Art for the Holidays

What are the Elements of Art?

Andy Warhol-Campbell Soup CanThe elements of art are to art, what atoms are to science. They are the building blocks of art, and together they form other things.

The elements include line, shape, form, space, texture, color, and value, and artists use these elements with other principles of composition and design to create their work. An art piece does not always contain all of the elements of art but there are always two or three of the elements present.

Let’s go over what the elements represent and how an artist works with them.

Shape and Form: All sculptors and most painters have to work with this element. This is the element which gives a piece its 3 or 3 dimensional characteristics. Have you ever seen a painting where it looks like you are actually there in the painting?, that is because of its three dimensional qualities and the use the artist gave to the element of shape and form.

Sculptors would be lost without form, there would be no way they could sculpt without three dimensions.

Line: Line is the point from which something moves and is essential when an artist wants to define a shape or an object.

Texture: Artists use texture to define the emotions of their art, and texture can be found in anything, in carpets, rugs, paintings, sculptures and even in furniture.

Color: This is what makes most artists paint, this is the reason they chose the field they are in. Color greatly influences most artists. They know what colors invoke different feelings. Reds are for joy, excitement, passion, anger and cool colors are soothing, relaxing and the color of nature and renewal.

The Importance of the Elements of Art: The elements of art are extremely important. Without them, artists cannot create. All art has at least a few of the elements, and when they are not present then there is no art. Knowing about the different elements of art allows us to understand what the artist has done and what is happening within the art piece. Knowing what the elements are will give you more knowledge in the art world and not feel so lost when you come across art, or are caught in conversations about art.

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