As an Art teacher, I believe Art should be accessible to all people, not just the talented or well-connected few. This “Art Smart” series was created for people who love learning about art in bite-sized pieces. Using these articles, you can learn together as a family and explore art-related topics with engaging information and useful online resources that are practical and fun!  

 Line, shape, color, form, space, value and texture are the vocabulary used to describe any work of art. They are the "Elements of Art.” Not every piece of art contains all these elements, but at least two are always present. In the past four months we have explored color, value, texture, and lines. “Form” is this month’s featured element. Form at its most basic, is a three-dimensional geometrical figure (i.e.: sphere, cube, cylinder, cone, etc.), whereas a shape is two-dimensional, or flat. For instance, a circle is a shape; but a basketball is a form. A square is a shape, but dice are forms because they are cubes; they have dimension. So, let us say you wish to change a triangle, which is a shape, into a form. What must you do to accomplish this task? That’s right; add depth to the width and height. So, can you guess what a triangle with width, depth, and height is? If you guessed a pyramid, you would be right!


Sculptures usually best exemplify the concept of form due to their evident three-dimensional properties. The sculpture is the art of carving, modeling, welding, pasting or otherwise producing figurative or abstract works of art in three dimensions or “3D”.  Sculptures and relief carvings reach out and beg to be touched. They have texture, depth and interesting lines to them. They are forms because they possess a multi-sided look or feel. You can create sculpture forms with clay, paper, glass, marble, metal, wood, stone, rubber, ice, sand, even soap! You can also create a “mixed media” sculpture by combining any of these mediums together for an even more unusual form. What about images on paper or other flat surfaces; can they be considered forms too? In a sense, yes. Many artists create images on a flat surface that look “3D” when viewed. This impressive effect is accomplished when a variety of shading and color techniques are added to an object, scene on paper, or other flat surface.

This month I am excited to provide you with five fabulous online resources to help you learn more about form!

Online Resources

1.      If you are still a bit unclear as to what “form” is exactly, the “Virtual Instructor” provides you with a brief and easy lesson in form and its many attributes.

2.      Young and young at heart students will enjoy this next video that teaches all about “sculptures”:

3.      At “TheAwesomeArts” channel you can experience private, FREE art lessons! The attached tutorial teaches you how to accomplish your own line form sculpture with mere paper and glue.

4.      At “The Art Hub” Mr. Rob and his kids show your student how to create a simple “person sculpture” using inexpensive air dry clay.

5.      The artist at “Ventuno Art” provides you with a super-fun way to make your hand into your very own 3D virtual sculpture using only a pencil, paper and markers. You don’t want to miss this one!  

Next month we will learn how to identify and incorporate negative and positive space into artwork.  I’m “positive” you will like it! Until then, take creative courage from philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, “Every artist was first an amateur.”