Fundamentals of Art

Fundamentals of art are the foundation for creating and understanding visual artworks. Artists can communicate with his/her artwork by using the fundamentals of art. Fundamentals of art include various elements which are: line, shape, color, texture, space, value, and form. These key elements are the building blocks for an artist to create a piece of art and can portray his/her thoughts and ideas to the people. The seven elements of the fundamentals of art are given below:

7 Fundamentals of Art


In the fundamentals of art line is the most basic element to create visual art pieces. Without using elements of line it is very difficult to create visual art for an artist. It is a mark in art composition that an artist can use with any drawing tool like pencils, paint brushes, etc. Lines can be thick, thin, curved, straight, diagonal, or vertical according to the composition of art. It can be used to define the shape, texture, thickness, figure, and depth of an art piece and also show the emotions and motions of the artist. Line is a most essential building block in the fundamentals of art; it guides the viewer’s eye to move around the art and helps to understand the emotions and ideas of the artist. For example, if a painter makes a painting of birds that are flying in a V-shaped formation and there is not any visible line that is connecting the birds eyes naturally move in that direction and implied line in the direction which connects them.




In fundamentals of art, shape is used to refer to a two-dimensional area of an art piece. It defines the depth, width, and height of artwork referred to by the lines. Shapes can be simple and can be complex depending on the art composition it conveys the meaning and visual impact in the artwork. There are some basic geometric shapes in art which include, circles, squares, rectangles, triangles, and some organic shapes like the shape of flowers, clouds, etc. Using these basic geometric shapes an artist can create more complex shapes like polygons. It provides the boundary of an object and shows the external overall composition. For example, sharp and angular shapes show excitement and tension in art while curvy and flowing shapes show feelings of smoothness and calmness.


It is the most powerful and important tool in the element of art that plays a major role in visual art. It shows the emotional perception and mood of the artist. Color is used to create harmony and balance in art design. It evokes the artist to create depth, a depiction of light and shadow, and the warmness and coolness of any painting. Color has three main properties which are:

  • Hues
  • Values
  • Saturation

Hues: refers to specific colors like blue, red, yellow, and tint and shades of them.

Values: represent the lightness and darkness of a color.

Saturation: refers to the vividness and purity of color.

Artists can use and make color schemes with basic hues. He/she can create analogous, monochromatic as well as complementary color schemes to achieve the desired effect. For example: lighter color shows calmness, and coolness while darker hues show depth and intensity.



The fundamentals of art show the surface of an art piece. It can be soft, rough, fuzzy, slimy etc. The texture is the feel of an artwork when touched. For example, the roughness of wood, and the softness of cotton. Texture can be visual and can be tactile or can be both.

Visual: it is the illusion of texture created with different artistic techniques such as brushstrokes, stippling, and hatching. It does not give a physical feel but by appearance, it shows a different texture.

Tactile: it gives the feel of texture by touching the artwork. Artists use different materials to create tactile textures such as collages, paints, different kinds of papers, stones, etc.


Space is used to give the feel of the depth and distance of an object. Artists use 3 dimensions to create space in any artwork. Space includes negative and positive.

Negative space: The space of artwork (space around the object) refers to the negative space. Artists use negative space to create balance in artwork and to emphasize the main object. It is the background of the artwork.

Positive space: it is the main object of any artwork. The focal point of artwork occupies the main space and emphasizes. Artists use different shapes, designs, and techniques to create positive space. As it is the main subject of artwork it catches the viewer’s attention.


In fundamentals of art value shows the lightness and darkness of color in artwork. It helps to represent shadows and shades of nature created by artists in their art pieces. Adding it helps to create depth and contrast in an art piece. By using tint and shades of hues artists create value in art for example: white shows the lightness in the image while black appears on the darker side of the image. Hues like yellow and green show lighter values whereas red and purple refer to darker values




Art refers to the three dimensions of an object, something having height, length, depth, and volume. It is all about creating an illusion in a picture to make it solid and tangible. It adds realism to artwork and makes it more visually appealing to viewers. Artists use different techniques to create forms like sketching and highlighting. There are two types of forms which are:

Geometric form: is the basic form of shapes like cylinders, hexagons, polygons, squares, circles, cones, etc.

Organic form: the asymmetric and irregular form of shapes of nature like clouds, trees, human-created figures


Fundamentals of visual art

It refers to the visual perception of any form of art. It is the art that viewers can see, touch, and appreciate. Artists show their emotions and thoughts through their artwork and people admire their work by seeing it. Visual art has its uniqueness in that it portrays aesthetics and the ideas of artists. Artists use different mediums to create visual art such as painting, drawings, photography, sculpting, printmaking, digital art, ceramics, etc.

Fundamentals of visual art include various elements and they are the main features of any artwork. The elements of visual art include:








Art can be conceptual, telling stories and inspiring the audience by adding these elements above.





Fundamentals of art and design

Fundamentals of art and design are the basic elements for creating art and design. By using them artists create visual and meaningful art and show his/her ideas and emotion to the world. By adding shapes, forms, color, texture, and value artists create appealing and aesthetic artwork. Collecting these elements together artist creates a design but the design also consists of various principles which are below:


It refers to the repetition of lines and other elements of art. It creates a sense of flow and movement in the design. Rhythm affects the mood of the viewer. It can excite the audience by adding a fast and energized rhythm whereas adding a slower rhythm gives the feeling of calmness and quietness. It is the dance of the viewer’s eye.



It refers to the visual stability in art. It adds harmony and equality by adding elements like texture, color, space, and lines in arranged proportion. There are some major kinds of balance:

Asymmetric: balance shows when elements like shapes are not in equal position but still feel the balanced composition. It has no central point.

Symmetric: balance is when elements are in equal position and have a central point.

Radical: when the elements move around the outer wards from the focal point.



Artists use different elements and mediums to create contrast. It is the difference between different elements that grabs attention. Artists create contrast by adding shadow, color, light, and size shapes to composition for example adding darker objects against lighter objects or adding a contemporary color scheme. It gives depth to the artwork.


The design pattern shows the rhythm and visual interest of the audience. By the repetition of different elements and shapes in organized form artists add patterns to the composition.


In artwork unity plays the role of completeness and wholeness. It puts all the elements together and gives a sense of harmony. Artists use consistent colors, and repetition of shapes and patterns to give unity in art for example: using the same color throughout the artwork or using the same style theme shows unity in design.



It refers to the main area of artwork as it is the focal point of artwork which catches the viewer’s attention. It is the spotlight of composition and artists use different shapes, colors, or patterns to emphasize their composition.



It helps to create a sense of unity in design. By adding different elements together the artist makes harmony. It gives a pleasing effect to drawing. Adding complementary colors and elements together that give looks pleasing makes harmony in composition.


It refers to the size and scale of different elements that create a sense of balance and harmony in composition. Artists use different objects in different sizes to create proportion art for example: trees and mountains in the same image.


Fundamentals of art history

Art history evolves how art has been started and influenced by different cultures. It involves the study of different artistic styles and techniques and their development through ancient times. Art history is a journey to explore human creativity and understand the ideas and thoughts of ancient people. The ancient periods of art such as Renaissance, Baroque, Impressionism, Cubism, and many more help us to understand their emotions and ideas. Some are the key aspects of the fundamentals of art history are given below:


      Major movements


      Cultural and historical context

      Techniques and materials

      Art criticism and theory

      Key artists and artwork

      Art institution and patronage

      Global perspective

      Restoration and preservation

      Interdisciplinary connections


Art history explores the context of different cultures and helps us to appreciate art of different eras, and examine the different artistic movements. Understanding the old techniques and their changes over time and applying them nowadays with different styles helps the artist to keep the heritage.