Elements Of Visual Art

Line is the path of a moving point through space. It may indicate direction, texture, coutours, or movement.

Shape is the area enclosed by a line or other shapes. Shapes may be geometric (triangle, rectangle, circle...) or have an organic or natural character (trees, leaves, rocks, puddles...).

Color is defined by hue, value, and intensity. It is the range of visual light in the spectrum and properties of the pigments used in making visual art.

Hue is the name given to different wave lengths of light from the visual spectrum.

Value is the degree of lightness or darkness.

Intensity is the amount of pigment or saturation. The bright a color the more pigment it contains.

Form is three dimensional (length, height, and depth of volume) shapes.

Space is the area occupied by an object or the area formed by the absence of an object(s).

Rhythm is patterned organization of colors, lines, textures, or combinations of art elements that create a pleasing effect. A visual rhythm will lead the eye from one area to another in a rhthmical and orderly manner.

Balance is the perception of equilibrium between the elements in the piece of art.

Emphasis is the focal point of interest in a piece created by accenting or exaggerating a specific area or art element to create greater interest.

Contrast is the comparison of two elements that appear different (values of light and dark, hues...). Strong contrasts are the most disimilar examples of an art element (dark - light, black - white).

Unity is the perception of the parts of a piece and their relationship with the dominant or unifying element.

Chiaroscuro technique of using light and shade/ dark in art/ pictorial representationi (see The Tale of Despereaux).

Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©