visual art elements

Basic structural units an artist, craftsperson, designer, filmmaker incorporates into a 2D, 3D, 4D artwork:

  • line: mark or path, made by a tool or implement often to create boundaries and define where one thing starts or ends
  • colour: light, as seen through the spectrum which is composed of 6 basic colours; red, orange yellow, green, blue, violet. Terms to classify colour are hue (the name of a colour) intensity (the brightness of a colour) and chroma (purity of a colour)
  • shape: when lines close on themselves, they form shapes. A shape is 2D, having height and width. Shapes are either geometric or organic. A positive shape on a flat surface automatically creates a negative shape in the surrounding space
  • texture: describes how the real surface quality of matter looks or feels to the touch. Implied texture is created by replicating a visual sensation using media such as pencil, charcoal or paint
  • space: 2D, 3D and 4D space refers to the area around, within, or between parts of an artwork or action. There is both positive and negative space
  • tone: lightness or darkness of a colour. It is achieved by adding black to a colour, or mixing quantities of the three primary colours together. Tone can be utilised to imply form, texture or weight
  • form: structure of the work, giving it a distinctive character defined by light and shadow and is therefore, 3D. In 4D art forms, there is consideration of time and space.