Art Elements

the fundamentals

In simple terms, the elements of art are understood as the parts that make up a single work of art. There are typically seven primary elements of art namely; color, value, line, shape, form, texture, and space.

principles of art

The principles of art are also referred to as the principles of design or the principles of organization.

the seven elements of art


Also known as a “hue”, color is a critical art element because it reveals the main subject of the composition while guiding the viewer’s eye to important shapes and forms.


Value is another important art element that can greatly impact how color is perceived. Value refers to the light or dark quality of color. The color value can often be detected if an image is viewed in black and white to expose its grayscale values.


Texture is broadly defined as the surface quality of an artwork. There are two ways texture can be utilized, namely implied or real.


There are two primary types of shapes characterized by geometric and organic shapes, the latter of which is also referred to as a free form shape.


Form is another art element that relates to three dimensional structures. There are different types of forms that can range from spherical, cubic, pyramidal, conical, cylindrical, and many other types.


Line is found in almost all types of artworks and provides the fundamental structure for the subject. Lines can vary in shape and length, from short, long, vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines to curved, straight, thin, and thick lines.


Space is about the depth portrayed in a composition, which relates to its three-dimensionality. This typically refers to paintings or drawings, which depict the “illusion of space”.