The Elements of Art: Techniques and Building Blocks

the elements of art

The elements of art are the tools and techniques that artists use to create their work. Understanding them can help us better appreciate the artist’s creative process. There are seven main elements of art: line, shape, color, space, and texture, value, and form.


Line is a basic element of art. It is a path created by the intersection of two or more points. There are three types of lines in art: the line itself, which is a part of the defining characteristics of art; implied lines, where a line is suggested by the contours of an object; and accent lines, which are used to accentuate form, shape, or space.


Shape is also a defining characteristic of art. Shapes are two-dimensional structures defined by outlines. There are many different types of shapes in art. The shape itself is the two dimensional outline itself. When the shape has been outlined, it becomes an abstract form. Shapes can be pure geometric forms, abstract forms, representational forms representing real objects or concepts, or nonobjective forms that do not represent anything in particular.


Color is an aspect of art. Color can be monochromatic or polychromatic. Color can also be warm or cool. In addition to its properties within the color spectrum, color is also used to create atmosphere, define form, and create mood. And at its most basic the color wheel organizes primary and secondary colors.


Space is another element of art. Space can be illusionistic, abstract, or representational. It can be either open or closed in form. Space may be illusionistic, where it appears to be three-dimensional but is actually flat. It can also be an illusion of depth, where the artist uses various techniques to create an image that appears to have depth and volume. Art may also be representational where it depicts a three dimensional art world moving on a two dimensional surface.


Texture describes the surface quality of an object. It is created through the use of materials that are rough or smooth and hard or soft. The texture of an object helps the viewer better understand what the artist is trying to express through his art work.


Value is the lightness and darkness of a color or hue. Black is the absence of light while white is the complete absence of light. Value helps define intensity by showing what areas are light and what areas are dark.


Form is the outline, shape, or silhouette of an object. They can be simple or complex in shape and can be geometric or organic. The degree of lightness or darkness in the shading also determines the form. Art forms can be flat, linear, and two-dimensional, or they can be realistically rendered to appear three-dimensional.

Creativity from the elements of art

There are many different artistic disciplines that use the elements of art. However, the main purpose of a piece of art is to capture and express the artist’s creativity. The elements of art are tools artists use to help them achieve their creative vision and communicate their ideas.

The elements of art are the basic building blocks that enable us to explore our creativity. These elements explore artistic perspective to help them create new and original works of art. It is important for a viewer to understand the elements of art so they can better appreciate the artist’s creative process.