A while back, I found a great explanation of the Elements of Art (line, shape, form, space, texture, value, color). The author begins with the analogy of the Elements of Art being like “building blocks” that artists use to create their work. Then she adds that these building blocks work in a similar way to atoms that combine to form other things. (For example, hydrogen and oxygen combine to form H2O.) The artist combines some or all of the Elements of Art to create a painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.
Teaching your students about the Elements of Art will give you a common vocabulary with which to talk about art. The same vocabulary applies whether you’re talking about student work or the work of a master artist from long ago.
Having an Elements of Art Scavenger Hunt in a Painting is a great way to teach these concepts. Challenge your students to study a famous painting and identify as many of the Elements of Art as they can. This is a fun way to test and reinforce your students’ understanding while exposing them to great works of art. It’s also a perfect activity for those extra minutes you sometimes find yourself with at the end of a lesson.
Try my Beachball Scavenger Hunt for another fun activity featuring the Elements of Art & Principles of Design.
This article has links that explain each of the Elements of Art. Can you find six of the seven Elements of Art in the painting by Vincent Van Gogh above??