7 Formal elements of art

Line, Shape, Form, Tone, Texture, Pattern and Colour.

These formal elements of art are often used together to create a piece of art. How they are organised together determines what the finished piece will look like.

LINE
Line is the path left by a moving point, and can be horizontal, diagonal or curved and can also change its length showing many different qualities, such as Contours, feelings or expressions or movement.

SHAPE
This is an area enclosed by a line, whether it be just an outline or shaded in, and can be either geometric or irregular.
The shapes created in the spaces between shapes is called negative space.

FORM
From is a three dimensional shape. Sculpture and 3D design are about creating forms and in 2D artwork, tone and perspective can be used to create an illusion of form.

TONE
Tone refers to the lightness or darkness of something. Tones are created by the way light falls on a 3D object. Where the light falls strongest on an object is called highlights and the darker areas are shadows.
Shading is used to capture different tones in a drawing. It helps create the illusion of form in a 2D object.
Contrast means the amount of difference between the lightest and darkest tones, combined with a range of mid tones.

TEXTURE
Texture is to do with the surface quality of something, the way something feels or looks like it feels. There are two types of texture: actual texture and visual texture.

Actual textures exist so you can feel or touch it. You can create this on an artwork by changing the surface. Combining different material techniques can create interesting textures.

Visual textures are created using marks to represent actual textures. This gives the illusion of a texture or surface but if you touched it, it would be smooth.

PATTERN
This is a design created by repeating lines, shapes, tones or colours. The design used to create a pattern is often referred to as a motif. Motifs can be simple shapes or complex arrangements.

COLOUR
With colours there are primary colours and secondary colours.
Primary colours cant be mixed using any other colours and technically all others can be mixed from these three colours.
The three primary colours are Red, Yellow and Blue.
Two primary colours mixed together make a secondary colour.
Red + Yellow = Orange
Red + Blue = Purple
Blue + Yellow = Green

Tertiary colours are created by mixing a primary colour and then the secondary colour that is next to it on the colour wheel.
colour_wheel

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