This is a great visual example of which element of art? Which principle?

Last week I spoke about warm up exercises as a means to get back into your creative groove. This week I share one for visual artists, or those who want to learn more about art and art analysis.

The big questions for today: What are the words that we use to discuss artwork?  What are the elements and principles of art?

First step is to get out a sketchbook, journal or piece of blank paper. List the elements of art. Don’t know them all? Don’t worry, I have them listed below. The elements and principles of art are an artist’s toolkit when creating art. A strong artwork considers carefully the elements and principles of art.

Elements of Art:  Line, Color, Texture, Space, Shape, Form, Value

Now, the next step is differentiated to meet your creative needs.

A) If you want to improve your art analysis, find artists via Google Cultural Institute (new and improved Google Art Project) and find exemplar artworks for each element of art.


B) if you want to better your drawing skills, conduct a scavenger hunt in your home or via Google Cultural Institute. Draw thumbnail sketches of each visual you discover that is an exemplar for the elements of art.

Need some examples to work from???

In the examples I showcase below, students were asked to go around and find artwork or take photographs themselves to represent each principle of art. So, I’ve given you three different ways to find the elements and principles of art! It’s a great task to get you thinking about art and how you describe and talk about art. Not only finding exemplars is important, but written reflection or oral discussion with a friend about how you justify your choices will really enhance the learning taking place.

Example of Scavenger hunt for Principles of Art

Example of Scavenger hunt for Principles of Art

Photo Scavenger Hunt of the Principles of Art

Photo Scavenger Hunt of the Principles of Art

Want more?

An extension assignment would be to conduct the same tasks for all of the principles of art as well.

Principles of Art:  Emphasis, Balance, Harmony, Variety, Pattern, Movement, Rhythm, Proportion, Unity, Contrast

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Like this activity? Want to learn more about the elements and principles of art? Check out my ebook ARTSpeak. Buy it via Amazon US or UK for your Kindle, or FirstyFish for your iPad or other e-reader.

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