Elements of art include but are not limited to color, line, form,
texture and scale. These elements are never independent of each other,
but we will discuss their individual natures before considering the
best be explained by use of a
color wheel (
Figure 1 ). Primary colors
blue and yellow. Orange, green
are called secondary colors because they are combinations of two
primary colors. For example, yellow and red are combined to yield
orange. Tertiary colors are the fusion of one primary and one secondary
color. These colors would be between primary and secondary colors.
Tint refers to a light value and is accomplished by adding white to the
pure color on the color wheel, while shade is a dark value and is
created by adding black to the pure color on the color wheel. Black,
white and grey are neutrals and are compatible with any color. Light
colors and tints tend to attract attention as do bright, vivid colors.
combined into color schemes for
Three basic color schemes are monochromatic, analogous and
complementary. A monochromatic color scheme consists of different tints
and shades of one color and is seldom achieved in its pure form in the
landscape. An example of an incomplete monochromatic color scheme would
include white and pink flowers with a background of a dark pink and red
schemes combine colors which are
side-by-side on the color wheel. An analogous color scheme could
include green, blue-green, green-blue, blue and violet blue. This color
scheme could be achieved by varying the foliage color from green to
blue-green or by using pyracantha with orange-red berries against a red
color schemes combine colors
directly across the color
wheel. For example, red and green would be complementary colors. A
complementary color scheme may be achieved by using plants with green
foliage against a red brick house.
It is possible to
have varying color schemes in
one area of the
landscape as the seasons change. White and pink azaleas flowers can
yield a monochromatic color scheme with a red brick house. The green
azalea foliage would produce a complementary color for the red brick
during the summer. Pyracantha berries would be an analogous color to
the red brick in the fall. The landscape designer should consider the
color changes throughout the year when developing a landscape plan.
Colors can be
used to visually change distance
perspective. Warm colors
and light tints like red, orange, yellow and white advance an object or
area toward the observer. These colors and tints placed near the
foundation of a house would make the house appear closer to the street.
Cool colors and deep shades like blue, green and black recede and can
be used to make the house appear farther from the street. Cool colors
are restful while warm colors express action and are best used in
filtered light or against a green or dark background.
Color can be used
to direct attention in the
landscape. Due to this
strong characteristic, color should be used carefully. When color is
used for this purpose, consideration must be given to year-round color
not just to seasonal color. Consideration may also be given to the time
of day when this color will be enjoyed. White or light tints could be
used to create interest on a patio. Dark colors would add little to
family enjoyment of this area as the daylight hours passed.
is related to eye movement or flow. The concept and
creation of line depends upon the purpose of the design and existing
patterns. In the overall landscape, line is inferred by bed arrangement
and the way these beds fit or flow together (
). Line is also created vertically by changes in plant height and the
height of tree and shrub canopies. Line in a small area such as an
entrance or privacy garden is created by branching habits of plants,
arrangement of leaves and/or sequence of plant materials.
Straight lines tend to be forceful, structural and stable and direct
the observer's eye to a point faster than curved lines. Curved or
free-flowing lines are sometimes described as smooth, graceful or
gentle and create a relaxing, progressive, moving and natural feeling.
and line are closely related. Line is considered usually in
terms of the outline or edge of objects, whereas form is more
encompassing. The concept of form is related also to the size of an
object or area. Form can be discussed in terms of individual plant
growth habits or as the planting arrangement in a landscape.
include upright, oval, columnar,
spreading, broad spreading, weeping, etc. (
). Form is basically the shape and structure of a plant or mass of
plants. Structures also have form and should be considered as such when
designing the area around them.
the surface quality of an object than can be
seen or felt. Surfaces in the landscape includes buildings, walks,
patios, groundcovers and plants. The texture of plants differs as the
relationships between the leaves, twigs and branches differ ( Figure 4
). Coarse, medium or fine could be used to describe texture but so
could smooth, rough, glossy or dull.
the size of an object or objects in relation to
the surroundings. Size refers to definite measurements while scale
describes the size relationship between adjacent objects. The size of
plantings and buildings compared on the human scale must be considered (