Whether you’re teaching your own kiddos at home as a homeschool mom (me) or you’re an art teacher trying to get the message across to a crowd (also me) the elements of art are a good place to start. They’re basics, building blocks for fun stuff to come.
Every piece of artwork, whether created by your child or a famous artist of years past, uses at least a couple of these seven elements of art. Isn’t that cool? By learning how to define and manipulate these seven ideas your kiddo is on their way to being able to talk about, make, and appreciate art in a whole new way!
If I’m not an artist, then…
Those of you that visit here at The Kitchen Table Classroom often know that I’m a huge fan of learning through exploration. For mom’s that aren’t quite sure where to start teaching this loosey goosey thing called art I say let our kids lead the way. Provide quality materials to which your kids have free access. Let them make their own creations on their own time. Freedom builds creativity.
Teaching the elements of art through books…
Combine some good, basic supplies with fun children’s books about the elements of art and you’re on your way to a solid foundation of an art education.
These books are so great because if you’re not fully confident in what you are teaching you can learn right alongside of your child. If you are confident well, then, these books are just plain fun.
Children’s literature is a slam dunk in introducing any new concept in my book. It seems less like a boring “lesson” and more like playtime. It’s that whole learning without even knowing they are learning thing that us homeschoolers love!
An easy intro to the elements of art….
While kids have so much to gain through free exploration learning about these seven little elements is an important step. Knowing these seven elements gives kids a tool to be able to talk about their art and the artwork of others. This free printable book that focuses on all seven elements. Each page has a super simple definition and an illustration of that specific element, There’s also space for your child to play around with their own example.
This book is perfect for the younger, elementary aged crowd. While there is not a huge amount of depth it’s a good introductory way to get those words in their head and start using them as part of their art vocabulary.
Elements of art for the older crowd…
This free printable, of course, includes the same seven elements of art as the printable book. This printable requires your student to match a slightly more in depth definition with the name of the element. There is room inside should you want them to sketch examples of each element.
This fold up elements of art printable would make an excellent addition to a journal or art class sketchbook. And when you’ve exhausted your studies of the elements of art and move on to the principles of design check out this matching fold up principles of design worksheet!
More elements of art…
Each of the following posts goes into a little more depth than either the printable books or the folding definitions printable. When your kiddo is ready these free printables will combine to really firm up the elements of art concepts. I would say this series of printables is best suited for older elementary/ middle school age and up!
Each element has an entire page devoted to its definition, examples, and room to sketch new examples!
Color wheel and color theory printable…..
This free element of color printable includes the following vocabulary; primary colors, warm & cool colors, analogous colors, value, and complementary colors. Definitions are all right there on your printable for easy referral and independent student work!
There is also a free ten page book all about color concepts and a six page set of free printable color mixing charts to print and use. And if you’re looking for more hands on color experiences to really reinforce the vocabulary and concepts learned in these printables this post will hook you up with easy, hands on ideas for exploring color theory!
Introduction to the element of texture…
This element of texture printable points out two different types of textures and how artists rely on each of them.
Actual texture is the easier concept to discuss with kids. This is what kids know when they reach out and touch that bumpy tissue paper collage or smooth porcelain bowl.
The idea that an artist can imply a texture that is other than the surface on which the artwork is created is a tricky one. Students will be asked to create and name a variety of implied textures on their smooth paper.
Along with the printable resource this post will also point you to five hands on projects that really illustrate the element of texture!
Learning about the element of line…
Line is an essential element of art. It’s a great place to start with kids, no matter their age, because it is so un-intimidating. Pointing out the element of line in art is an easy place to start!
The first line printable I’ll share with you is the one page element of line printable that joins the others in this series. All you need for this exercise is black Sharpies or pens. This helps to really isolate the element of line!
This eight page printable book about line is a playful way to get kids thinking beyond the basics of lines. Different kinds of lines, how artists use lines, and even the idea that lines can show emotions!
This post is a round up of hands on art activities that allow your kiddo to explore the element of line in a hands on way!
Introduction to the Element of Space
The element of space can be a tricky one to teach. Use the tips included in this space printable gives kids distinct steps to create the illusion of depth in their artwork, and thereby some realism! Adding the element of space and depth within an artwork is an exciting thing for a kiddo. Their artwork will begin to show a little depth and perspective which is an exciting improvement! Having some concrete tools to draw from gives kids the courage to keep making art!
Form in Art
Although the element of form may seem a little tricky it’s really simple. A shape is flat. A form takes up space in the room. Form is three dimensional and has volume. The real fun begins when students are old enough to understand the bigger concept; that the “idea” of form can be drawn on a two dimensional paper.
Use this free one page printable about the element of form to teach the ins and outs of from the easy way!
The Element of Shape
SHape is one of the first elements of art that really little kids learn. Even before the preschool years we start asking kids to identify shapes by their proper names. Kids can sink their teeth into this element and enjoy identifying shapes in art work and their environment as well as making their own shapes! This element of shape printable explores and defines both geometric and organic shapes.
This lesson on Adinkra printmaking is an easy application for shapes as symbols! Check it out here!
The Element of Value in Art
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