When playing Game Four – Elements of Art I am reminded that I am the like a conductor of a symphony or a director of a film,  the elements of art acting as my instruments or actors.  It has made me more aware of the choices I usually make intuitively in my work as well as the elements I have not taken full advantage of to play a part in making my work stronger.

It is important to realize that artists will differ in their list of the basic elements of art.  For Alex Powers (Painting People in Watercolor – A Design Approach) the list is: Value, Shape, Texture, Line, Color, Space, Edges.  For Jane R. Hofstetter (7 Keys to Great Paintings)the elements are: Value, Shape, Texture, Line, Color, Size, Direction. Art Fundamentals – Theory and Practice published by McGraw Hill took into account many artists’ list in the attempt to develop a common vocabulary with which to discuss art.  The fine-tuned list of elements is: Value, Shape, Texture, Line, Color.

I suggest that no more than three elements have a leading role in your drawing or painting.  Throw the die either one, two or three times to determine the dominant elements.  Think of all the others as minor actors in your performance, giving each a part to play so they don’t sulk in the background and bring down the energy of the actors who are hoping to win an Oscar.

Throw the die or dice to determine your dominant element(s). Throw one, two or three times.

For the purpose of the game I have created a list of twelve elements of art, expanding on the other lists:

1 = Line

2 = Shape (includes attention to the size of each shape)

3 = Value

4 = Edges

5 = Space

6 = Movement

7 = Direction (Horizontal, Vertical, Diagonal, Curves)

8 = Texture

9 = Color Hue

10 = Color Intensity

11 =Color Temperature (Warm)

12 = Color Temperature (Cool)

The challenge is to balance all of the elements to express your intentions and convey your emotions or thoughts.  They must not fight one another for attention.  As an artist, you choose which will have the strongest voices and exactly how the other voices will harmonize or be intentionally discordant.

In the workshops I give demonstrations creating work with different dominant elements.

I will post samples soon.

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