Basic Lessons For Beginners in the Elements of Art


Art provides the wings of creativity to artists through its various moods and tones such as, Realism or Abstract, Impressionism or Cubism. It is an interesting fact that most of the famous artists did not have a formal training, though they had a fair idea of the Elements of Art. The essence of creativity lies in the certain Elements of Arts, which have to be followed to create a basic design.

The Elements of Art give guidance to create the well-balanced, creative pieces of art. They are the building blocks of artistry. The artists apply the Element of Art to create visual images for expressing their ideas. In other words, the techniques that describe the ways of presenting art works are defined as the Elements of Art. The seven basic Art Elements are:

o Line. Line is the first Element of Arts and it is a continuous mark made with a Moving Point or a Moving Dot. Various moods, feelings, and anything abstract, all dimensions a line can express. A Vertical Line signifies an orderly feeling, and a Horizontal Line portrays peace & stillness, while Diagonal Lines create movement. The use of Lines as an Element of Art in various composition aids artists to convey their message.

o Shape. This Art Element is a representation of an object or a concept as a group of Dots and Lines. A shape has two dimensions, Length & Width, and is represented by an enclosed area, signified by different tangents such as, Color, Form, Space, Texture, & Value. Shapes are formed when more than one line are joined with a defined border. They are Ovals, Squares, or any other Geometrical figure.

o Value. This Element of Art signifies the intensities of tones or color. It consists of High Lights, Mid Tones, or even Shadows in any art piece. The changes in Base Color, the amount of light reflected or absorbed by any surface and the perception of form in a painting, are all a co-efficient of Value.

o Space. The creation of a visual perspective, which gives the illusion of depth is another Element of Art called Space. The right use of Space is an art in itself. Space can be classified as Positive and Negative. Positive Space is the space taken by an object and Negative Space is the space between the objects (White Space).The right way of using both these kinds of Spaces affects the totality of the artist’s composition. Based on the volume of space, it can be either two-dimensional or three-dimensional to give pictures an illusion of depths and distances on a flat surface. The management of Space can be ensured by the following ways:

– Linear perspective, where distant object are made proportionally smaller than the closer ones. Horizon Lines and Vanishing Points are the scales on which linear perspective is determined.

– Objects placed at a distance are rendered less details, clarity, and intensity than the close ones.

Three-dimensional Space work is done with the help of shading, which gives it a feeling of depth.

Space can also be created with the overlapping of objects.

o Texture. Texture, as an Element of Art, is either real or a perception of an onlooker. The quality of surface defines its Texture.

o Color. Hue, Intensity, and Value are the three components of Color. Hue signifies the shade, & the appearance (e.g., Red & Pink), Value refers to the darkness or the lightness of the color, and Intensity refers to brightness or dullness of it. Color is the most expressive of all the Art Element.

o Form. The three dimensional counterpart of Shape is an Element of Art called Form. Form describes volume & mass and should be viewed in angles just as in the case of a ball, or a small sculpture. Fundamentally of two kinds, Illusionary (Paintings) and Real (Sculptures), Form always has all the three dimensions, Length, Width, and Height.

What makes art, art rubric? Controversies such as Impressionism have always existed. These emanate due to the differences in the perceptions of a Novice, an Apprentice, a regular Practitioner, or an Expert. Time-embeddedness also causes controversies, for example, a form of art accepted in a particular era may be totally rejected in another. Art owes much of its creativity in achieving unity in work with the right combination of Principles and the Elements of Art. As it is quoted by Thomas Merton, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

Source by Annette Labedzki

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