A continuous mark made on a surface or in space.
Can be defined as the path of a moving point. Lines
can be made with a variety of tools including
brushes, pencils and pens. In sculptural work lines
can be made with wire, steel, wood or any other
material that is used to create a narrow mark in
Common words or adjectives for describing lines
are: straight, curvy, horizontal, vertical, diagonal,
zigzag, bold, light and angular
Contour Lines are lines
that describe an edge.
Contour and Cross Contour Lines
Cross Contour Lines
are lines that describe
surfaces, texture, form and
Organic vs. Geometric Lines
Organic lines are lines that
imitate the lines and shapes
found in nature.
Geometric lines are lines with
hard edges and angles that
replicate lines found in man
made objects or geometry.
Line weight refers to the thickness or thinness of
a line. It can be used to give a feeling or tension
and weight or emphasis. The weight of a line
may also be used to create a sense of motion or
Shape is an enclosed space. Shapes
are created by an enclosed line or
the difference between one or more
elements of art; for example value,
color, or texture. Shape is measured
by height and width only.
Shapes may be positive or negative,
organic/biomorphic, or geometric.
They are also used in two- or three-
Organic and Geometric Shapes
Like organic lines, Organic
Shapes are shapes that
mimic shapes found in
are also like
they mimic man
made shapes and
corners and flat
2-D and 3-D Shapes
are shapes drawn on a flat
surface. Three-Dimensional Shapes
are shapes created in real or
Positive and Negative Shapes
Positive Shapes exist in positive
space. They are usually objects or
things that occupy the foreground of
a two-dimensional work of art or
they are the parts of a three-
Negative Shapes are the shapes
that exist between positive shapes
or spaces. These shapes become
the background. Negative shapes
mimic the positive shapes and are
as important to creating a
successful work of art as the
Space is the area between or within shapes or forms. It can beSpace is the area between or within shapes or forms. It can be
manipulated to create the illusion of depth in a two dimensionalmanipulated to create the illusion of depth in a two dimensional
work of art. Space can be positive or negative. The area within thework of art. Space can be positive or negative. The area within the
objects of a composition isobjects of a composition is positive spacepositive space. The area surrounding the. The area surrounding the
primary objects of a composition isprimary objects of a composition is negative spacenegative space..
FIGURE GROUND RELATIONSHIP
The relationship between positive
and negative shapes or spaces in a
composition is known as the figure
ground relationship. Figure is the
name given to the objects in a
composition we see as positive
space and ground refers to the
shapes we see as negative space. In
a composition with a reversible
figure ground relationship, like the
image to the right, the shapes
shown could be positive or
negative depending on how you
look at it.
Two and Three-Dimensional Space
Three-Dimensional Space is how we refer to
physical space that actually exists. This is the
kind of space that is manipulated when a
three-dimensional work of art is constructed.
It is also the space we occupy.
Two –Dimensional is space that exists on a flat surface. The illusion
of depth, can be created in Two –Dimensional space, by manipulating
space and other elements of art. The most common ways of doing this
are to use overlapping, size, page position or linear perspective.
Size and Page Position
Forms are objects that have height, width and depth.
The figures shown here are two-
dimensional drawings of forms.
Forms can be drawn on a two
dimensional surface but these
drawings are not actually forms.
exist in real space and
have actual height width
Organic and Geometric Forms
Like line and shape, organic forms mimic natural lines
and shapes while geometric forms contain straight lines
and angles found in man made structure.
Texture is the roughness or smoothness of a surface.Texture is the roughness or smoothness of a surface.
Texture can be real,Texture can be real, tactile texturetactile texture(sandpaper), or(sandpaper), or visualvisual
texturetexture (drawing of feathers).(drawing of feathers).
Value is the appearance of light and dark in a work of art. Value ranges from
black to white with an infinite number of grays in between. Colors also have
value. For example pink, is a lighter shade of red. Value is used to create the
illusion of light and shadow in a composition. It is also another tool for creating
the illusion of depth in a picture.
The gray scale is a grid that shows a range of grays from white to black
with a series of middle grays in between.
white blackmiddle gray
dark middle graylight middle gray
dark graylight gray
Contrast describes how many shades of gray are in a composition and how large the
difference between light and dark in the composition is. The higher the contrast the
fewer shades of gray there are and the stronger the difference between light and dark
there is. The lower the contrast the more gray a composition looks.
High Contrast Low Contrast
By manipulating the contrast in a work of art well you can change the mood of a piece.
Higher contrast tends to be more dramatic or edgy while lower contrast can be more
dream like or surreal.
Shading and Creating Form
Blending is a type of shading
created by adjusting the
pressure of the drawing tool,
smudging and erasing.
There are many methods for creating value in a
drawing. Value can be used to shade an image
giving it the appearance of volume, a light
source and shadow. Shading can also give a
picture the sense of depth and perspective.
Color is the light we
see reflected back
from an object. It can
affect the mood of a
piece and add another
dimension to an art
work. Color consists
of three properties:
Hue, the name of the
color. Ex. Red or red-
Saturation, how bright
or concentrated the
Value, how light or
dark the color is. The
colors in the color
wheel get lighter as
they get closer to the
The color wheel is the basis of color theory:
The theory that explains which colors will result when different
pigments are mixed.
The Primary Colors are red,
yellow and blue. These
colors can be mixed to make
any other color.
The Secondary Colors are
Green, Orange and violet.
These colors are made by
mixing two primary colors.
Tertiary Colors are colors
created by mixing a
secondary and a primary.
Analogous Colors are
colors that are next to
each other on the color
Cool Colors are colors that
look cold and recede in
space. These colors are
mixed primarily from blue
green and violet.
Warm Colors are colors that look
warm and come forward in space.
These colors are mixed primarily
from red, orange and yellow.
Color Basics Continued
Opposite Colors or Complementary Colors are colors that are across from each other on the color
wheel like red and green. Opposite colors mix to create Neutral Colors. Neutral colors are low in
saturation. The more a color is mixed and the muddier it becomes the lower saturation it is.
Mixing opposites to create neutrals.
Saturated Neutral Saturated