Elements and Principles of Visual Art

The Elements of Art

The Elements of Art are the building blocks that artists use when creating a piece of art.

They are line, shape, colour, form, space and texture.

Line Line is a mark that is very commonly used by artists. It’s length is wider than its width and it can be used vertically, horizontally, straight, diagonal, curved.
Shape A shape is a closed line. Shapes can be regular such as squares, triangles and circles or organic (Irregular).
Colour Colour is light that is reflected off an object. There are three main colours or hues that we know as the primary colours these are red, blue and yellow.

Primary colours are the true colours. All the other colours are mixed using primary colours. Secondary colours are made my mixing two primary colours together.

Complementary colours are colours that opposite each other on the colour wheel. These colour complement each other and make each other look brighter.


Form Form refers to 3D shapes such as cylinders, pyramids, prisms etc.
Space Space is the area that is around an object or between objects. This space is also known as negative space. Negative space is often made up of shares.
Texture Texture refers to the feeling or quality of a surface and is often felt or touched. Textures can be smooth, soft, hard, rough, fury etc



The Principles of Art

The Principles of Art relate to how an artist used the elements.

Pattern Is repeating a pattern, shape or object to create a pattern.
Balance Balance relates to the distribution of weight. It can be symmetrical or asymmetrical.
Proportion Relates to the sizes of items within the artwork.
Repetition This principle works with pattern to give movement or make the work seem active.
Rhythm Relates to movement. When the artist uses more than one element to create movement in the artwork.
Emphasis Relates to the area of the artwork that captures the viewers attention.
Unity Is the feeling of agreement or harmony between the elements in the artwork.
Variety Is the use of a range of elements that work together to create rhythm.
Movement Relates to the area or the pathway that the viewers eye takes at the are looking at the artwork.

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