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Specialist Art Words

  1. 2. This word has a specific meaning in Art. It is one of the formal elements. It refers to the three-dimensional aspects of objects (i.e. height, width and depth). In images form makes objects appear to be realistic solids, even though they are in fact two-dimensional. Form can also be used in the general sense of “giving form” to ideas, in other words, making concepts concrete. (Do not confuse with “forms” as defined below)
  2. 5. A discipline in art. The action or skill of using paint, either in a picture or as decoration.
  3. 8. point The point at which receding parallel lines viewed in perspective appear to converge. The point at which something that has been decreasing disappears altogether.
  4. 9. Lines, planes or surfaces existing side by side and having the same distance continuously between them. Parallel lines play an important role in hatching and cross-hatching – and they never meet.
  5. 12. The area of a picture which appears to be at the front of the pictorial space (i.e. nearest the viewer).
  6. 13. One of the formal elements. The trace of a point which describes the meeting of planes at an edge, or the division between light and dark. Think in terms of silhouettes or contours. Hatched lines can suggest tone and form, thus, describing a plane or curves. There are many different types of lines. Thus, it is important to comment on the nature, direction, width and length of lines.
  7. 15. A sloping/slanting straight line (i.e. it is not horizontal or vertical). Sometimes a diagonal line joins up two opposite corners of a square or other flat shape.
  8. 16. Having or appearing to have three dimensions: length, breadth and depth.
  9. 20. One of the formal elements. It refers to what the eyes see when light is reflected off an object. Intensity (also called saturation), temperature (i.e. warm or cold) and contrast (tonal colour variation) are three properties of colour.
  10. 21. An imaginary line running through a form or composition around which elements are arranged.
  11. 24. of reading The sequential flow of the writing system of a particular language (e.g. in the Western world it is left to right). In pictorial terms this refers to where artists want viewers to look first, next and so on. Said differently, which visual elements have the artists applied in order to direct viewers around their artwork (ideally again and again)?
  12. 26. Monoprinting is a form of printmaking which contains lines, shapes and/or images which can only be produced once. This stands in sharp contrast to most other types of printmaking which allow for multiple originals. There are many different monoprinting techniques. It is particularly useful if wishing to work with spontaneous and expressive mark-making.
  13. 28. A detail is a minor point or aspect of something, as opposed to the central ones.
  14. 31. A photograph or picture developed or executed in black and white – or in varying tones of only one colour.
  15. 32. Cross-hatching is an extension of hatching, which uses fine parallel lines drawn closely together to create tonal/shading effects in a drawing. When sets of parallel lines are placed closely together at an angle (i.e. so they intersect), it is called cross-hatching.
  16. 33. One of the formal elements. The visual/tactile surface characteristics and the appearance of something (i.e. an element which refers to the way something looks/feels. It can be actual or implied).
  17. 34. A discipline in art. Printmaking is the process of creating artworks by printing, normally on paper. Printmaking refers to the process of creating prints which have an element of originality, rather than simply photographic prints/reproductions.
  18. 35. A method of creating a picture by sticking different materials (e.g. photographs, news cuttings, fabrics and papers) onto a flat surface.
  19. 36. One of the formal elements. It has two-dimensions: height and width. An area with a defined or implied boundary. It is often described in terms of two basic groups: geometric and organic.
  20. 39. The formation of or division into triangles. A compositional approach/tool which artists can use to direct viewers around a pictorial arrangement of shapes – capturing their attention for longer.
  21. 41. of thirds Imagine a composition divided into thirds – these lines become the most significant points at which to place key elements/shapes.
  22. 42. Shading is used in drawing for depicting levels of darkness on paper by applying media lightly/densely. When applied constructively within outlines – it suggests three-dimensionality.
  23. 44. An art discipline. Photography is the art, application and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by the means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film.
  24. 45. The quality of being made up of exactly similar parts facing each other or around an axis.
  25. 47. The message the artwork communicates. The content can refer to a specific genre, theme, subject matter, idea, message or emotion.
  26. 49. In art-making, the broad, generalised categories of creative endeavours such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography and mixed media. (Sometimes also referred to as Art disciplines)
  27. 51. A discipline in art. Sculpture is traditionally a three-dimensional form of art. The main methods include carving, modelling, casting and constructing.
  28. 52. Hatching is an artistic technique used to create tonal or shading effects by drawing closely spaced parallel lines.
  1. 1. line Horizon lines are important in art. They run across the paper or canvas to represent the viewer’s eye level or they delineate/indicate where the sky meets the ground.
  2. 3. The relative size of an object. When proportional relationships are created relative to a specific unit of measurement.
  3. 4. Perspective is used artists to create the illusion of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface (i.e. depth).
  4. 6. spaces Spaces surrounding shapes or forms in two- and three-dimensional art.
  5. 7. media A discipline in art. Artworks which include a variety of media (i.e. more than one type of material).
  6. 10. ground The area between the foreground and the background in a picture.
  7. 11. A term describing the part of a picture which appears to be behind the central area of attention.
  8. 14. Having or appearing to have two dimensions: length and breadth. In other words, it is flat (i.e. not three-dimensional).
  9. 17. At right angles to a horizontal plane; in a direction, or having an alignment, such that the top is directly above the bottom (e.g. a vertical axis).
  10. 18. Parallel to the plane of the horizon; at right angles to the vertical.
  11. 19. One of the formal elements. The amount of space that a substance or object occupies, or that is enclosed within a container.
  12. 22. A dark area or shape produced by a body/object coming between rays of light and a surface.
  13. 23. elements The formal elements in art refer to the key/tangible/physical aspects which make up an artwork (e.g. line, shape, tone, texture, colour, pattern, form, volume, space etc.)
  14. 24. A discipline in art. A picture or diagram made with a pencil, pen, crayon or other dry material rather than paint.
  15. 25. A form of art containing a raised surface/shallow relief.
  16. 27. One of the formal elements. A pattern is a regular arrangement of lines, shapes and colours e.g. a design in which the same lines, shapes and colours are repeated at regular intervals over a surface.
  17. 29. colours The three pairs of opposites on the colour wheel are described as complementary. These are orange/blue, red/green and purple/yellow. When placed against each other they contrast and enhance, so red seems redder when placed next to green. Said differently, they make each other stand out.
  18. 30. Lack of equality or equivalence between parts or aspects of something; lack of symmetry.
  19. 31. This is a term used by artists to describe the character of graphic effects in both drawing and painting.
  20. 35. A principle of art which explores differences between visual elements in order to create variety, emphasis or interest. Tonal contrast refers to the value, that is, the difference between light and dark. Tonal colour contrast refers to the difference between the lightest and darkest colours.
  21. 37. of shapes The arrangement of sculptural elements within a three-dimensional context (i.e. The relationship of the forms to each other and the surrounding space). The equivalent to composition in a two-dimensional context.
  22. 38. The arrangement of shapes within a picture plane/two-dimensional surface (e.g. on a painting or drawing). Can be regarded as one of the formal elements.
  23. 40. matter The subject represented in a work of art.
  24. 43. How far back the image appears to recede from the surface of the picture (the picture plane). The illusion of three-dimensional space created on a two-dimensional surface.
  25. 46. shapes Shapes or forms in two-dimensional and three-dimensional art.
  26. 48. One of the formal elements. A term denoting the particular quality of brightness, deepness, or shade of a colour.
  27. 50. One of the formal elements. The three-dimensional expanse/area in which objects are located (e.g. between, around, above, below and within objects).