects a lot oflight. Every time you make amark with a pencil, you arecreating a line with a certainvalue. The harder you press,the darker the value. Aseries of closely placed linescan create areas of darkvalue. (Also known ascrosshatching)Albrecht Durer. An Original Ruler Seated On a Throne. 1445. Pen and Ink
Value Bar. Various shades from white toblack
Shapes and FormAll objects are either shapes or forms, whether they arerocks, puddles, flowers, shirts, houses, whatever. Thewords shapes and forms are used interchangeably ineveryday language, but in art, they mean very differentthings.A shape is a two dimensional area that is defined in someway. In other words, it may have an outline or a boundaryaround it. If you draw the outline of a square on a sheet ofpaper, you have created a shape. All shapes can beclassified as geometric or free form shapes.There are three basic geometric shapes that can bedefined with precise mathematical formulas.square circle triangle
All other geometric shapes are variations or combinations of thesebasic shapesoval rectangle octagon parallelogramhexagontrapezoid pentagonFree-form shapes are irregular and uneven shapes. Theiroutlines may be curved, angular, or a combination of both.Another term that is often used by your instructor is organic.Organic is used when we talk about silhouettes of living things,such as animals, trees, people, ect.
FormsForms are objects having three dimensions. Like shapes,they both have length and width, but forms also have depth.YOU are a three dimensional form, so is a tree or a table.
COLORWassily Kandinsky Tension in Red 1926 oilCOLOR
ColorColor is the most expressive element of art. It shares a powerfulconnection with emotion. Color can be a strong clue to an artistssymbolism, or meaning behind an artwork. Color can represent manydifferent feelings or ideas. Black can stand for mystery or evil, whitecan mean purity or innocence. Red stands for love, passion, hunger, orviolence, green is meditative, calming, while blue is the symbol forpower, or royalty.A prison system in North Carolina decided they would attempt toreduce violent behavior within the prison by painting the prison withthe color pink. After consulting a color specialist, it was decided thatsince pink is a feminine color, and females have less incidents ofviolence, pink would be a good color for their facilities. After a fewmonths the rate of violence steadily increased. Prison officials were leftscratching their heads…what went wrong? Another color specialist wasconsulted, and it was quickly discovered that pink is a variation of red,which is the color of passion, and now the prison is a nice off white.Color is the element of art that is derived from reflective light. You seecolor because light waves are reflected from objects to your eyes.
What color do you seewhen you stare at thered square, then shiftyou gaze from the redto the white area?This is called anafterimage. It occursbecause the receptorsin your eye retain thevisual stimulationeven after its hasceased. Your braincreates the afterimageas a reaction to thecolor you stared atoriginally.
HueHue is the name of a color in its true form. Red, blue, and yelloware called primary colors. You cannot make primary hues bymixing other hues together, however, by mixing black, white, or acombination of primary colors, you can make any other color in thespectrum.Primary colorsSecondary colors are made by mixing twoprimary colors.Red and yellow Yellow and Blue Red and blueorange Green Violet
Color WheelA color wheel isthe spectrum bentinto a circle. It isa useful tool fororganizing colors.There are yetanother group ofsix colors calledintermediate, ortertiary colors.These are madeby mixing aprimary color witha secondary colorsThese colors include yellow green, yellow orange, red orange, bluegreen, blue violet, red violet. Always list the primary color firstwhen referring to a tertiary color.
Color SchemesAnalogous Colors…colors thatare next to each other on thecolor wheel, such as green andyellow green.Complementary Colors…colors that are directly acrossfrom each other such as yellowand violet.Monochromatic Colors…acolor scheme that uses onlyone hue and black and whitemixed with that one color tomake tints, or values of thatcolor.Warm colorsCool colors
Your perception of color is influenced by the color that surrounds thatcolor. Notice that all squares are actually equal in size.
Franz Marc. Yellow Cow. 1911 oil.Arbitrary Color. Artists sometimes use color to express emotions orfeelings, ignoring the actual colors of objects. They choose colors arbitrarilyto express meaning. Marc felt that yellow was a gentle, cheerful color whichsymbolized the female, while blue symbolized the intellectual, and spiritualmale. Red symbolized the earth, with green being its compliment.
TextureTextureJesus Bautista Moroles Granite Weaving Playscape 1995 graniteEverything you touch has its ownspecial feel, or texture. As anelement of art, texture may bereal, or implied or suggested, likein a photograph, or in a painting.Texture is the element of art thatrefers to how things feel, or lookas if they might feel, if touched.You perceive texture with two ofyour senses; touch and vision.Infants learn about theirenvironment by touching objectsand by putting them in theirmouths. Toddlers are attracted toall objects that are within theirreach. When you look atsurfaces, you are able to guesstheir texture because you havelearned how textures feel.
Janet Fish Oranges 1973 Pastel on SandpaperJanet Fish used pastels to create visual textures in this work.In some areas she has combined different kinds of visualtextures, such as shiny-rough, and shiny smooth, and mattesmooth.
SpaceSpace refers to both outer space and inner space.Rockets move through outer space to explore otherplanets. People move through the inner space ofrooms and buildings. Space can be flat and twodimensional, such as the space of a widow. Spacecan also be three dimensional, such as the spacefilled with water in a swimming pool.Shapes and forms exist in space. Space is theelement of art that refers to the emptiness or areabetween, around, above, below, or within objects.All objects take up space. You for example, are aliving breathing form moving through space.Shapes and forms are defined by the space aroundand within them. They depend on space for theirexistence. This is why it is important to understandthe relationship of space to shapes and form.
Positive and Negative SpaceIn both two and three dimensional art, the shapes orforms are called the positive space or the figure. Theempty space between the forms are called negative spaceor ground. In the next slide, Jasper Johns uses a play onepositive negative space. Are the faces or the vase thepositive or negative?
Jasper Johns Cups 4 Picasso 1972 Lithograph.Do you see a vase or do you see profiles of Pablo Picasso. Jasper Johnshas deliberately organized this work as a visual puzzle to confuse theviewer. One minute the faces are very clear and seem to be the figure,while the space between the profiles is the ground. The next moment thevase becomes figure and the space around the vase becomes the ground.
Experimenting withSpaceM.C. Escher Waterfall 1961 LithographAt first this print looksnormal. Water is falling toturn a water wheel.However, follow the waterfrom the base of the fall. Itruns uphill. Escher hascrated a visual puzzle usingthe mathematics ofperspective.