What Are the Formal Elements of Art?

The elements of art are line, shape, form, space, texture, light and color. Each of these elements are able to be isolated and defined in a work of art.

A line can do numerous things in a piece of art. Not only can a line connect two points or define form or area, it can also define areas between light and dark and lead your eye around the art where the artist wants it to go. Shape and form both serve to define shapes in a space, along with lines. Form has depth and height in a piece of work, where a shape itself only has height and width. When referring to space in a piece of art, it is referring more to the feeling of depth or three dimension given to the art, by the lines, shape and form used. Color and light often work together in art to convey a feeling. Color can be used to make a painting feel warm and cool or drive focus in a piece of art. Light can do the same thing and color is used in many forms of art to show the direction of light. Texture can be conveyed in a piece of art with depth and dimension or with the actual medium of the art itself. Texture can be very important to convey the intent of the art correctly.