What are Elements of Art?

Elements of art are the basics of art and are necessary to know to practice any type of art. These elements of art are referred to as a toolbox for an artist to practice the art. There are seven essential elements of art. These elements of art are necessary to get acknowledged for an artist to pursue art as a profession or practice it for the sake of pleasure. These elements include line, form, color, shape, value/tone, space, and texture as well.



The line is a long thin mark drawn/made by a pencil or pen. It is the very first element of art. It is also a multipurpose element that C for the sake of art. There are several types of lines that may come in use in several ways to make an artwork. Even the style of drawing a line identifies the rest of the elements of art i.e., shape, structure, form, etc. Besides, some of the principles of art, i.e., distance, rhythm, movement, etc. can also be declared/identified through it. 


The line in an artwork identifies two features. 

The subjective art shown by the curved lines to express distance and calmness, vertical lines portrays height and strength while the jagged lines refer to turmoil and anxiety.

Through different types of lines, we can also recognize different expressive qualities, i.e., freehand lines to express the personal energy and mood of artist and mechanical lines to show a rigid control, broken lines to express ephemeral or the insubstantial. Some more types of lines are thick and thin lines that are used by an artist to represent strength and sensitivity, respectively. The continuous line is also a type of line which leads the viewer's eye in specific directions. 



The shape is also a key element of art. The shape consists of the combination of other elements including space, line, color, form, value/tone, and texture as well. In this scenario, the shape is as an enclosed area determined by other elements of art. This area is 2-D (two dimensional) or 3-D (three dimensional) space that identifies via edges, settings, etc.


Shapes have many types that are used by an artist to create an artwork. These types include geometric and organic shapes. The geometric ones are the basic shapes that are common in mathematics, i.e., circle, square, triangle, rectangle, trapezoid, rhombus, pentagon, hexagon, polygon, etc. The organic shapes refer to the natural or not humanmade shapes and include puddle, blob, leaf or boomerang, etc.

Different shapes provide different aspects, i.e., and the simple geometric shapes pertain to the expression of representative and synthetic feelings. On the other hand, the complex shapes having sharp points relate to giving an impact of danger. Some geometrical shapes come in use to identify the emotions, the message, and the inner thoughts of an artist, too, i.e., square and rectangular shapes are drawn to express strength and firmness, circles come in use to show uninterrupted motion. Triangular shapes pertain to make the viewer's eye to move in an upward direction. The shape of inverted triangles portrays instability and nervousness in an artwork.



Colour is also one of the primary elements of art. It affects more strongly on our emotions as compared to the rest of the elements of art. The colors of the artwork tell its viewers about the mood or atmosphere of the artwork. This element of art "color" consists of hues that refer to the several/different shades of a color. At this infrastructure, there are three properties of color, i.e., Hue, intensity or saturation, and value. 


Properties of Color


The term Hue refers to the different shades of color. It recognizes the colors that are easily differentiated, i.e., red, blue, yellow, etc.


The value of a color is concerned with the lightness and darkness of a color. It helps an artist to express the way he/she created an artwork, plus it also supports an artist to portray 3-D (three dimensional) illusions.

Intensity or Saturation

Intensity is a property of color that is meant by the brightness of a color. A color without any mixing with black and white color is at the peak of its intensity. The intensity of a color is variable and may vary by the addition of black, white, or grey colors into it to increase or decrease the intensity of the color. It is also called saturation.

Types of color

Likewise, many other elements of art; color also has divided into different types. These types are three, i.e., the primary colors, the secondary colors, and tertiary colors. 

Primary colors are the colors that may come in use to form new colors, e.g., red, blue, and yellow. 

A secondary color is the type of color that is generated as a result of a combination of two primary colors equally. 

A different kind of color is called the tertiary color that is made up of mixing/emerging a primary and secondary color in equal proportion as well.



The form of artwork is one of the essential elements of art. It is somehow concerned with the shape of the artwork. Likewise, shape, the form also has two types, i.e., the geometric forms and the organic forms. Before learning more about kinds, we should know the difference between the shape and the form of an artwork. 

Shape refers to a 2-D (two dimensional) area that is specified by an outline while the form of an artwork pertains to a shape that has shown a 3-D (three dimensional) illusion by using the techniques of shading or perspective drawing. 


Types of Form

As mentioned before, the form of artwork also has two types, i.e., the geometric ones and the organic ones. 

Geometric Form

The geometric forms are simply the mathematical forms, including sphere, cube, pyramid, cone, and cylinder as the 3-D (three dimensional) images/views of a circle, a square, and a triangle are a sphere, a cube, and a pyramid/cone respectively. The art of architecture usually deals with these geometric forms. 

Organic Form

While on the other hand, organic forms are a bit complex as these are stringy, curving, and free-flowing, which are not easy to be measured. These are the natural forms that usually appear in the shapes of flowers, branches, leaves, puddles, clouds, animals, the human figure, etc. Along with it, the forms also matter a lot in making a sculpture.

There are two more types of the form, i.e., the closed forms and the open forms. 

The closed forms portray the feeling of the traditional form to on the form itself, isolated from ambient space while the open forms pertain to be transparent. It has a more fluid and vigorous association with the encompassing area since it reveals it’s a structure on its own. The form is an essential element of any type of art.


The tone is another term used for “Value”. It is the same value, which refers to a property of color that is also one of the essential elements of art. The tone of the color is the quality of color that recognizes the characteristics of color. These characters include warmness, coldness, brightness, dullness, lightness, darkness, pureness, and dirtiness as well. 


It is not necessary for artwork must have to follow a single tone of colors; however, it is a variable property and may have different effects even in a single piece of artwork. By varying the impact of tone, an artist can emphasize various aspects of his/her main idea or message which he/she wants to give through his/her art.

The viewers also get more attracted towards the tones having high contrasts. Through different tones, an artist can emphasize the creation of light and dark colors, to create a rhythm, to give the artwork a touch of deepness and to highlight the dramatic theme to it. Different tonal values generate various illusions in art.



Space is one of the most potent elements of art. Space refers to the distances or areas around, between, and within the components of a piece of artwork. Likewise, other elements of art, space also carries many types, including the positive space, the negative space, the opened space, the closed space, the shallow space, the deep space, 2-D space (the two-dimensional space) or 3-D space (the three-dimensional space). 


An American artist Frank Lloyd Wright quoted that space is the breath of art. This saying is implying the significance of space in any piece of artwork. It is the worthiest part of any artwork. It is present in each type of art, whether it is painting, photography, sculpture formation, or architecting buildings or other structures. In painting, the painters imply the space; the photography captures the space, sculpture formation also depends upon space and form while in the field of architecture and space is built by an artist practicing architecture. 

Space is the worthiest, most prominent, and the most significant element of any artwork to create it and to make sure its completion.



The texture is also one of the essential elements of art. It describes the way a 3-D (three dimensional) artwork feels when it gets touched. In 2-D (two dimensional) artwork, such as painting, it may refer to the visual "feel" of a piece. Likewise, the other elements of art the texture have also two types, i.e., actual has implied the texture is composed of different kinds of lines and scolding. 


Types of Texture

The texture has three types of the basics of being felt, i.e., the optical/visual texture, physical texture, and the ephemeral texture. Let's elaborate on them in detail.

Optical and Visual Texture

 Optical and visual types of texture are concerned with the creation of 3-D illusions via a panting

Physical Texture

It is the type of texture whereby an artist expresses the energy (whether physical or emotion) through his art.

Ephemeral Texture

It is the third type of texture with deal with the flowing forms. Cloud smoke, flames, bubbles, and liquid subject these forms to change them.


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