The third process of Separation consists of the recognition of the essential art elements.

   Before the image of anything, say a tree, can be produced, the artist must be acquainted with the basic elements necessary to all art and in this case, specifically those necessary to reproduce the reality of a tree. A tree is not an essential element of its own accord. It is the combination of specific lines, specific shapes, specific textures, specific tones and specific colors. In relation, the image of perhaps a cardboard box differs from that of a tree in the realization that a box possesses specific lines, shapes, tones, textures and colors that are not necessarily similar to those of a tree.

   In order for the artist to efficiently choose the specific elements necessary to represent the reality that he desires to reproduce, a knowledge and recognition of the most basic art elements must be acquired. Only after the basic elements are known can they be combined in the necessary way to reproduce an imagery.

   In art terms the basic elements consist of: line, shape, texture, tone and color. (It might be argued by some that mass, perspective and various elemental forms also should be included in this list but I would refute such argument with the statement that these do not merit being acknowledged as ‘basic’ in that they can be effected by the combinations of the five elements listed.)

   Recognition of the inherent attributes of each of these basic elements is essential to an understanding and knowledge of art. Because of the simple fact that it is the basic elements which the artist must work with in order to produce any image, it almost goes without saying that the artist must know their attributes.