LINE is straight or curved, heavy or light, soft or hard or a mixture of them all.

LINE can characterise a shape by being the edge of an area or surface, colour, tone or pattern – it becomes an outline or contour.


LINE can suggest RHYTHM.

LINE can create TEXTURAL results.

LINE can indicate EMOTIONAL effects.


SHAPE can be bordered by a LINE.

SHAPE can be defined by COLOUR, TEXTURE or TONE.

SHAPE can suggest movement or emotions.

SHAPE in 3-D is called FORM.

SHAPE can be sharp and clear or hazy and suggesting something.



COLOUR is an element of design with endless variety.

COLOUR is a mixture of 3 primary colours, red, yellow and blue.

SECONDARY COLOURS are a mix of 2 primary colours, orange, green and purple.

TERTIARY COLOURS are a mix of the 3 primary colours, red, yellow and blue. Many different colours can be made by changing the amount of primary colours used.
Colour has TEMPERATURE – reds and oranges feel warm like the sun or desert. Cooler colours like blues and greens go more with water and ice.

INTENSITY of colour is its strength and purity.

HUE is the quality that separates one colour from another.

TONE VALUE is the degree of lightness or darkness of a colour, yellow is light, blue is dark.

TINTS are made by adding white to a colour.

SHADES are made by adding black to a colour.


ANALOGOUS COLOURS are hues lying near each other on the colour wheel, red-orange, red-purple.

COMPLIMENTARY COLOURS are hues opposite each other on the colour wheel, red and green, purple and yellow.

DISCORD is where opposite colours are together and one is a tint, so that the original tone of the hue is different.


TONE is light and dark. Light reveals, shows the world to us, and shadow gives meaning to the things we see.

TONE can give solidity, volume and weight to an image

TONE gives the impression of distance. Darker tones come forward and lighter tones go back into the image.

TONE can give emotion to an image. Highly contrasting tones give life and energy, softer tones give a gentle mood.

TONE can create rhythm, with the eyes jumping from one dark tone to another.

TONE is the property of colour. Yellow is light, blue is dark.

TONE in sculpture is the way it catches the light, so that sharp changes are made by deep corners, and gentle ones by smooth gradual changes.


TEXTURE is the part of the surface that can be felt or seen.

TEXTURE is concerned with touch, how something feels.

TEXTURE can be rough, smooth, spiky, soft, velvety, regular or irregular.

TEXTURE can suggest emotions by linking with the memory of how things feel.

TEXTURE can be real, the surface is actually rough or smooth or it can be suggested by the way the surface is treated.


DIRECTION is about how our eyes move around the artwork.

DIRECTION can be horizontal, vertical, curved, sloped or straight.

DIRECTION can suggest movement by the speed at which it is changed.

DIRECTION can be balanced to give stability or imbalanced to give tension

DIRECTION can have an emotional impact. Using rapid changes in direction or use of diagonals, can cause anxiety while horizontals and verticals bring about calm.


SIZE is about the bigness or smallness of an area.

SIZE can give space, it can make closer objects appear larger and make distant objects appear smaller.

SIZE can be given by comparing one element that is larger or smaller than the other.

SIZE can make a particular element look important.


MASS is the amount of material in any sculptural work.

MASS can be suggested in a painting or drawing.

MASS can be heavy or light in effect.

SPACE or VOID refers to the lack of mass.