Elements of art
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Elements of Art PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Elements of Art. The elements are… Line Shape Form Value Color Space Texture. Color. Color is light. White light can be broken down into the colors of the visible spectrum. Color.

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Elements of Art

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Elements of Art

  • The elements are…

    • Line

    • Shape

    • Form

    • Value

    • Color

    • Space

    • Texture


Color is light. White light can be broken down into the colors of the visible spectrum.


Don’t get confused between additive and subtractive colors! Most of the color rules we discuss will apply to subtractive colors or pigments.

Additive colors refer to mixing light. If you mix all the colors of light together, you get white.

Subtractive colors refer to mixing pigments. If you mix all the colors of pigment together, you get black or brown.


Hue = Color. These terms are often used interchangeably.

Warm colors (red, yellow, orange) appear “warm” and advance toward the viewer.

Cool colors (blue, green, violet) appear “cool” and seem to recede in a composition.


Saturation = “pureness” or intensity of a color. We can decrease a color’s saturation by adding another color to it.

Value = lightness or darkness of a color.

Tint = color + white

Shade = color + black


Primary colors = cannot be obtained by mixing other colors; all the other colors can be made from them (red, yellow, blue)

Secondary colors = derived by mixing two primary colors (orange, violet, green)

Tertiary or intermediate colors = created by mixing a primary and a secondary color(red-orange, blue-green, etc)


Analogous colors lie next to one another on the color wheel.

Complementary colors lie across from one another on the color wheel (blue and orange, yellow and violet, red and green). Complementary colors intensify each other when place next to one another.


Analogous color scheme

Romare Bearden,

J. Mood, c. 1985.


Complementary (blue and orange) color scheme

Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893.


Vincent Van Gogh, The Night Café, 1888. Oil on canvas.


Triadic color scheme (blue, red, and yellow)




Simultaneous contrast refers to how colors interact with one another. An object of any given color will cast a shadow tinged with that of its complementary color.

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