Artists use lines to define the edges of their images. Lines can have many
different qualities, they can be:
Thick, Thin, Curvy, Jagged, Broken, Short, Long, Spiral, Geometric,
Can you find several
more examples of
lines in use around
A shape is an enclosed space, the boundaries of which are defined by the
other elements of art.
Shapes are always two dimensional.
Geometric shapes have clearly defined edges. Examples of geometric
shapes include circles, rectangles, squares and triangles.
Organic shapes have natural, less well-defined edges. Examples of organic
shapes include clouds, leaves and puddles.
Do you believe
that there are
A form is a three-dimensional geometrical figure.
A sphere, cube, cylinder and cones are all
examples of forms.
What do you
believe is the
most popular form
do you believe it
is so popular ?
A color wheel logically arranges
color in a sequence of pure hues.
A basic three part color wheel is
broken into three categories:
Primary colors: Blue, Yellow and
Secondary Colors: Orange, Violet
Tertiary Colors: Yellow-Orange, Red-
Orange, Red–Violet, Blue-Violet,
Blue-Green and Yellow-Green.
What is your favorite
color? Why do you
think you prefer that
color over all the other
Value is the lightness or darkness of a color.
Artists use value to shade images and add
light and shadow.
How many different
values can you identify
in this landscape?
Texture is the surface quality of an image.
Texture can be the way a surface looks
as well as the way it physically feels.
If an artist were
going to try and
kinds of textures
would they need to
be able to
Space refers to distances or areas around, between or within parts of an artwork.
Space can be:
Positive (white or light) or Negative (black or dark),
Open or Closed, Shallow or Deep,
Two-Dimensional or Three-Dimensional.
Artists who paint or draw create the illusion of space
on a flat surface, while sculptors create it using physical space.
Would an artist
draw an object
larger or smaller
if they wanted it
to appear farther
Balance is the equalizing force in a
work of art. There are three types of balance:
Symmetrical- The parts of an image or object
organized so that one side duplicates or mirrors,
Asymmetrical- The parts of an image or object are
organized so that one side doesn't duplicate the
Radial (circular)- Images that have equal radius
lengths from the center to the edges, all around the
Is the human
Contrast is a great difference between two elements.
For example the highest value contrast is between white and black. Other
examples of contrasts would be between sizes of short and tall, big and
small, and smooth and rough textures.
Can you identify other
examples of contrast
within the classroom ?
Emphasis can be achieved with any of the
elements. Emphasis is when one element in
an artwork is dominant and stands out more
than all the other elements. Emphasis is what
helps create a focal point for the viewer.
What elements are
used to create
emphasis in these
Movement leads your eye through a composition. It can suggest an action.
The principle of movement is closely related to the principle of rhythm.
Which of these three images
has the greatest sense of
movement and why?
Rhythm/ Pattern is the repetition
of an element in an artwork to make
the image seem active.
This principle is closely
related to the principle of movement.
Where do we see
patterns used in our
Variety is combining one or more elements.
Variety is important because it allows an artist the ability to create interest
by adding slight changes in their artwork.
What elements where
changed to create variety in
these two photographs?
Unity is the arrangement of the elements
and principles in a manner that creates a
feeling of completeness or harmony.
Which one of these three
images has the greatest
use of unity and why?
INDEX WORKS CONSULTED
Scholastic Art, Elements and Principles of Art, September/October 2012 ,vol. 43 no. 1
Images used: All images are approved for use under Creative Common’s licenses