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Abstract Art – Artistic movement that involves expression that is spontaneous and does not contain specific images or ideas, but instead utilizes abstract vision and thought.
Academic Art – Art that is created at or for an educational institution. Often, this form of art is considered less original and creative than most.
Achromatic – Lacking hue or color; art that is typically black, white, or grey in color scale.
Action Painting – A painting that reflects the artist's physical movement while painting such as bold brush strokes, etc.
Aesthetic – Term relating to the beauty or visual appeal of artwork.
Balance – Another word for symmetry when applied to art.
Baroque – Term used to describe 17th century European art movement.
Bauhaus – German art school of thought developed from 1919-1933.
Binder – Substance used in paint to help bond pigments and paint together.
Canvas – Material used to paint on; canvas can come in rolls or on stretched pieces of wood.
Calligraphy – The art of beautiful writing using a brush or special pen to create a flowing text type.
Caricature – A form of art where peoples’ portraits are painted in a cartoon-like manner.
Carving – Art form where a sculpture or relief is created using wood, clay, or other materials, using sharp tools.
Ceramic – Medium used to create sculptures; this substance is baked, painted and glazed.
Collage – The method of gluing or attaching items from a magazine or other format together to form many pictures onto one.
Curvilinear – Something created by using curved edges.
Dadaism – Artistic movement that has an anarchistic style and anti-militarism style, founded in Switzerland.
Design – The process of composition and style within the realm of artwork.
Dome – Architectural term referring to a half-moon roof or top of a building.
Earth Art – The creation of sculptures or other works of art using natural elements such as grass, rocks, etc.
Edition – Refers to the number of prints made of a certain piece of art, usually numbered individually and made in limited quantities.
Engraving – Process of carving into wood or rubber to create a print or sculpture.
Etching – Artistic process that involves carving into glass or wood, and using wax to protect the carved portion. Then, acid is poured onto the block, resulting in raised portions creating a stamp or template for printmaking.
Eye Level – The height at which someone can see an object without having to look up or down.
Façade – Term to describe the front side of a building.
Figure – An individual sculpture, or a shape that stands out from the background in a drawing or painting.
Folk Art – Handmade art or crafts that are created by everyday people.
Gouache – Paint that is both opaque and water soluble.
Glaze – Liquid used to cover ceramics or pottery that creates a shine. Glaze can be clear or contain pigments and colors.
Gothic – Architectural style that is typically European such as medieval castles or structures.
Hatching – The use of parallel lines to create shading or darker portions of a drawing.
Hue – Term used to describe various color combinations and tones such as violet or red.
Humanism – Art form that focuses on humanity and individuals versus simple abstract thought or landscapes.
Icon – A figure or symbol, often used to refer to religious themed subjects.
Intaglio – Printmaking term used to describe the transfer of ink onto paper that is below the printing plate such as an etching.
Intensity – The level of brightness or darkness of a color or shade.
Kiln – Oven used to fire pottery.
Kinetic Art – Term used to describe art that moves such as a mobile.
Lens – Part of the camera that allows the photographer to see and focus on an image.
Loom – Tool used in weaving and rug making that allows the artist to loop cloth or yarn together.
Lumina – The use of light to serve as an art medium.
Mass – Having bulk; In art, mass is used to signify a two-dimensional form.
Matte – A dull color or surface used in painting or ceramics; the opposite of shiny.
Medium – The material used to make art such as paint, ceramic, paper, etc.
Minimalism – Style of art that became popular in the 1960s and involves use of white space and less color or too many objects at once.
Mixed Media – The use of more than one medium to create a piece of art.
Modeling – Using clay or another medium to create a shape or rough sculpture.
Monochromatic – The use of one particular shade, color, or hue in a piece of art.
Mosaic – Use of many small stone or glass tiles or pieces put together to create a larger picture.
Mural – A very large painting, usually on a wall or side of a building.
Naïve Art – Term used to describe art created by people with no training or prior artistic experience.
Neutrals – Colors that do not adhere to a particular hue such as grays or blacks.
Offset Printing – Describes a printing process where images on plates transfer ink to a cylinder that offsets the ink onto the paper to create a print.
Oil Paint – Type of paint that contains linseed oil and produces textured paintings.
Opaque – Doe not allow light to come through; the opposite of translucent.
Pastel – A very pale color or tinted color.
Performance Art – Theater or dance, usually performed in a casual setting.
Photorealism – A style of painting that involves the use of photography, and painting the object just as it appears in the photo.
Pigment – A color or material used to create a color of paint.
Polychromatic – The use of several different colors within a painting or other form of art.
Pop Art – Style of art that was adopted in the 1960's and involves popular culture related themes. Andy Warhol is an example of an artist who creates pop art.
Primary Colors – Colors that are the most basic of all hues, i.e. blue, red, green, or yellow.
Print – A reproduction of an artist's original work, usually using a wood or rubber block , and typically numbered in limited editions.
Proportion – The ratio of an object in respect to other objects within the frame.
Realism – An artistic movement in which artists draw or paint whatever they see without adding any additional interpretation to it.
Relief Sculpture – A three-dimensional sculpture that arises out of a flat surface, often seen in old architecture.
Reproduction – A copy or reproduced piece of art. This is not the same as an art print.
Romanticism – European art movement that exhibited luaxurious and decadent themes in nature, beauty, and emotion.
Scale – The relationship between the size of the art object and its actual size, or the size in relationship to other objects within the painting or picture.
Screenprinting – Printing process that involves using a stencil and a frame in which the ink or paint is squeezed through onto the paper or fabric.
Secondary Color – A color that involves the combining of primary colors together to make it.
Shade – A hue or color with black added to change its depth or darkness.
Still-life – Any painting or drawing that represents an inanimate object such as food, vases, or other things that are not alive.
Stupa – Early form of Buddhist architecture.
Style – Descriptive term to define a type of art that reflects a time period, movement, emotion, or other type of culture.
Surrealism – Art movement that began in the 1920s and reflects the unconscious or dream state as reflected in art.
Symbol – Any item or object in art that represents something else other than what it literally appears as.
Symmetry – The evenness of an object in art from one side to the other; balance.
Texture – The touchable surface of artwork and how it feels to the hand, or applying this aspect to the appearance of the object.
Three-dimensional – Object that has depth, width, and height.
Tint – A color or hue that has white added to change its lightness or darkness.
Two-Dimensional – Object that only has height and width, but no depth.
Unity – Artwork that uses different factors, emotions, and objects to form one concept or theme.
Value – The lightness or darkness of an object's color.
Vantage Point – The perspective or angle from which one sees something.
Visualize – Tactic used in art to help imagine or "see" something within one's mind so it can be translated onto the artwork.
Warm Colors – A section of colors on the color wheel that fall into the browns and yellows section.
Watercolor – A water soluble paint.
Woodcut – A relief print made from blocks of wood.
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Published - December 2011