Elements of Art Vocabulary

This includes all of the vocabulary specific to the elements of art.

  • 1

    7th Grade: for the week of September 21

    Your words for this week will be everything associated with Color. Dont worry about the other elements of art yet, focus on color.

  • 2

    Check out the Quizlet for Elements of Art

    Go to the quizlet link listed below. You don't need to do anything but look at it right now. You might book-mark it so you can get to it easily.

Elements of Art Vocabulary

7 Elements of Art

  1. Line: A moving dot.

Contour lines-Lines that show you where an object ends (outlines)

Line quality-The thickness or thinness of a line

Cross Contour lines-lines that follow the contour or form of the object.



  1. Shape: A closed line that is limited in two directions, length and width.

Geometric Shapes-you can usually use math to find information about these shapes and these shapes generally have specific names associated with them. For example; square, hexagon, circle, triangle.

Organic Shapes-shapes that seem to follow no rules.


  1. Form: objects that are 3-Dimensional or have length, width and height.

Geometric forms-have specific names associated with them are typically man-made. For example; cone, cube, sphere, cylinder.

Organic forms-do not have specific names associated with them and are often associated with naturally occurring forms.


  1. Value: the lightness or darkness of a color.

Value Scale-a tool used to measure value

Tints-lighter values made by mixing pigment to white

Shades-darker values made by mixing black to pigment.


  1. Space: the area above, around and within objects.

Negative space-space around the main subject.

Positive space-space the main subject occupies.

Overlapping, size, placement, linear perspective, shading, detail and focus are the primary ways that artists use to create depth and space in an image.



  1. Color: in terms of art color refers to reflected light.

Color wheel-the color spectrum bent into a circle.

Primary colors- red, yellow, blue. These are called primary because they are used to mix all of the other colors in existence and these colors themselves cannot be created by mixing.

Secondary Colors-colors that are created by mixing equal part of two primary colors. These colors are orange, green and violet (purple).

Tertiary or intermediate colors-are created by mixing equal parts of a secondary color with a primary color. Tertiary colors are named according to the colors that are used to mix them listing the primary color first. They are; red-orange, yellow-orange, red-violet, blue violet, blue-green and yellow green.

Hue-an identifiable color from the color wheel.

Intensity-how pure or saturated a color is. Color intensity is adjusted by adding grays to the hue.

Neutral Colors- Neutral colors are created by combining complements to create muddy earthy tones. Neutral colors are neither warm nor cool.

Color schemes-are a systematic way that colors are put together in artworks according to their arrangement on the color wheel.

Monochromatic-consist of just one color and the tints and shades (value) of that color.

Complimentary-uses colors that are directly across from each other on the color wheel. These colors are opposites that work well together.

Analogous-three to five colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Analagous color schemes provide harmonious color arrangements in drawing and paintings.

Triadic Color Scheme- three colors equally spaced on the color wheel.

Cool Color Scheme- greens, blues, violets. Typically associated with things that are cold.

Warm Color Scheme- red, yellow, orange. Typically associated with things that are warm.

Achromatic color scheme- A color scheme possessing no hue : being or involving black, gray, or white. In simple English: without color.


  1. Texture: the way something feels or look like it would feel.

Visual texture-an illusion of texture created by an artist also called 2D texture.

Actual texture-texture that can be physically touched and felt. Also called 3D texture.