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Elements of Visual Arts

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1. Line

  1. LINE : path created by a moving dot.
  2. PROPERTY : horizontal, vertical, diagonal, parallel, curvy, dark, light, heavy, straight, crooked, zigzag, perpendicular, spiral, thin and thick.
  3. PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT : Curved suggest rhythm and relax or delicacy and grace, horizontal suggest stability and distance, vertical suggest determination and strength, diagonal line suggest speed and aggression, thick lines suggest strength and masculinity and crooked line suggest violence and conflict.
  4. HOLDING OF PENCIL : Wrist / shoulder, traditional, drumstick / lollipop, paint brush, overhand, inverted.

2. Shape

  1. SHAPE : An enclosed line.
  2. PROPERTY : 2D i.e. length & width, positive & negative space.
  3. PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT : Square suggests strength and stability, circle suggests continuous movement, upward triangle suggests an upward movement.
  4. SQUARE : Has 4 sides and variations are quadrilateral, kite, trapezoid (narrow from top), parallelogram, rhombus (diamond), rectangle, square, irregular.
  5. TRIANGLE : Has 3 sides and variations are scalene, isosceles, equilateral, acute, right, obtuse.
  6. CIRCLE : Variation is circle, ellipse, oval, stadium, crescent, annulus (mint).
  7. ORGANIC : Natural, irregular, asymmetrical, free form and uneven.

3 Form

  1. PROPERTY : 3D which depicts volume i.e. length, width, depth, planes, polygons, poly-count.
  2. CUBE : Closed form formed by six equal squares, the angle between any two adjacent faces being a right angle, derived shapes.
  3. CYLINDER : Form with two round shapes at either end and parallel lines connecting the round ends. Derived shapes such as cone means modified form of cylinder with circular surface on one end and one point at the other end, where all sides or lines meet.
  4. SPHERE : A round solid figure, or its surface, with every point on its surface equidistant from its centre. Derived shapes.
    1. SOURCE OF LIGHT : Proximity, axis, brightness, light zone and shadow zone.
    2. LIGHT ZONE : Centre light, reflection of source of light (depends upon viewer), half light (6), light half tone (5), halftone (4) and dark half tone (3).
    3. TERMINATOR : Line between light and shadow.
    4. SHADOW ZONE : Core shadow (2), body shadow (3), reflected light (5), shadow interior (2).
    5. CAST SHADOW ZONE : Sharpness, distance of source of light, size of source of light, crack / occlusion / cervix light / accent (1), umbra (2), penumbra (3), antnumbra (4).
  5. COMPLEX SHAPES : Torus (doughnut), dodecahedron (round with 12 faces), tetrahedron (pyramid with 4 faces), square pyramid (pyramid with 5 faces), hexagonal pyramid (pyramid with 7 faces), cuboid (cube with 6 faces), triangular prism (prism with 5 faces), octahedron (diamond with 8 faces), pentagonal prism (prism with 7 faces), hexagonal prism (prism with 8 faces), ellipsoid (planet), tube, organic and combination of two or more forms.
  6. EDGE : Sharp, firm, soft & lost.

4 Value

  1. VALUE : Spectrum (from 1 to 10 i.e. White, light, middle, dark, Black), source of light, local values, intensity of light, type of surface.
  2. TECHNIQUES : Pressure, layering, lifting graphite (eraser, putty and blade), shielding or masking, lead softness (HB, 2B, 4B, 6B, 8B), paper texture.

5 Texture

  1. SURFACE TYPE – rough, smooth, soft, hard, glossy.
  2. TECHNIQUES – hatching, cross hatching, stippling, scumbling (small random sharp shapes to create spiky texture), scribbling (small random circular movement), contour, random lines, zigzag, smudge.
  3. Form with value / texture
    1. CUBE : Value, texture.
    2. CYLINDER : Value, texture.
    3. CONE : Value, texture.
    4. SPHERE : Value, texture.
    5. COMPLEX SHAPES : Combination of above.

6 Space (Depth / 3D)

  1. SIZE : Size in relation to other objects.
  2. DETAILS : Detail in relation to other objects, depth of field.
  3. OVERLAP : Overlap with other objects.
  4. PLACEMENT : Placement of objects on surface / plain.
  5. CONTRAST : Contrast of value, gradation, change in plane, weight & value of line, focus.
  6. COLOR : Warm, cool, morning Blue, evening Orange, opaque.
  7. HORIZON : Background.
  8. PERSPECTIVE : Perspective is creating three-dimensional artwork using height, width, depth and position in relation to each other.
    1. HORIZON LINE : Line, low, mid, high, false/elevation.
    2. VANISHING POINT : 1 point, 2 point, 3 point (ant and birds view), 4 point, diagonal point on horizon line, equidistant objects of same size.
    3. CONVERGING LINES : From vanishing point.
    4. CAST SHADOW : Planes (horizontal, vertical), edge points (points of plane above the ground), surface point (points of plane touching the ground), light point, shadow point, diagonal point, surface shape.
    5. FORESHORTENING : Perspective to create the illusion of an object receding strongly into the distance or background.
    6. APPLICATION : Shapes vs camera’s angle, architectural design, product design (isometric / 3D, top, left, right views), product improvement (PDCA), silhouettes, sequential diagram (storyboard, decay, process, motion), object design (earrings, goggles, scarf, bracelet, bangle, ring, hand bag, belt, shoe).

7 Color

    1. LIGHT SPECTRUM : Refraction splits the light into seven colors, electromagnetic interrupted waves / packets / photons, wavelength is distance between two wave packet.
    2. EYES : Retina, photoreceptor in retina, blind spot, visible light spectrum (VIBGYOR), visible wavelength / frequency (430 to 650 nm) / (700 to 480 THz), con (photopic vision, colors, concentration in the centre of retina, trichromatic RGB, S-cone for Blue, M-cone for Green, L-cone for Red), rod (scotopic vision, black & white), squinting activates scotopic vision.
    3. COLOR MIXING : Additive (RGB, light), subtractive (RBY, pigment).
    4. BASICS : Hue (circumference), Value (vertical axis) and Chroma (from circumference to vertical axis), Color Rendering Index (CRI).
    5. HUE : 16.7 million colors, painters RBY, digital RGB, printers CMY, represents quality of purity of a color, 12 color wheel, primary (Red, Yellow, Blue), secondary (Orange, Green, Purple), tertiary (amber/marigold/yellow–orange, vermilion/cinnabar/red–orange, magenta/red–purple, violet/blue–purple, teal/aqua/blue-green and chartreuse/lime green/yellow–green), Black is no color, White includes all colors.
    6. VALUE : Black, dark, light, White.
    7. CHROMA / SATURATION : Quantitative, Add White for tint, Add Black for Tone, Add grey / opposites for Shade.
    8. COLOR SCHEMES : Monochromatic, complementary, analogues, triad (triangle), tetrad (rectangle), square, split complementary (Y), cool / passive / back, warm / aggressive / front, pastel, food, floral, stones.
    9. COLOR PSYCHOLOGICAL : Red / blood, Yellow / Sun, Blue / sky, Green / nature, Orange / lively, Grey / neutral, White / purity, Black / mystery, Violet / royal, culture, environment.
    10. COLOR MEDIUMS :
      1. Watercolor – Tools (watercolor, brush, cold press watercolor paper), techniques (flat washes, gradations, wet on wet, wet on dry, dry brush, lifting color, scumbling, glazing, stamping, spattering, splashing, ink pen), patterns (sponges, salt, scratching/indenting, alcohol, masking tape, masking fluid, polythene, scraping)
      2. Acrylic – Tools (acrylic, brush, paper / canvas, white texture), techniques (layering, gradations, lifting color, epoxy, white texture)
      3. Oil (oil, brush, paper / canvas, medium, cleaning agent), techniques (mixing, layering, gradations, lifting color), patterns (white texture, epoxy, impasto, paper, knife)
    11. APPLICATION : motifs, prints.

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