Pastel Workshop

Casey Klahn on the Pastel Medium.

See Differently. Understanding and Using the Elements of Art.

Pastel Workshop

Pure Pigment, Paste and Passion. Casey Klahn on the Pastel Medium.

Casey Klahn

Art is a language, and design and color are the grammar of pictures. This grammar, or system of visual tools, is known as the elements of art. These elements are universal to visual communication; they are the irreducible stuff of our visual understanding. The abstracted floral arrangement above is making use of color, line, space and shape, for example.

Point, line, form, color, shape, texture and space are elements of art that both Leonardo da Vinci and Lucien Freud used when they created their works of art. Used together, the tools form a system for designing pictures. This system is the secret handshake; knowing the elements is the key to visual understanding that expresses meaning the same way that words are used in language and notes in music.

Other dynamics of design, which are not considered as universal as line and form, etc., include movement, composition, unity, balance, pattern and rhythm.

Everything is disclosed nowadays by a sign, or a visual symbol. Meaning is more quickly apprehended by the eye than any other form of communication, and understanding visuals is as essential to doing your job as are numbers and grammar. The elements and dynamics, while critical to the artist, are also very important for anyone who wants to keep pace with the way their era is unfolding.

This book will explore the elements with brevity and thoroughness. Bookmarking this blog will help keep you up-to-date as posts are made.

Casey Klahn is an artist, instructor and blogger. He blogs at The Colorist, and teaches workshops in the US and internationally on the artist’s process and on color.