Archive for the ‘Art Appreciation’ Category

What are the Elements of Art?

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

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.


Visual Arts vs. Fine Arts

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Edouard Manet - BoatingWith all of the art terminology, it can be difficult to understand what art actually is, so let’s define the basics. What are visual arts and what are fine arts?

Visual arts are everything that is created that can be seen, and some works that fall within the visual arts are, Sculpture, drawing, painting, photography, architecture, printmaking, film and other variations of these.

Arts that are considered to be in the category of the decorative arts are also considered to be part of the visual arts and these are, ceramics, jewelry, metal crafting, furniture and interior design, wood working, and others within this realm.

In other words visual arts are art that you look at, but “The Arts” were not always categorized as such. The Arts was the term given to anything that was scholarly in the middle ages and this included language, geometry, mathematics, astronomy, music, and painting. In other words these were defined as the arts because they were not really “useful arts,” and only people that were refined could dedicate themselves to these arts.

Later over time people realized that there was a difference between the sciences and what we know as art. The problem is that the list of fine arts started getting very extensive. After all it included music, literature, architecture, decorative arts, painting, and performing arts, so in the 20th century the fine arts was again divided into what we know as the Visual Arts, that of sculpture, painting, decorative, etc, the auditory arts, that of music, drama, literature, and Performing Arts, which is a combination of both forms of art.


Appreciate Art – Let Art Speak to You

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

Ambroise Vollard - Pablo PicassoTo many the world of art seems unreachable and unfriendly, but there is no real secret here, all you need to do is think of art as a form that speaks to you, just as if a foreigner spoke to you. When you don’t understand someone’s language you work at learning it word by word. The same principle works for art, you start with each form of art at your own pace, you don’t need to know all the terminology just those that are most important and those that show you the importance of the art form, and those are the “elements of art.” The elements of art are universal and used in all art forms. Every artists worries about, struggles with, and tries to project the elements of art to the best of his ability. The elements of art are

  • Composition
  • Line
  • Shape
  • Form
  • Space
  • Texture
  • Value
  • Color

Every visual artist will struggle with how he portrays the above elements and how well he portrays the elements defines his worth as an artist.


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