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7 Elements of Art You Didn't Know

Kashmira Lad
Knowing the basics is essential for an artist in order to create a well-balanced and beautiful work of art. Here are the basics about the elements of art that can be followed to express your artistic abilities, no matter what the medium you choose.
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
- Thomas Merton.
Art has given wings to the creativity for several people and has been expressed in various ways including realism, abstract, impressionism or cubism. Although some of the most famous artists may not have undergone formal training, there are certain basic elements of art that need to be followed for any basic design, which they were well-aware of. So, what exactly are they? Read on to know more about these 7 elements of art.


Lines are the first element of art and are continuous marks that are made on any surface with a moving point. Lines can be used in various ways to create different compositions. A line is a simple element that defines the shape of a two-dimensional piece of art. Different types of lines are vertical, horizontal, diagonal, curved or straight in addition to either thin or thick.


A shape always has two dimensions, length as well as width. This is represented as an enclosed area that is defined by color, value, space, texture and form. When lines come together, they form shapes. Shapes can be geometrical, rectangles, ovals, squares, etc.


A form typically has three dimensions; length, width, and height. Examples of such would be cubes, pyramids, spheres or even cylinders. Therefore, form has depth as well as height. Sculptures and decorative arts serve as good examples for form.


The value refers to the changes in the base color. This is also determined by how much light is reflected or absorbed by any surface. Values mean the various intensities of the tones or colors. Lightness and darkness also known as tints and shades are essential elements in defining a work of art.


The texture is the quality of a surface or the way a work of art is represented. There are three kinds of basic textures; actual, simulated, and the invented texture. Lines and shading can be used to create different textures. For example, if one is portraying certain fabrics, one needs to give the feeling of the right texture so that it closely resembles what the artist is trying to convey.


Space is the creation of visual perspective and this gives the illusion of depth. Space can also mean the way an artist uses the area within the plane of the picture. Real space is actually three-dimensional. The way an artist uses the combination of positive and negative space can have a great effect on the entire composition. Three-dimensional space can be created with the help of shading and perspective to give a feeling of depth.


Color always has three characteristics, which are hue, value, and the intensity. Hue means the shades, value refers to the lightness or the darkness and intensity refers to the brightness or dullness of the work of art.
Elements and principles of design need to go hand in hand. The way the above 7 elements of art relate to one another is an important feature that defines the work of art.