The Elements of Art
Foundations of Art by Gary Freeman & Design I Students
Welcome to an easy-to-understand description of the basic concepts of art and design including the elements of art for art students, beginning artists, and collectors.
Value, Color, Line, Shape, Mass, Texture
Value - the lightness or darkness of areas in a composition
Color - the visual sensation resulting from the reflection of wave lengths of light from differing surfaces
Line - a mark made by a moving point
Shape - a two-dimensional area in a composition defined or determined by other elements such as value, color, or texture.
Two Types of Shapes
- Geometric shapes - man-made shapes, rectangles, triangles, etc.)
- Organic shapes - natural and biomorphic forms
Texture - the surface quality of a material (rough, smooth, etc…)
Types of texture
- Actual, Real or tactile texture is the actual surface of a material
- Simulated texture is a surface that has been carved, modeled, or molded to look like another
- Visual, illusionary or faux texture is a smooth surface that is rendered or printed to look like a real texture
- Impasto the actual texture heavily applied paint
- Collage a composition with paper or other materials glued onto the surface
Mass - volume, solidity, three-dimensional form. Directly or illusionistically.
“The task of artists is to organize elements into a comprehensible whole
by simplifying, organizing and unifying.” - Kenneth Bates
* Online Art Instructors: This page is provided as Open Courseware for internet instruction of the fundmentals of color and design for Art Appreciation, Art Foundations, and Design I courses.
Click to return to Online Art Center.com Home Page