Every piece of art has it’s own vocabulary, a visual vocabulary that give it structure and interest. This vocabulary is made up of six basic elements: Line, Texture, Shape, Form, Color, and Value. Whether you do abstract art, non-objective, or even realistic, you’ll find at least one, if not more, of these elements at work.
Each of these basic art elements are important to the success of your work, but we tend to take them for granted. In artist Dean Nimmer’s art instruction video on Creating Abstract Art: 6 Key Elements of Success, he shows you how when you focus on each element individually, you can learn to use them to increase success in your painting. Each element has its own characteristics and can help make your art more interesting. Explore the elements of line, texture, and form here as extracted from Dean’s video instruction.
The character of line can be subtle, aggressive, lyrical, rhythmic. Different types of line can be included in one piece of art, and can transition from one type of line to another. Pay attention to the quality of line itself and how you are using it in your art.
In Dean’s exercise on texture, he shows you techniques for working with random texture to enjoy the process of making art without worrying about results, as well as ways to use texture in a more controlled way. When you pay attention to the element of texture you’ll find new ways to make this element work to your advantage and energize your art.
There are different possibilities for shape within a composition. We tend to see shape as positive form, but Dean shows you how paying attention to negative shapes between form will stimulate your creativity. In abstract art, it’s not important what the shape is or what it looks like, but what character and qualities it has to contribute to your art.
About Dean Nimmer
Professor emeritus at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, Dean Nimmer has exhibited his work in more than 200 solo and group exhibitions across the United States, Europe, China, Japan, and Australia; his art can also be found in several public and private collections. A regular workshop instructor, Dean’s goal in teaching is to inspire artists to find and access possibilities for creating original artworks with an enthusiasm for the process of making art. Get more abstract inspiration in his book, Creating Abstract Art (from North Light Books), or visit DeanNimmer.com for more information.