Abstract Art that does not attempt to represent the appearance of objects, real or imginary. The artist takes an
image or object and changes its appearance by leaving out details, simplifying or rearranging its parts
to express his or her idea or feeling. Abstract work with no recognizable subject matter is called non-
Abduction Lifting certain characteristics from one thing and superimposing them on another
Abstract Expressionism Mid-20th century American movement in painting stressing formal purity
Abstract Form Line, shape or form that reads as a self-contained visual experience without outside reference
Abstract Thought Thought concerned with theories principles or concepts
Abstraction A style of artwork that does not imitate perceptual reality; simplification. Abstraction can occur in
varying degrees, perhaps to the extent where you may not recognize the subject matter.
Académie des Beaux-Arts The French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. An academy for visual art instruction, in Paris,
founded in 1648. Because the French academies dictated elaborate conventions and aesthetic doctrines
for the manufacture of art, by 1870 the school had become synonymous with conventional art and had
declined in importance.
Academy The term usually refers to a recognized society established for the promotion of one or more of the arts
Acanthus A type of leaf used to adorn the capitals of Greco-Roman columns
Achromatic Term used to describe artwork employing no colors, only values – black and white.
Paper that has a neutral pH because it is either made with 100% rag or else it is treated with chemicals
Acid Free to make it neutral
Actual Space Open or enclosed area around a sculpture or other 3 dimensional work of art.
Actual Texture Texture that may be felt.
Refers to a manner of creating artwork in which material is added to other materials to create the
Add-on Drawings Building a drawing over time, adding new, sometimes diverse elements as you go
Aerial Perspective The portrayal of atmospheric haze -- one means to adding to an illusion of depth achieved by using less
focus, along with bluer, lighter, and duller hues for the distant spaces and objects depicted in a 2D
Aesthetic Theory A philosophical viewpoint concerning the nature of art.
Aesthetics A branch of philosophy that studies how humans respond to and value social, psychological, and
philosophical aspects of art and beauty.
Algorithm A simple, automatic procedure which can result in something complex and elelgant
Alla Prima A method of oil painting in which the picture is completed with the first application of paints to the
entire area, instead of being built up by layering. Italian for "the first time."
Allegory A representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning through concrete or material forms.
Ambient Light A general effect of all -over illumination of an area eliminating shadows
Ambiguous Having several possible meanings
An effect of depth in a drawing in which spatial cues contradict each other, causing tension, and a
Ambiguous Space confusion of depth
Amoebic Blob-like, irregularly curvilinear
Analogous Colors Colors adjacent to one another on the color wheel
Analysis Step in art criticism that asks "How is the work organized? How has the artist used the principles of
Analyze Carefully examining separate parts of a specific work of art, including analysis of its parts and how
they function both separately and in conjunction with the rest of the work.
Ancient Greek Art
There were a wide range of art forms and styles that came from ancient Greece. Ancient Greeks
produced textiles, ceramic vessels, paintings, mosaics, and sculptures. The oldest art forms are very
geometric in nature with later art forms dedicated to the realistic and naturalistic depiction of the
human form. Greek art has influenced all western art forms that occurred after it.
Angle of Recession The orientation of a form in three dimensions, described by an axis or edge projected into depth
Roughly speaking, the darker a color appears the heavier it feels, and the more weight that color
Apparent Weight shapes lends to that area of the composition.
Applied Arts The practical application of artistic principles and skills usually for commerce
Applique The technique of sewing pieces of cloth onto a cloth background in creating a work of art. This is also
used to make picture quilts.
Appropriation The selection and use of previously existing images or styles for use in art
Apse A recess in a building, usually a part of traditional Christian churches.
Arbitrary Color Way of using colors that have nothing to do with what is actually seen – colors are used purely
Arcade Row of arches
Architect An artist who creates original designs for buildings and environments and supervises their
Architectural or Drafted Forms The forms of buildings and machines
Architecture A form of sculpture that involves buildings
Arcuated Architectural system that uses arches
Art Criticism The description, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of the success of a work of art.
Art Gallery A location where artwork is displayed and sometimes sold.
Art Museum An institution dedicated to the preservation of works of art, and to educating people about those
Assess To organize and analyze some kind of visual information for the purpose of understanding its
Assymetrical Balance Type of balance a composition has if it may not be divided to get two mirror image halves.
Atmospheric Perspective The effect of the atmosphere on the way we perceive tones and colors as they recede toward the
The mutation from interest to boredom. Ex. Listening to the art teacher talk for too long leads to
Attentive Fatigue boredom.
Attributes Characteristics of objects or works of art.
Attribution Assignment of a work of art to a particular person or group of people based on visual characteristics
Automatic Drawing A process of drawing mechanically, randomly, or by unconscious free association
Automatic Texture Textures created through the interaction of materials with minimum intervention by the artist
Avant Garde A term used to describe art that seems to be ahead of its time, unusual, and experimental
Background Area (below eye level) that is the highest on the picture plane.
Background Shapes Shapes within a background that tend to look as though they are further away or behind other shapes.
Balance An arrangement in which elements of art are organized so that the parts seem to be equally important
on either side and have equal visual weight.
Baroque The art style or art movement of the Counter-Reformation in the seventeenth century in which painters,
sculptors, and architects sought emotion, movement, and variety in their works.
Basic Unit A starting shape or unit of measurement chosen from within the composition for the purpose of
maintaining correct size relationships.
Biceps Long large muscle on the front of the upper arm that flexes the forearm.
Biceps Femoris Large muscle on the back of the thigh that flexes the leg at the knee.
Binder In paint, this is the substance that holds the pigment particles together and that allows them to attach to
Vision with two eyes, which is two different visual signals assimilated into one signal in the brain.
Binocular Vision Binocular vision perceived depth and form
Birren Triangle A triangle with Black, White, and a Pure color on each of the points that illustrates all the possible
shades, tints, and halftones of one color.
Blank An egg shaped oval, drawn on paper to represent the human head seen from the front.
Blind Contour Contour drawing done without looking at your paper while drawing
Blocking In The first step in a painting where the composition is simplified into a few shapes that are filled in as
Bond Paper Very inexpensive paper used for studies
Brain Mode A mental state implying emphasis on particular capabilities of the human brain.
Breakthrough A moment of new realization, when what seemed difficult, even impossible, suddenly becomes easy
Brushes made with Hog bristles. They are stiff, and useful for oil painting, also they are good for dry
Bristle Brush brush techniques
Bristol Board Board for creating artwork that varies in levels of ply
Broken Color Impressionist way of mixing color on the canvas by putting dabs of different colors side by side. This
is also referred to as optical mixing.
Brush and Ink A drawing medium that employs some type of ink applied to paper using a brush.
Byzantine Art A style of art that uses bright colors, flattened, stiff figures, and often gold leaf, associated with the
Eastern Roman Empire during the time period 330 AD - 1450 AD
Canon Body of rules of proportion
Cantilever Substantially long overhanging portion of a roof in modern architecture
Canvas A sturdy type of woven fabric that can be used as a support for paintings.
Cartoon Large, finished drawing used to create frescoes, mosaics, and other large works
Carving A sculptural technique in which wood, stone, plaster or other solid material is cut away to make a piece
of art work.
Cast Shadow Shadow thrown by an object onto another surface; usually this is the darkest area in a composition,
making up the low darks.
Center of Interest The island of interest within the sea of restraint
Central Axis Human features are more or less symmetrical and are bisected by an imaginary vertical line in the
middle of the face.
Ceramics An art form involving clay and a variety of firing or glazing techniques.
Cezanne French painter that painted with small patches of color to represent different planes of forms.
Chalk White pigments mixed with gum and pressed into a stick form for use as crayons. Other colored
pigments are sometimes mixed in to create chalk pastels.
Chamois Soft textured cloth or leather used in drawing to disperse charcoal evenly
Charcoal Carbonized wood made by charring willow, vine, or other twigs in airtight containers
Charcoal Paper Specially textured paper designed for use with charcoal.
Charcoal Pencil A thin stick of compressed charcoal surrounded by wood, similarly to a graphite pencil.
Chiaroscuro A word borrowed from Italian ("light and shade") referring to the modeling of volume by depicting
light and shade by contrasting them boldly.
Cityscape An artwork in which a city or town is the main subject matter.
Claude Monet Most famous impressionist painter – fiercely criticized – helped start the impressionist exhibits.
Closure The minds ability, when looking at a painting to provide the missing parts of a line or shape
Coalesce Come together, merging of several distinct entities
Cognitive Shift A brain shift either from L-Mode to R-Mode or vice versa
Coil Method A technique of forming clay that involves making even coils of clay and joining them to build pottery
or other objects.
Coils Long, even, rolls of clay that are used to make pottery in the ―coil method‖. This is one of several
techniques that can be used to make pottery.
Cold Pressed Paper that is pressed with cold rollers to make it slightly textured.
Collaboration Working in groups. Art work is often made in collaboration with several artists.
Collage Artwork that has been made by pasting pieces of paper or other materials to a flat surface.
Color The characteristic of reflected light described as red, blue, yellow, etc
Color Harmonies Relationships between colors that go well together in a composition.
Color Preference When a viewer prefers a painting because the particular dominant color appeals to him/her
Color Sphere A color model invented by the Romantic painter Runge that includes and explains the relationships
between all shades, tints, and intensities of all color hues.
Color Value The lightness or darkness of a color.
Color Wheel A theory that helps artists learn about the relationship between colors and how to mix them. Bending
the color spectrum (rainbow) into a circle.
Colored Pencil A pencil filled with clay, a colored pigment, and wax. Colored pencils are used for creating color
Commission The hiring of one or more artists to create a specific work of art or multiple works of art.
Communication The ability of an artwork to “speak” to the viewer.
Complimentary Colors Colors that are directly across from one another. In one sense complimentary colors are opposites –
they contrast one another strongly and when they are put together they make each other stand
out. They also neutralize one another when they are mixed. They do, however go well together.
Compostion How the elements of art and principles of design are arranged in a work of art.
Conceptual Having to do with a governing idea or philosophy
Conceptualism Belief that the value of art is found when one considers the original purpose and process as opposed to
the finished product
Constraints The working parameters that define a creative project
Construct To create, build or put together artwork by joining materials. A well-composed composition is
described as having ―unity‖.
Conte Crayon A drawing medium comparable to colored chalk. A popular color used in drawing is a reddish earth
tone called sanguine.
Content Substance or meaning of a work of art beyond its nominal subject matter
Contextual Factors Place, time, environment—external factors that influence the meaning of a work of art.
Contextualism Theory that the value of art depends on the external beliefs and perceptions that the viewer brings to the
Contour The outline and other visible edges of an object. There are many different kinds of contours. Usually a
contour drawing is more than a sillouette of a form. It also includes lines inside the sillouette that
define other edges and create volume
Contraposto A pose in art with the weight of an upright person’s body favoring one side, considered the ideal pose
for Classical sculpture
Contrast Two things put together that are very different. Contrast tends to create variety and emphasis.
Converge Coming together. Converging lines begin at different points, and end at the same point
Cool Colors Colors that remind people of cool things and tend to feel calming
Copy An intentional imitation, replica, reproduction, or duplication of an original work of art, usually
produced in the same medium. Unlike a fake, a copy generally is intended as an emulation of a model
rather than as a deception.
Craft A skill or art form that has been carefully made by hand.
Craftsman A highly skilled person who creates artwork by hand.
Craftsmanship The act of working carefully and skillfully with your hands.
Craquelure Cracks in the finish of old oil paintings
Crayon Etching Technique in which a layer of some medium is applied on top of a layer of thick crayon. The artist
scratches through the top layer to expose the color of the bottom crayon layer.
Crayon Resist A drawing technique that uses a wet medium such as watercolor on top of a layer of crayon. The
crayon ―resists‖ the wet medium and shows through.
Creative The ability to think divergently and with originality. All children are creative thinkers when encouraged
to think in different ways.
A strategy for creative progress in which, just as you become comfortable on one level you move on to
Creative Advancement another
Crest Shadow The shadow actually on an object when a surface is turned away from the light source
Criterion A standard on which a judgement is based. Aesthetic theories establish criteria by which art is judged
Critical Process The act of thinking critically or employing critical thinking skills to perceive, describe, analyze,
interpret, and evaluate a work of art.
Criticism Analyzing and evaluating the strengths and weakness of works of art based on some kind of criteria
(the term critic refers to ―critical thinking‖ rather than being ―critical‖).
Cropping To resize, and sometimes reshape the format of an image so that part of the image is cut away.
Cropping is a good compositional technique.
Cross Contour Contour drawing with ridges and details inside the outline
Cross Hatching Method of shading using at least 2 sets of hatched lines that cross one another
Cubism Inspired by Cezanne – invented by Brach and Picasso – many views of one object are seen at one time,
used straight lines, angles, collaged elements, and drab colors.
Curved A gradual change of direction.
Cyan A blue-greenish color that is one of the primary colors in the light spectrum.
Da Vinci An Italian scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect,
musician, and writer of the late 1400s and early 1500s.
Darks In the values of a composition, the area just above the low darks. These can be used to create the core
of the crest shadow on a form.
Decalomania Automatic textural transfer done by pressing an inked or painted surface against a sheet of paper
Deckle Edge The naturally irregular edge of hand made papers
Decorative Elaboration and enrichment of an otherwise plain surface.
Deductively Through a process of reasoning in which a new conclusion is derived from a beginning premise or fact
Degas A French artist of the late 1800s and early 1900s famous for his work in painting, sculpture,
printmaking and drawing. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism although he rejected
the term, and preferred to be called a realist.
DeKooning An abstract expressionist painter of the twentieth century, born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Deltoid Shoulder muscle that raises the arm vertically.
Depth One of the three dimensions of reality. It is usually thought of as the dimension running parallel to the
viewers line of sight. In two dimensional art, depth is an illusion.
Depth of Field Area of sharpness of focus before and behind the subject in a photograph; increases when aperture is
decreased and f-stop number
Description Step in art criticism when you describe what you see. What medium was used, what size the piece is,
what elements of design are present, etc. Only physical characteristics.
Design To plan or arrange the parts of an art work
This is an easily recognized pattern of repeated shapes or lines used with some variation when
Design Theme composing a picture.
Details The small parts of a work of art
Diffused Light Light that is scattered or reflected in many directions softening shadows
Diptych Framing two pictures together
Undiffused light coming from a clear source and moving through a scene in a linear direction causing
Directional Light cast shadows
Discipline A subject that is taught, an organized field of study, e.g. art, mathematics, reading
Dislocated Meaning Narrative or meaning in which the original significance has been lost or changed
Distortion Stretching and bending the parts while preserving the pattern of the whole
Doodling Drawing spontaneous irregular shapes
Double Reading Two coexisting or simultaneous interpretations
Double-Description Describing something through more than one channel
Drawing Pencil Usually a graphite pencil. Drawing pencils come in many different pencil grades, which is a term
describing the hardness or softness of the graphite or charcoal inside the pencil.
Painting that questions the nature of reality, and how we know what is real. The Dream-World Realist
Dream-World Realism paints what he sees in his mind, instead of what his eyes show him.
Dry Media Drawing materials that work through abrasion, rubbing off onto the tooth of the paper
Durer A German draughtsman, printmatker, painter, and mathematician, of the late 1400s and early 1500s.
The dynamic realist sees nature as being in constant change. The dynamic realist does not paint
Dynamic Realism objects, only the planes of different masses, and the relationships between the planes.
Dynamism Energy, a sense of directed movement; emotional or creative excitement
A brown pigment, often made from natural minerals including umber, sienna, ochre, and various iron
Earth Tone oxides
Edge The line of separation where two things meet. Edges can be hard, soft, real or implied. They can create
emphasis, depth, and mood.
Elements of Art The basic components of any art work - line, shape, color, value, texture, space, and form
Ellipse The shape of an oval used in a 2 dimensional work of art to show the top or bottom of a cylindrical
Emotionalism A belief that the purpose & value of art is based on its ability to convey emotion.
Emphasis The way artists use the organizational principles of art to direct greater attention on some areas rather
Painting or drawing medium that includes beeswax and pigment. It is heated to melting point and
Encaustic applied to a surface
Engraving A method of cutting or incising a design into a material, usually metal, with a sharp tool called a
Entasis The bulging of a column at its center to create the illusion of straight lines from a distance
Escher Tiling A drawing of objects abutting each other, with no background
Etching A printing process in which a needle is used to draw into a wax ground applied over a metal plate. The
plate is then submerged in an acid bath which bites into the metal surface where unprotected by the
wax. The ground is removed, ink is forced into the etched depressions, the unetched surfaces wiped,
and an impression is printed.
Evaluation Final step in art criticism when one asks "Is it a successful work of art?"
Evocative Poetically suggestive, associative
Evoke To call forth or bring to mind.
Experience of Form The expressive, abstract effect of form, in art or in life, on a viewer
Explicative Specifically stating factually descriptive
Explicit Lines The line of a draughtsman, with clear width, quality, and intensity
Expression A quality of inner experience. The emotions of the artist communicated through emphasis and
distortion, which can be found in works of art of any period.
Expressionism A style of artwork or an aesthetic theory that values mood or feeling as the most important
Expressive Having to do with feeling or emotion
Expressive Color Post-Impressionist way of using colors that express emotions more than they describe what is really
Expressive Quality The slight individual differences in the way each of us perceives and represents our perception in a
work of art.
Extension The visual illusion that objects which touch the edges of the picture format occur outside the work
Extensors of Forearms Group of muscles on the back of the forearm that extend the fingers and the wrist.
External Oblique Either of two muscles that flank the rectus abdominis and twist the trunk.
Eye Level The level of the viewers eye relative to the ground. In the real world the horizon line is always at eye
level. In creating art based on the real world the artist determines an eye level. This is part of the point
The integrated response of the hand to the eye’s perceptions, and the action of the eye in anticipation
Eye/Hand Connection of the movement of the hand in drawing
Eyeline In portrait drawing, the imaginary horizontal line that divides the head in half and tells the placement
of the eyes vertically
Faience Pottery with a colorful design originating in Faenza, Italy
Fauvism Inspired by Gaugin and Van Gogh - Created by Mattisse – used irrational colors – ―wild beast‖ style of
Feel A sensory experience through touch (i.e. something feels hot) or emotion (i.e. to feel happy or sad).
Feeling Out Using light strokes of the pencil to help you visualize your image
Felt Connection Instinctual linkage of artistic intent and facture in art making
Ferrule The metal sleeve on a paint brush that holds the bristles on the handle.
Field The graphic surface on which a drawing is made, as defined by its borders
Figure Drawing Drawing the human body.
Final Medium A material suitable for making a resolved or fully realized work of art
Fine Arts Forms The forms of sculptures and ceramic vessels
When a painter adds a good deal of detail and surface texture at the end of a painting we say his
Finish paintings have a high degree of finish.
Fired A chemical change that takes place when dried clay is exposed to very high heat. The clay changes into
a glass-like material that is no longer malleable or porous when exposed to water
Fixative Spray A thin varnish that is sprayed over drawing mediums, to protect them from smearing, and finger prints.
All or some fixatives will alter the original colors slightly. Common hairsprays work well as student-
Fixed Response Pre-determined answers to specific questions.
Flexors of the Arms Group of muscles on front of forearm that flex the wrist.
Fluting Vertical channels cut into pilasters or columns
Focal Point An area of an artwork that first attracts and usually sustains the viewer's attention.
Approach to painting that says only the center of our field of vision is in focus, so only the focal point of
the painting should include hard edges, and detail. The fringe of the painting should grow increasingly
Focus-and-Fringe Realism blurred nearer to the edges.
Foreground In a 2 dimensional work of art the area (below eye level) lowest on the picture plane.
Foreground Shape A shape that overlaps other shapes and appears to be in front of them.
Foreshorening A means of creating the illusion of projecting or receeding forms on the picture plane.
Form A three-dimensional object. It has width, depth and height. You can turn it, walk around it and see it
from many sides.
Formal Having to do with the character or relationships of form as a chief priority
Formal Balance Artwork that is arranged similarly on both sides.
Formal Perspective Rigid set of rules for perspective drawing using vanishing point, horizon lines and converging parallel
Formal Properties The use of the elements and principles of design in a work of art
Formalism Emphasis on the use of the elements and principles of design. (composition)
Formalist Abstraction Art with a priority for simplification or purity of form
Format The particular shape of a surface used to create a 2D work of art.
Freshness of Mark A quality of discovery, instinct or spontaneity in mark-making or facture
Frieze In architecture, the area between architrave and cornice; in sculpture, a decorative band
Approach that says painting is purely a reaction to visual stimulation. One does not paint objects only
Fringe Realism/ Impressionism light reflecting surfaces, and everything is treated as being in the fringe (out of focus).
Frontal Bone Bone that makes the forehead and covers the brain in front.
Frottage A method of texture transfer in which drawing material is rubbed over paper laid ove another surface
Gastrocnemius Large muscle on the back of the calf that flexes the plantar of the foot.
Gaugin Post-Impressionist painter that painted with flat areas of strong color.
Generating and Transforming A two stage process – first something is generated, and then changes are introduced
Genre Subjects and scenes depicting everyday life.
Geometric Forms Mathematical concepts like the cube, cone, pyramid, etc.
Geometric Shape A shape that is characterized by straight lines and angles instead of curves.
Gesso A gypsum material mixed with animal hide glue for use as a painting ground.
Gessoed Paper Paper primed with gesso ( a white, water based paint) used for drawing or painting
Gesture A drawing technique often used in drawing the figure (of people or animals) that uses a quickly drawn
and expressive line to capture the emotion or movement of the pose.
Ghost Lines Traces of lines that remain after erasing
Glaze A combination of chemicals or ground minerals that provide a surface treatment for pottery or
Gluteus Maximus Large muscle of the buttocks that extends the thigh.
Gluteus Medious Muscle of the buttocks that abducts the thigh.
Glyphs A mark or simple figure, usually with symbolic character
Gouache A heavy, opaque watercolor paint producing a less wet-appearing and more strongly colored picture
than ordinary watercolor.
Gradation A gradual, smoothly nuanced, step-by-step change from dark to light values or from large to small
shapes, or rough to smooth textures, or one color to another
Graphic Usually refers to something that looks as if it has been printed or a kind of illustration that is especially
Graphic Designer An artist who plans the lettering and artwork for books, posters, and other printed materials.
A genre of comic book aimed at an adult audience, of greater length and complexity of content than
Graphic Novel traditional comics
Graphing A technique of transfering an image (particulary good for making enlargements) that uses a grid to get
Graphite A soft black mineral substance, a form of carbon, available in powder, stick, and other forms. It has a
metallic luster and a greasy feel. Compressed with fine clay, it is used in lead pencils
Grisaille Painting with primarily gray values; often used to plan out an oil painting or to simulate sculpture
Ground A surface to which paint or other media is applied, or the material used to create that surface.
Ground State A calm meditative state of mind conductive to creative work
Gum Erasers Very soft crumbly erasers that will not harm a paper’s surface.
Halftones The middle values in a composition below the low lights and above the high darks
Handle May be wooden on synthetic. Handles are often used by artists to scratch into their paintings.
Hand-made Paper Paper made by hand from pulp that may be a work of art in itself
Hard Edge When there is a sharp change in value or color between two shapes or on a form, often indicating a
corner between two surfaces with one surface receiving more light than the other
Harmony As a principle of design, a way of combining elements of art to accent their similarities and bind the
picture parts into a whole. It is often achieved through the use of repetition and simplicity.
Hatching Shading technique that uses a set of repeated lines
Heel of the Brush The base of the bristles used by applying pressure to the brush to create a thick line.
Heirarchy An organization or ranking based on a system of significance or formal order
Henri Mattisse Most famous Fauvist painter – painted pieces of paper, cut out shapes and arranged them to make
A method of drawing in sequence in which discoveries in one drawing suggests the approach for the
Heuristic Drawing next
Hierarchic Proportion Use of proportion to show the relative importance of figures
High Darks The dark values in a compostion just below the halftones. This is often the value of the reflected lights
in the crest shadow of a form
High Key Values Values from middle to white on a value scale (5-9).
Highlights The area highest in value in a composition. The area on a form receiving the most direct light. On a
slick surface it may be a reflection of the light source
Historical Landmark A building or location with historical significance
Horizon Line The perceived line that indicates the break between the surface of the earth and the sky.
Horizontal A line that goes in a side-ways direction—such as horizon line, or the writing guides on a lined piece of
Hot Pressed Paper that is pressed with hot rollers to make it smooth
House Paint Brush Can be made of bristles or foam rubber, they are inexpensive, and are good for large areas
Hue The name of a color. (Exp. red, blue, green, etc.)
Hyper-Literal Seeing A way of looking at things, particularly their shape, in which you take nothing for granted
Iconic Figures Invented characters that are easy to draw and have multiple applications
Iconic Signs A symbol or sign, often with a formalized or symbolic graphic character
Idiosyncratic Peculiar of a highly individual nature
Illusion of Space In a 2 dimensional work, the difference between foreground, middleground, and background.
Illustrate To give clear examples. Illustrations are often diagrams, pictures, or maps that explain or clarify an
Illustration A work of art created to accompany a story or other literary work in print. Illustrations usually appear
in reproduced form in books, magazines and newspapers.
Illustration Board Watercolor Paper laminated to a board
Illustrator An artist who makes drawings or artwork for books, magazines, newspapers, or other printed materials.
A technique used to appropriate an image from a printed source to a piece of paper or canvas in order
Image Transfer to incorporate it into an original work of art
Imagination The process of visualizing abstract ideas in one’s mind.
Imitation of nature This is how most people see paintings. Recognition of subject matter is primary.
Immersion Thoroughly absorbing a subject or style of art in preparation for doing a body of work
Impasto Thick, opaque paint applied with a brush, knife or fingers, creating various textural features on the
surface of the painting.
Implied Forms Forms you can only see
Line created by two or more line segments in the composition that do not connect. The mind creates
Implied Line a single line through closure
Impressionism A style of art that was popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries that focuses on the effect of light on
objects, blends color opposites to make shadows rather than using black, uses complementary colors,
atmosphere, and loose brushwork to create images that evoke strong feelings.
India Ink The name in the United States for black ink, the pigment made from carbon. India ink is usually water
soluable while it is still wet, but usually permanent once it dries.
Inferior Maxillary The jawbone to which the bottom set of teeth is attached.
An image that contains a smaller version of itself. That image contains a smaller image of itself, and so
Infinite Regression on.
Informal Balance A kind of balance that is not the same on each side. A composition with this type of balance may be
approximately symmetrical, yet different.
Informal Perspective Perspective drawing that relies more on sighting than on formal rules.
Inquisitive Seeing Looking at something as if you have never seen it before
Intensifying Exaggerating and emphasizing for emotional effect
Intensity The concentration or saturation of a color. Also called chroma.
Interior Designer A career in art in which the artist designs the inside living spaces.
Interior Form The surface that exists inside the outside contour of a volumetric form
Intermediate Colors Colors that are made from a primary and a secondary color (e.g., red-orange, yellow-orange, blue-
green). Also called tertiary colors.
Interpretation Step in art criticism when you ask "What is the artist saying?" Interpret the meaning of the piece using
Intuitively Instinctually, based on subjective feeling, without methodical reasoning without deduction
Isometric Perspective Perspective that shows three-dimensional form on a two-dimensional surface but does not use a
Japanese Brush Round brushes of varying sizes set in bamboo handles and are excellent with ink washes
Joining Two Bags A novel combination of incongruous elements
Juxtapositions side-by-side placement of things that do not necessarily go together
Key In a drawing the lightness or darkness of an image. High key drawing = light. Low key drawing =
Keystone The central piece of an arch, sometimes larger than the rest
Kiln Special ovens that are used to heat (fire) clay or enamel to a very high temperature.
Soft and pliable erasers that can be made into any form and may be used to dab at small areas of the
Kneaded Erasers drawing
Laid Paper Paper with parallel lines from the screens or wire racks it was dried on
Landscape Works of art that use the outdoors as the primary subject matter. There are three main parts of a
landscape - Foreground, Middleground, and Background.
Lapis-Lazuli Rare blue stone often used to decorate special low-relief sculpture
Latissimus Dorsi Either of two large flat triangular muscles running from the vertebral column to the humerus that
adducts the arm.
Left Hemisphere The left half of the cerebrum. For most right handed people verbal functions are located here.
Light Logic In art, the effect caused by a light source. Light rays falling in straight lines can logically be expected
to cause highlights,
Light Source In art, the first thing you must consider about values – the location that the light is traveling from and
Approach to painting that says, since all visual information is reflected light hitting our retina, all that
Light-and-Shade Realism we really paint is the light bouncing off of objects. Shadows are only the absence of light.
Lights In the values of a composition the lights are the areas just below the highlights
Limited Pallette A constrained set of colors used to create a very coherent or connected range of mixtures
Line The path created by a moving point (as a mark that is drawn by a pencil point).
Art that stresses the importance of line. The world is symmetrically balanced, shapes are closed,
Linear art objects are well defined and separated, and edges are well defined.
Linear Perspective Creating a sense of space by using mathematical principles to create the illusion of distance of three-
dimensions on a two-dimensional surface.
Literalizing Illustrating verbal expressions as if they were real
Lithograph A print made by drawing on a flat, pouous limestone with greasy material, then applying a greasy ink
which adheres only to the drawn lines. Dampened paper is applied to the stones and is rubbed over
with a special press to make the final print.
L-Mode A mental state of information processing characterized as linear, verbal, analytic, and logical
Local Color The true color of an object or a surface as seen in typical daylight, rather than its color as seen through
atmosphere or interpreted by the taste or imagination of the artist.
Local Color When the colors of a painting are selected to plainly describe reality.
Local Values The true value of an object or a surface as seen in typical daylight, rather than its value as seen in
extreme lighting or through atmosphere or interpreted by the taste or imagination of the artist.
Loom The frame or machine used for weaving cloth.
Lost and Found Edges Forms, lines, and shapes created by relying on the minds sense of closure
Low Darks In the values of a composition the low darks are the darkest darks. They are often used to create cast
Low Key Values Values from middle to black on a value scale (1-5).
Low Lights In the values of a composition the low lights are the areas just above the halftones
Luminosity A quality seen in some paintings of a glow coming from within, the illusion that there is actually a light
coming out of the picture.
Machine-made Papers Paper made by machine in rolls, and then cut down into sheets.
The most important idea, image, message, or concept, that comes through the most clearly in an
Major Theme artists body of work.
Making the Familiar Strange Transforming everyday scenes and objects into something vivid, compelling and even unrecognizable
Man Made Forms Any form made by a person
Mapping When shading a form from life, the breaking down of the form into well defined shapes of lights, darks,
and middle tones by drawing boundary lines. When shadows seem indistinct you impose boundaries.
Mark Any trace of the artist’s drawing tool on the page, including lines
Masking In painting, the act of covering part of the support so that paint does not adhere to that part. There are
many different methods for masking including the use of masking tape, wax, and masking fluids.
Matisse A French artist of the late 1800s and 1900s, noted for his use of color and his fluid, brilliant and
Matte A smooth, not shiny texture
MC Escher Dutch graphic artist that made tessellations from recognizable images.
Media The plural of medium. Tools or materials used to create art.
Medium A traditional set of tools and materials used to create a work of art.
Memento Mori A work of art that is a reminder of human mortality, such as a skull and crossbones
Merging Shapes A simplifying techniques useful in composition, in which two or more shapes are fused together to
create a composite shape. This is particularly useful for overlapping shapes of similar values or colors.
Metaphoric Drawing Drawing an image that has the shared characteristics of two disparate things
Metaphoric Seeing Looking at something as if it were something else
Michelangelo An Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet and engineer of the late 1400s and 1500s
Middleground The part of a picture plane that is between the foreground and background.
A mid 20th century art movement based in New York emphasizing a reductive factuality of the art
Minimalism object, simplicity and/or repetition of form and mechanical process
Minor Themes The many subordinate themes that come through in an artists body of work
Mirror Imaging Redrawing or tracing a previous sketch so that it appears to have a reflection
Mixed Media A technique involving the use of two or more artistic media, such as ink and pastel or painting and
collage, that are combined in a single composition.
Mobile A form of sculpture based on balance that was invented by Alexander Calder.
Modelling A technique that involves shaping a three-dimensional material. It canalso refer to the technique of
creating a gradual transition from light to dark in a painting by blending to give the illusion of form
Modernism An art movement characterized by the deliberate departure from tradition and the use of
innovative forms of expression that distinguish many styles in the arts and literature of the
late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
Modigliani An Italian artist of the late 1800s and early 1900s, practicing both painting and sculpture, who pursued
his career for the most part in France.
Mold-made Paper Hand-made paper created using a mold
Monocular Vision Vision with one eye, which does not perceive depth. All forms appear flattened into shapes
Monotype A manner of printmaking that only produces one one-of-a-kind print
Mosaic A work of art made by embedding bits of glass or pottery into cement
Motif The main idea or theme in a painting. Also, a repeated design or pattern.
Mount A support, on to which a picture is applied. This is done for presentation or preservation of the work.
Movement The arrangement of elements or principles that guide the eye through a work of art and create the
sensation of movement.
Murals Large paintings or other kinds of art created or displayed on a wall. Some artists who painted murals
are: Diego Rivera, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci.
Mylar A transluscent polyester film that has a matt surface on one side
Nasal Bone Bone that projects from the face just below the dip of the eyebrow and forms the bridge of the nose.
Natural Forms The forms of things found in nature - ex. rocks, trees etc.
Nave The part of a church between the main entrance and the choir, usually lined with a colonnade or arcade
Negative Shape Shapes around positive shapes. Negative shapes can be thought of as being more incidentally created
as opposed to being more intentionally created.
Negative Spaces The open spaces surrounding and sometimes within a line, shape, or form.
Neoclassicism A style of art in nineteenth century France that was a reaction to Baroque. This style was derived from
the art and culture of ancient Greece and Rome.
Neutral The color in the center of the color wheel (and color sphere) with no saturation or hue.
Neutral Colors Technically, black and white are not colors. Black indicates the absence of light and white is the
presence of all reflected colors. Therefore neutral colors are those colors that do not have a particular
hue. They include brown, black, white and gray.
Newsprint Most inexpensive paper available. It is very acidic, so it does not last long
Nominal Subject Matter The motif or subject matter or a drawing as distinct from its expressive subject
Non-Objective Art which is created through the use of the elements and principles of design but have no reference to
representational subject matter.
Non-Representational Same as non-objective
Noodling Decorating your doodles in a controlled and deliberate manner
Objective Reaction Emotionally distanced reaction to a painting; A reasoned analysis
Obscuring Making a drawing in which the subject is not fully revealed
Occipital Bone Bone that forms the back of the cranium.
Oil Paint An oil based that is made with linseed oil
One Point Perspective Type of linear perspective in which only depth is receding, and there is only one vanishing point, which
is on the horizon line.
Opaque Does not allow the penetration of light. You can not see through opaque paint.
Opaque Painting Paintings that use predominantly opaque paints and the techniques associated with them. Most any
type of paint may be applied opaquely. When using an opaque application of paint the entire ground is
covered in paint, and white paint instead of the white of the paper is used for highlights.
Organic Forms Dimensional forms that are not geometric but are irregular. (See organic shapes)
Organic Shapes Two-dimensional shapes that are irregular and curvilinear. They are difficult to describe as they are not
a prescribed shape. These shapes are similar to the shapes of living things.
Original Unique, one of a kind, something that is beyond the ordinary. Art work that is original is evidence of
Orthogonal line A straight line imagined to be behind and perpendicular to the picture plane. The orthagonals in a
painting appear to converge on each other as they recede toward one or more vanishing points on the
Overlap One part (as a line, shape, or color) covers some of another part and creates the illusion of depth or
Overlapping When one form in a picture falls in front of another form partially hiding the background form from
view. This is one way of creating the illusion of space.
Ovoid An egg-shaped form
Pablo Picasso Spanish artist that created cubism.
Art that stresses the importance of the brush stroke. The world is dynamic, and assymetrical, shapes
Painterly art are open, foreground mixes with background, and many edges are kept soft and undefined.
Pallette A tray or board on which colors of paint are mixed. Also the set of colors used by the artist.
The path of the viewers eye, through the painting, which depends on connections and cohesions
Passage between objects
Pastel Paper Paper with a tooth made particularly for use with pastels, but it can also be used for charcoal
Patina Filmy substance that forms on metal sculpture over time
Pattern The principle of repetition of a type of line, shape, color, etc.
Pattern Seeing Looking at your subject as a set of interlocking shapes
Pectoralis Major Large flat triangular muscle attached to the sternum and the humerus that pulls the arm across the
Pen and Ink A drawing medium that employs some type of ink and a pen. A pen consists of a handle and a nib from
which ink makes marks. Nibs have most commonly been made of metal, but have also been made of
quill, reed, bamboo, and plastics, among others.
Pencil A writing or drawing instrument consisting of a thin stick of pigment (usually graphite, but can also be
coloured pigment or charcoal) and clay, usually encased in a thin wood cylinder.
Pencil Grade The grade number stamped on drawing pencils indicating the hardness or softness of its graphite.
Pentimenti Traces of lines in a drawing that have been erased, worked over or rubbed out
Perceptual Skills Ability to perceive and be sensitive to visual qualities.
Refinement in drawing, either in relation to representation or in relation to abstract structure; lack of
Perfection of Mark extraneous marks
Perpective Artwork in which the shapes of objects and distances between them look familiar or ―real‖. The
illusion of depth on a flat surface.
Perspective Drawing Also known as liner perspective – deals with the way things get smaller as they get farther away.
Petroglyph A drawing on a cliff or natural rock surface
Physical Mixing When several colors are mixed on the palette to create a specific color before it is added to the support.
Pictograms A sign or drawn symbol with a descriptive or narrative significance
Picture Plane An imaginary window if front of the artist. The artist sees what is behind the window as if it were
flattened out on the window.
Pigment Solid colored material in the form of small particles that form the basic component of all types of paint
Pink Erasers Work well for most erasable media. Similar to a plastic eraser, but more rigid, and more affordable
Planar Solids A 3D solid with sides composed of simple geometric planes
Plastic Erasers Eraser useful for erasing charcoal, graphite, and conte. Good for erasing clean, hard edges
Plein Air French for "in the open air," in art, it means sketching and or painting out of doors.
Refers to the number of sheets of paper that are put together to form an illustration board or Bristol
Pointillism An artistic style in which small dots of color are used to create the illusion of line and form, and
adjacent colors blend in the viewers’ eyes instead of on the painting.
Polychrome Multicolored; used to describe works of art that have glazes such as ceramics or sculpture
Polyhedrons A solid bounded by polygons
Portrait Artwork that usually shows the face of a real person.
Portrait Bust A sculptured likeness of a person’s head, neck, and chest.
Positive Shape The solid objects within a visual format. Positive shapes can be thought of as being more intentionally
created as opposed to being more incidentally created.
Post Impressionism Expressive movement in art history in the late 1800’s through 1900’s that used strong color and formal
A contemporary art-historical and critical category broadly concerned with signification or the means
Postmodernism by which meaning is constructed
Pre-Requisite A requirement that must be met before another course of action may be started.
Primary Colors The colors yellow, red (magenta), and blue (cyan) from which it is possible to mix all the other colors
of the spectrum
Principles of Design How an artist arranges the elements of art.
Print A piece kind of artwork in which ink or paint is put onto a block or other smooth surface that has a
design. The inked surface is pressed onto paper to make a print (copy) of the design.
Printmaking Paper Paper made specifically for printmaking that can also be used for drawing
Prismatic Resembling a 3D solid (a prism) that has a polygonal base and rectilinear sides
Process The experience of making art in a particular medium.
Processes The progression of activities using several techniques such as making a printing plate, printing the
image, and pulling the print
Profile Something seen or shown in artwork from the side view (as in the profile of a head).
Progressive Drawing Drawing the same subject in a series in which increasingly radical modifications are made at each stage
Projecting Color The use of warmer colors to make objects appear to be closer to the viewer.
Projecting Tones The use of darker tones in the foreground to make objects appear closer to the viewer.
Proportion The size relationships between a part and the other parts and between the parts and the whole.
Provenance Origin or source
Ptinting The process of creating an image by pressing paper against a surface that has ink or paint on it.
Pure Colors Colors seen in the rainbow or when light passes through a prism: red, orange, yellow, green, blue,
Radial A theory of balance in which all lines or shapes branch out from a central point.
Radial Balance Type of balance a composition has if it may be divided in any direction by a line through the center to
get two mirror image halves.
Rag Paper Cotton or Linen that is used to make paper
Random Capture Jotting down in words or pictures the odd bits and pieces that show up in your life or in your dreams.
Real Forms Forms you can feel
Realism A mid nineteenth century style of art in which the artists mimicked the real world. Or a theory that the
value of art depends on how closely the work mimics reality.
Realistic Drawing The objective depiction of objects, forms,and figures attentively perceived
Receeding Color The use of cool colors to make objects appear to be receeding from the viewer.
Receeding Tones The use lighter tones to make objects appear to be receeding from the viewer.
Rectus Abdominis Long flat muscle that extends over the whole length of the abdomen from the fifth rib to the pelvis.
Reed Pen Pen made from the stalk of a tall marsh grass
Reflectance The casting or bouncing back of light
Reflected Light In a drawing of a form this is the light that bounces off another surface and into the crest shadow of a
Relationship In art, how the parts are organized and connected. Also known as perspective and proportion.
The warmth or coolness of a color determined by its relationship to another color or group of colors.
For example, you may have one red that is warmer than the other red because one is closer to orange,
Relative Temperature and the other is closer to violet.
Relief A type of sculpture in which the surface is partially raised off of an otherwise flat surface.
Renaissance A period of art in Europe 1400-1600 during which cultural awareness and learning were reborn. There
was an emphasis on humanism, science, and on classic design.
Repeated Pattern When lines, shapes, or colors reoccur many times in an organized fashion.
Repetition The process of making some one thing over and over again.
Repetition with Variation Multiple, inexact copies of an image or motif within a single drawing
Representational Art The work that is intended to look like a picture of something that can be recognized, e.g. a person,
object or place.
Resolve To define, finish, balance, or clarify a composition
Restraint Allowing parts of your painting to be less active or detailed or interesting than the area of emphasis
Reversing Creating the opposite of what is expected, turning logic upside down
Rhythm A type of repetition in which a sense of movement is achieved by repeating lines, shapes, colors, etc.
Rice Paper Thin, highly absorbent paper great for wet media
Right Hemisphere The right half of the cerebrum. For most right handed people, visual, spatial, and relational functions
are located in the right hemisphere
R-Mode A state of information processing characterized as simultaneous, global, spatial, and relational
Romanticism A style of art that emphasizes the personal, emotional and dramatic aspects of exotic, literary and
historical subject matter.
Brushes made from sable hair, They are soft and usually will come to a point. They are useful for
Sable Brush watercolor painting and ink
Salon d'Apollon The annual art exhibition of painting and sculpture by the French Royal Academy of Painting and
Sculpture, later known as the Académie des Beaux-Arts
Saturated Color A pure, intense color with nothing added to it.
Sculpture A three-dimensional work of art that may be made by carving, constructing or molding a solid medium.
Seascape Art work that has as its major theme the sea or ocean. Winslow Homer is an artist known for his
Secondary Colors The colors that are made when two primary colors are mixed together. (eg.,orange, green, and violet).
Seeing Being aware of every detail of visual information you are receiving without filtering out what you deem
unusual, complicated, or unnecessary.
Approach to painting in which you only paint only the objects in your field of vision that you are aware
Selective Realism of. In selective realism you paint what’s important to you and leave the rest out.
Semi-Neutrals These may not be included on most color wheels, but they are on the color sphere model – these are
created by mixing complimentary colors in uneven amounts so that the color created still lends toward
When we become physically tired or our senses become jaded from too much stimulation. This can be
remedied by a qualitative change in stimulation. Ex. Taking a break from looking at art to have a cup
Sensory Fatigue of coffee.
Seriography another word for screen printing
Seven Elements of Design Line, color, shape, space, texture, value, and form.
Sfumato Haziness used to soften outlines, used by Leonardo da Vinci
Shade A darker value, the opposite of tint. Can be made by mixing black with a hue.
Shading Showing change from light to dark or dark to light in a picture by darkening areas that would be
shadowed and leaving other areas light. Shading is often used to produce illusions of dimension and
Shadow Core In drawing from life, with shading, the spot on a rounded form where the crest shadow is darkest.
Usually this spot is between the reflected light in the crest shadow and the halftones that fade into the
light portion of the form.
Shadow Shapes Shapes of different values made by light illuminating areas and creating shadows in other areas.
Shahn A Lithuanian-born American artist, muralist, social activist, photographer and teacher of the twentieth
century. He is best known for his works of Social realism.
Shape A defined area that has length and width, It is two-dimensional and can be geometric or organic.
Shape Cluster A group of tightly packed shapes, drawn so that the spaces between them are more or less uniform
Shifting Context Putting ordinary people or objects in improbable settings
Side-View-Blank More triangular or teardrop shaped oval used for profile views.
Sighting In drawing, measuring relative sizes and angles by means of some constant measure.
Simulated Texture Texture that can only be seen.
Simultaneous Contrast Optical effect caused by contrasting colors and forms that enhances their differences when placed next
to one another
Sketch A preliminary drawing the may be made to study or plan a work of art.
Slab An art term that is usually used in relationship to clay. It is a piece of clay that is evenly flattened.
Slab Method A technique for forming clay which cut or formed pieces of a slab are joined and used to create a
container or other sculptural form.
Soft Edge When there is a gradual change from light to dark or from one color to another between two shapes or
on a form, often indicating a curved surface
Solvent In paint, a substance added by the artist to break the paint down. Solvents can be added to make the
paint thinner, or more fluid, to make it more translucent, or to speed up or slow down drying time.
Space An open or enclosed area that creates a shape or form.
Spacial and Atmospheric Color When the colors of a painting are selected to show depth on the picture plane
Quantities of 3D space existing between objects in a composition. 3D spatial intervals can be described
in drawing by visually measuring 2D intervals ina real scene, or by projecting measured lengths along
Spatial Intervals vanishing lines in a perspective system
Spectrum Triad Three colors, often approximating the primaries, mixed to build a palette of connected hues
Spin-off A variation of a previous drawing, often bolder and more imaginative
Split Compliment A color on the color wheel and the two colors on either side of its compliment. (yellow – red violet and
Squinting Partially closing ones eyes until the eyelashes form a screen that filters light and simplifies visual
information into a series of light and dark shape patterns.
Stasis Lack of movement, deadness, heaviness
Statue A sculptural likeness.
Stele A piece of stone carved to record a special event or proclamation
Still Life A style or genre of art works in which ordinary objects or objects that do not move are the subject
Stippling A drawing, painting, or engraving method employing dots rather than lines. Stippled works can be
produced with any of a variety of tools, including pencils, crayons, pens, and brushes.
A grouping of sequential drawings describing a time-based narrative, often used to plan the story line
Storyboarding of a film
Studio The place where an artist creates artwork.
Style All the characteristics of a work of art that makes it belong to a group of artists
Subject Matter Main topic, theme, or image in a work of art
Subjective reaction Intuitive or emotional response based on personal knowledge or associations
A concept of exaltation associated with 19th century romantic thought, based n the experience of the
Sublime vastness of nature and the idea of God’s presence there
Refers to a manner of creating artwork in which material is taken away or subtracted from other
Subtractive materials to create the work
Superior Maxillary Bone that forms the top of the moth to which the top set of teeth are attached.
Supinator Longus Long muscle that winds around from the front of the wrist to the back of the upper arm.
Support The material on which a painting is made. Almost any surface can be used, but artists tend to use
paper, wooden panels, or canvas to work on.
Surrealism A twentieth century avant-garde art movement that originated in the nihilistic ideas of the Dadaists.
Influenced by the theories of the pioneer of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, the images found in
surrealist works are as confusing and startling as those of dreams.
Symbol A representation that is intended to signify a person, institution, or abstract idea.
Symbol System In drawing, a set of symbols that are consistently used to form an image
Symbolism The act of using some shape or image to represent another to create meaning.
Symmetrical Balance Type of balance a composition has if it may be divided in half in only one way to get two mirror image
Synthesizing Combining, in a new drawing, certain features of two or more of your previous drawings
These are made to mimic the sable brush, but are less expensive. They are made in varying degrees of
Synthetic Brush hardness or softness
Tableau scene that suggests a narrative or dramatic incident
Tangent A line, curve, or surface, touching but not intersecting another line, curve, or surface.
Tangential Relationship Laying next to or branching off from; divergent or marginally relevant
Technique The manner or method in which a medium is used.
Tempera Paint Pigment mixed with a type of glue and water. Tempera dries fast so it does not lend itself to blending
as well as oil paint, or to glazing as well as other painting media. It does allow for some over painting
Temperature A characteristic of the hue of a color. A color may be warm or cool.
Temporal Bones Bones that form the sides of the cranium.
Tension Dynamic opposition or balance between unlike or separate elements
Tessellation Repeated pattern of shapes that fit together like puzzle pieces with no overlaps or gaps.
Tessera A piece of colored glass, stone, or pottery used to create a mosaic
Texture The roughness or smoothness of a surface.
Theme The main idea underlying the subject in a work of art.
Three Dimensional An object that has height, weight, and depth.
Three Parts of a Landscape Landscape painting should always include three major divisions of the picture plane into foreground,
middleground, and background.
Three Properties of Color Hue, Intensity, and Value.
Three-Point Perspective An application of linear perspective in which depth, width, and height appear to recede, and all lines
appear to meet at one of three vanishing points.
Approach to painting in which the picture is like a window, and every object in the painting is an exact
Through-the Window Realism representation of the object you would see through a window. This approach yields a photorealist.
Thumbnail Sketch A preliminary drawing done on a smaller scale than the final work.
Tibialis Anterion Flexes the foot at the ankle.
Tight Highly resolved. This can be used in a positive (clear) way or a negative (static) way
Tint A color of paint with white added to it to make it lighter
Toe of the Brush The tip of the bristles used by applying very little pressure to the brush to create a thin line.
Tone Another term for the degree of lightness or darkness of a color.
Tooth The texture of the surface of the paper. The more tooth, the rougher, and the more paint will be
absorbed by the paper. Also paper with more tooth will create textural effects when dry brushed or
when dry medium is applied to it.
Tortillons Are used to blend charcoal, graphite, and other dry media
Toulouse-Lautrec A French painter, printmaker, draftsman, and illustrator, of the late 1800s whose immersion in the life
of Paris yielded an oeuvre of provocative images of modern life.
Trabeated Architectural system based on post and lintel construction
Tracing Making a drawing by referring to an image visible underneath it. Artists sometimes trace their own
drawings to improve upon them or to reproduce the image. They may trace a photo to create an
artificial, photographic effect. It is unethical and anti-creative to trace an image or photo with the intent
to conceal the fact that it was traced.
Tradition Ideas or teachings that are passed down through generations. Traditions and beliefs characterize
Traditional Art A style of art work that has been passed down through time and remains relatively unchanged.
Transcendental Rising above common thoughts or ideas
In a series, drawings that bridge the differences between those done before and after them, but that
Transitional Drawings have common elements of both groups
Translation A tessellation made by sliding the repeated shape a set distance in a straight line over and over again.
Translucent Allowing the passage of light but not image not as clear as transparent
Transparent Glass-like, clear, can see through
Transversals In one point perspective drawing, the width lines that cross orthogonals. These lines must always be
kept completely horizontal
Trapezius Either of two large triangular muscles running from the back base of the skull to the middle back.
Triceps Long large muscle on the back of the upper arm that extends the forearm.
Triptych Three pictures framed together
Triptych A pictoral format of three separate but linked images often arranged horizontally or vertically
Trompe L'Oeil French phrase meaning,"fool the eye." Trompe l'oeil artists paint images designed to trick people into
thinking that they are real.
Two-Dimensional Having only two dimensions: height and width. Paintings, drawings and prints are generally two-
Two-Point Perspective An application of linear perspective in which all lines except height lines appear to meet at either of
two points on the horizon - both depth and width appear to recede.
Types of Balance Symmetrical (formal), Asymmetrical (informal) Approximately Symmetrical, and Radial.
Underpainting The first paint applied to a painting surface, to be overpainted with other colors or glazes
Unity The sense that all the organizational features in a work of art are in the right place and the composition
Unsaturated Color Sometimes known as desaturated color. A pure color becomes unsaturated when mixed with certain
colors, or when mixed with black, white, or grey.
Utilitarian Seeing The everyday, practical way we look at things
Value An object's relative degree of lightness or darkness.
Value Pattern A method of composition that simplifies the artwork into a pattern of dark and light shapes
Value Scale A scale of values ranging from white (top) to black (bottom) and including several grays in between.(1-
Value Study A preliminary, achromatic sketch done to help the artist more clearly understand the values in a work.
Van Gogh Dutch painter that painted with intense, pure color and choppy brush strokes.
Vanishing Point Point on a picture plane where parallel receding lines converge
Variations on a Theme A series of drawings on the same subject
Variety An assortment of different elements (e.g., colors, shapes, lines, values, textures, patterns).
Vastus Lateralis Large muscle on the front of the thigh that extends the knee.
Vernacular In art a visual language peculiar to a particular culture or style
Vertical A direction of line. A line that runs up and down.
View Finder A device used by artists to frame a view and provide bounding edges to a composition.
Vine Charcoal Charcoal made by charring vines
Visible Spectrum That part of the range of electromagnetic waves that the human eye can see
Visual Characteristics Traits that would describe what is being viewed.
Visual Noise The results of particular groupings of marks that lead the viewer to “hear” as well as see them
Visual Pathway A dynamic of a good design that is created by the relationship between positive and negative spaces
where there is a path created for the eye to follow that flows through the composition.
Volume Refers to the space within a form. Thus, in architecture, volume refers to the space within a building.
Also it can be another word for form, referring to the three dimensionality of an object.
Voussoir Stones used to make an arch (the central one is known as the keystone)
Warm Colors Colors that are usually associated with images that remind us of things that are warm and tend to feel
exciting. Warm colors are usually red, yellow and orange. Warm colors seem to come forward.
Watercolor Paint A type of media in which the pigment is suspended in water.
Watercolor Paper A paper that is more absorbent than many papers to wick the water away, yet remain strong for a
watercolor painting surface.
Watermarks Mark on handmade paper that identifies the maker
Weaving A three-dimensional process in which fibrous materials are woven or threaded to create a work of art.
Materials that can be woven include paper, yarn, strips of fabric, grasses, or any long, thin, flexible
Weight Comes from the weight of a ream (500 sheets) of the paper before it is cut down. Thinner drawing
papers are 50 # and heavier 90 #. Watercolor Papers range from 90# to 300#.
Wet Media Liquid drawing materials including inks, watercolor, gouache paint, etc.
The less-than-perfect quality of anything done by hand; imperfections that express the personality of
Wobble the artist
Woodcut A printing plate that is made by carving the design into smooth, flat, pieces of wood and printing it.
Wove Paper Laid Paper that is laid on woven fabric
Zygomatic Arch Forms small arch connecting the malar to the temporal bone.