Elements & Principles of Art

The Elements of Art are like the art alphabet.  These things are the building blocks of art.  In order to have a work of art, you must have at least one of these things.  The Elements of Art are:

Line – a line is something that is long and thin

Words that describe lines: straight, curved, wavy, zigzag, vertical, diagonal, horizontal, dotted

Shape – a shape is a line that is closed

Words that describe shapes: circle, square, triangle, trapezoid, hexagram, biomorphic, geometric

Pattern – a pattern is something that repeats in an organized way

Texture – texture is the way that something feels

Words that describe lines: rough, wavy, furry, bumpy, scratchy, smooth

Value – value is the lightness or darkness of something

Words that describe value: light, dark, medium

Color – Color is the wavelength of light that is reflected by an object

Words that describe color: red, blue, green, yellow-orange, warm, cool, primary, secondary, tertiary

The Principles of Art are the things we use to organize works of art.  Just as we use sentences and paragraphs to organize writing, we use the Prinicples of Art to organize things when we are making art.  The Principles of Art are:

Balance – balance is when things are equally spread out across a work of art

Words that describe balance: symmetrical, asymmetrical, radial, unbalanced

Contrast – contrast is taking things that are opposites and placing them close to each other (click HERE to see a definition, make sure to scroll down to middle of page)

Emphasis – emphasis is making one part of a work of art stand out.

Rhythm – rhythm is movement that is organized.

Variety – variety is using different kinds of things in the same work of art click HERE to see a definition, make sure to scroll down to middle of page)

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