Visual Literacy

The Elements of Art are the fundamental tools we use to create artworks. Ignoring these would be like ignoring the alphabet when you go to compose a story, ignoring musical notes when you go to write a song. You will have learnt about these in primary school; that means they are essential tools, as numbers and symbols are essential to interpret Maths equations.

Students are expected to utilize the Elements of Art in all of their design, production and theory work. To achieve this they must be able to define each of these concepts and explain their use in Art.

The Elements of Art are the basic properties of a work of art that may be perceived through the senses. In a painting, for instance, the properties that may be perceived through our senses are texture, form, shape, color, line and value (tone). Other elements, for instance sound and time, may be perceived in other art forms such as music and video.  The core subjects you study, English, Maths and Science all have elements that form the basis of your learning in those areas in the same way they work in Art.

English – The alphabet and grammar marks are used to produce words; sentences; paragraphs; stories; etc.

Maths – Numbers and signs are used to compose sums and equations that give meaning and instructions to help us understand, follow instructions or find answers.

Science – Elements of the periodic table combine to form all matter; gas; liquid; solid.

Students should print and memorise the following references.

Elements of Art

DownloadElements of Art here.

Download Principles of Design here.

Go to the link below for good explanations and examples of design Elements and Principles.


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