Type: Creative Essays
Sample donated: Marshall Jackson
Last updated: April 23, 2019
Line, Value, Space, Movement, and Unity. All the elements you need to make a beautiful piece of art. Artists use these elements to make the artwork stand out and look unique. These elements are important because they are in almost every picture or painting any artist has ever made. Each element has a specific way to use them.
The line element has movement, direction, energy, and restfulness that can be depicted through the use of line, which is often used to grab the viewer’s eye to the main subject in a painting or drawing. There are also different kinds of line styles that go into the painting that makes it look one of a kind. These line styles are angular, bent, bold, blurred, broken, and continuous. The famous artist Francisco Goya and his drawing “The Master Of Nightmares” show great use of line, and the painting has an angular line style because it has angles and sharp corners. Francisco uses diagonal lines in this drawing to produce tension or to suggest movement. The drawing produces tension because Francisco wants you to look at the main part of the drawing.
The value element describes variations of a color, ranging from lightest to darkest. There are different ways you can use value, one being to blend. Artists blend to make soft transitions from light to dark. Another way you can use value is to create shade.
You can create shade by darkening outer edges. Lori McNee and her beautiful painting “Approaching Shadows” shows her use of shade. Lori starts by darkening the outer edges. As she gets towards the middle of her drawing, she starts to get lighter. The unity element is how the elements of art and principle of design are used in a piece of artwork to produce a unified and interesting end result. Artists sort through options, making changes that create an overall harmony.
You can achieve unity through the use of the elements and principles of art by balancing the weight of objects, clustering small objects together, and creating a variety of forms. Wassily Kandinsky and his painting “The Seven Circles” have an amazing example of unity. The painting shows use of harmony because it combines elements of art to create a restful composition. The movement element in art allows the viewer’s eye to move smoothly from one area of the artwork to another. This can be accomplished by creating an invisible pathway of color, shape, lines, and edges that gives flow and order to the artwork.
Movement can be created by anticipated movement, action, an arrow or pointing finger, and an optical illusion created by repetition. Alexander Calder and his painting “Sumac II” shows that Calder uses a unique rhythm to create movement. Alexander Calder is known for making sculptures move. The space element is the area that an object occupies in two-dimensional or three-dimensional artworks. It is the area around objects and between them. There are different ways to use space, one is aerial perspective.
Aerial perspective is making areas farther away lighter and less sharp. Another way is to use linear perspective. Linear perspective is organizing space using geometry.
Henri Matisse and his painting “The Snail” shows that the artist used positive shapes. From doing this project, I learned that art is a beautiful thing to see and learn how to do. I also learned that the elements of art change your mindset when you see how the artist used that specific element.
Art is a creative skill that everybody has. It shows emotion or beauty in what the artist created. We all can create art using these elements in different ways.