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Basic Elements of Design

Below is a series of six (6) tasks to complete using the basic elements of design. All work (except for task B) must be completed by hand. Use a pencil (shading with ink will give you fits) and bright white, unlined paper. Most importantly: have fun!

A. Name the Line: Create five boxes that are 2″ wide and 3″ high. Create a different line in each box then write a name below each box that describes the line.

B. Color Wheel: Create a color wheel using any kind of medium you’d like. Include primary, secondary, and intermediate colors.

C. Create a Shape: Create two boxes as you did for task A. In box 1, create a design with geometrical shapes. In box 2, create a design with organic shapes. Now draw the boxes again with the same shapes in them. In box 1, shade the positive space. In box 2, shade the negative space.

D. Texture: Create another two boxes. Draw different types of texture in each box, and describe the texture underneath each box.

E. Value Scale: Create five more boxes. Leave the box on the far right blank; it will be the lightest in value. Shade the box on the far left completely black; this will be the darkest value. Shade in the three remaining boxes to show a gradual change from lightest to darkest.

F. Form: Draw and correctly shade the four basic forms: cube, cone, sphere, and cylinder.


  • Pencil
  • Unlined paper
  • Digital camera or scanner
  • Post one or more JPEG files

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