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Your Art Class Glossary

  • Abstract: Style of art that began in the Twentieth Century. Abstract art represents a version of the real world. In some abstract art work there is a likeness to reality. The word “abstract” in art comes from the artist interpreting or “abstracting” the real world.

  • Abstract Expressionism: Style of art that began in Germany in 1911. The spiritual value of art is the main consideration over structured form.

  • Acrylic Paint: An artist’s medium of paint using acrylic polymer suspension of a byproduct of plastics, with pigment added. Acrylic paint dries fast and retains the vibrancy of the color, and uses water or other mediums to change the consistency. Artists clean up with soap and water.

  • Analogous Colors: Refers to the colors that are together along the Color Wheel. For example,  blue, violet-blue, violet, and violet red and all the colors in between are analogous.

  • Art terms: Refers to this glossary of words and art terms used in Your Art Class lessons.

  • Artist’s tool: Is a term to describe the technique an artist uses while creating the artwork.

  • Artwork: Is the artist’s Work (in progress or completed) often referred to as “The Piece of art.”

  • Artistic License: The artists’ right to apply imagination to familiar things and ideas.

  • Aspect of art: A part or element of the art.  Any work of art is created by using different components, parts, or aspects.

  • Background: The area of a landscape or composition that is in the background of the work. Objects in this area are smaller to give perspective. That area is called Background Space for Your art Class.

  • Balance: Is an aspect of art using components such as contrast and unity, large and small, warm colors and cool colors, rough and smooth. The use of different elements creates balance in the art work.

  • Black: is not a primary color. It is actually no color in the absence of light. When added to a color black creates a shade of that color. Black is the opposite of white.

  • Block Printing: A method of printing that has been done for centuries. The artist makes a drawing on primarily wood, masonite, or linoleum. The drawing is cut out, ink is applied, and then printed on paper, fabric, or other surface.

  • Blue: Primary color. There are three primary colors that all colors are made from. Blue is predominant in nature with the big blue sky.

  • Border is an Artist’s tool: a term to describe the technique an artist uses while creating the artwork. The border is the outside edge surrounding the artwork.

  • Brown: A color made by combining various colors: red, yellow, and black together are one combination.  Orange and blue or green; violet and yellow, or any colors across the Color Wheel are a base for mixing brown.

  • Brushes: An artist uses a brush to apply paint to paper, canvas, or other material. Your Art Class suggests that better grade brushes should be used when using watercolors. Generally the brush that comes with a typical watercolor set is stiff and difficult to use. There are two basic categories of brushes that are recommended by Your Art Class: flats and rounds.

 

 

  • Canvas: A material on which artists paint using oil paint or other mediums.

  • Card Stock: The type of paper that Your Art Class recommends on which to print the black and white drawings. Card stock can be purchased at any office supply store. The card stock is preferred because it is thick and durable. Better yet, we recommend 100% rag card stock because it will not deteriorate as fast as copy paper.

  • Color: Is the artist’s main tool. Color is one of the seven elements of art. For Your Art Class we refer to color as the colors: red, yellow, blue, etc. See Primary and Secondary colors. Also see Color Wheel. (Science refers to color using the spectrum of light and the wave lengths of light.)

  • Color Wheel: Is an illustration of colors. Combining primary colors creates secondary colors. See Primary Colors and Secondary Colors. Refer to the color wheel illustration which was done using “twistable crayons.”

  • Color Wheel Opposites: A study of the color wheel reveals that every primary color has a secondary color for its opposite. Red – Green, Yellow – Purple or Violet, Blue – orange.

Color wheel diagram:

 

 

  • Colored Markers: Often called felt tip pens. Markers allow ink to flow using a felt tip. It is recommended that the class uses washable markers, not permanent markers.

  • Complementary Colors: Colors across from each other on the color wheel. The colors are often referred to as opposite colors. (See color wheel).

  • Composition: Refers to the way an artist organizes the art, the piece, or the work.

  • Contemporary: This style of art refers to any current or modern day artwork.  There are many contemporary artists working today, such as, Your Art Class students.

  • Contrast: The use of opposite elements to create a whole. The elements can be color, texture, shapes, forms, etc. used to show emphasis.

  • Cool Colors: An artist’s tool that helps the artist create a cool feeling in the composition. Blues and greens are cool colors. Some grays and beiges are considered cool because blue or green has been added.

  • Copy: A representation of a thing in a similar or an identical way. It is OK as an artist to copy a design, image, or symbol as long as it is public domain.

  • Cubism: A style of art that utilizes geometric shapes and designs in creating the artwork. Notable artists of this art movement are Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, and Paul Cezanne. Cubist Design: A plan or method using Cubism.

  • Decoration: An embellishment that adorns or beautifies something.

  • Design: A plan or method of making a pattern, shape, or decoration.

  • Direction Plane: Refers to the movement that a piece of artwork can have. Water has a left to right or right to left direction.

  • Dominance: Is an artist’s tool drawing awareness to a main part of the artwork. This can be done with tones, lines, colors, textures, or patterns.

  • Elements of Art: The seven elements of art are: line, shape, form, color, texture, value, space.

  • Enrichment: Your Art Class gives suggestions of artists’ work to view that be about a similar subject or theme. Activities to enhance or add to the lesson may sometimes be included.

  • Expressionism: A style of art characterized by expressing emotions rather than representing reality. This style or movement of art started in Germany in the beginning of the 20th century. Notable artist are Edvard Munch, El Greco, and Wasily Kandinsky.

  • Fabric: Woven material or cloth. There are different weaves, patterns, threads, materials, types, colors, and textures of the woven cloth. Many artists use fabric to create there art.

  • Fantasy: Style of art representing the imagination and inventions of the artist.

  • Fauvism: A style of art or an art movement that began in Paris around 1904 and only lasted until 1908. The name “fauves” means wild beasts in French. The fauve artists used wild strokes and colors. Henri Matisse and George Braque are associated with the Fauve movement.

  • Folk art:  A style of art that began with decorating everyday objects. Folk art can also refer to artists without formal training whose work is considered naïve and pure.

  • Foreground: Refers to the area of a landscape or a composition to the front of the work. Objects in this area are larger than those in the middle and back to give perspective.

  • Form: Awareness that refers to the style, color, tone, texture, line, and space that creates art, in other words, its general appearance. One of the seven elements of art.

  • Framed: The presentation of the finished artwork. A good framer will be a member of the Professional Picture Framer’s Association. 

  • Futurism: A style of art that began in Italy in the beginning of the 20th century. Like the name implies, the artwork centers on ideas of the future. Umberto Boccioni was a leading futurist.

  • Green. Secondary Color created by mixing blue and yellow.

  • Greeting Card: Trifold: Greeting card for Your Art Class is a black and white drawing to be completed. If you print out this card image on regular print paper, you should fold it in three, along the lines, and it will fit a standard #10 envelope (41/8 in. X 9 ½ in. or 10.4cm x 24.1cm). We recommend folding in three because regular printing paper is thin and the three folds help give it strength.

  • Grid: Boxes of equal size that can be used to put a shape, image, or simple drawing in over and over again. In each part of the grid and a new decoration or color changes the design.

 

 

 

  • Guide: For Your Art Class the “Guide” is anyone who leads an art lesson. You can even guide yourself.

  • History of Art: is so important to realize. Art is a process and past art achievements bring us to current achievements in art. 

  • Horizon Line: Used in a work of art to differentiate where the sky and the land meet. It is where the background meets the middle of a landscape.  Never put the horizon line across the middle. (That’s boring and artists can’t be boring.)

  • Horizon tree line: In Your Art Class we refer to the tree line along the horizon line in the background. This is created using the irregular outline of treetops. Add blue or purple to the horizon tree line to help create the effect of distance. Color the trees up and down, back and forth, and round and round strokes.   

  • Hue: Refers to the shade or tint of a color. Hue helps to recognize the difference between lime green and teal green.

  • Impressionism: A style of art that began in Paris around 1860. Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissaro, Paul Cezanne, and Auguste Renoir are a few of the noted artists that tried to capture the “impression” of what they were painting rather than giving a realistic depiction. They attempted to capture how the sunlight plays on colors in nature. Some Impressionists were called “en plein air” artists because they loved painting outside. Impressionist Design: A plan or method using Impressionism and a lot of light.

  • Intensity: Refers to the brightness or dullness of a color. To dull an intense color look to its opposite on the color wheel. See color wheel illustration.

  • Landscape: A type of art that captures the broad view of the scenery in the natural world.

  • Light: An important element or part of any artwork. The position and direction of the light source should always be considered.

  • Light Source: The term that refers to where the light is coming from.

  • Line: The slender markings that determine the outline or shape. One of the seven elements of art.

  • Mandala: Circular geometric design radiating from the middle. Some cultures include religious symbols. Some people use them for meditation.

  • Matted: The presentation of the finished artwork. Mat board is cut (usually by a picture framer) with an opening to display art work. (For the standard card stock paper that we recommend for this class, a mat to fit an 11”x14” frame is suggested.) 

  • Medium: What the artist uses to do the art work. For example, different mediums would be: oil paint, watercolor paint, acrylic paint, pastels, oil pastels, lead pencils, colored pencils, pen and ink, twistable pencils, crayons, fabric, metal, glue, and painting mediums.

  • Middle Plane: Is the area of a landscape or composition that is in the middle of the work.

  • Minimalism: This style of art utilizes minimal, simple basic forms. Ellsworth Kelly, Frank Stella, and Kenneth Noland used minimal forms in their artwork.

  • Mixed Media: Using different paints and/or materials in artwork to create. For example, an artist might use oil paint, fabrics, and metal to create a mixed media piece of work. Mixed media is used in all the arts.

  • Mixing Colors: Generally refers to Additive mixing of the primary colors to create the secondary colors. Mixing colors in different quantities create different colors. Mixing in black or white creates even more colors.

  • Music Suggestion: In every lesson for Your Art Class there will be a suggestion of music or a type of music that can be played during the lesson. The reason for the suggestion is that music is another way to get the creative process working. If the particular suggestion cannot be obtained, try to get some music to play. You become an Art “DJ” (Disc Jockey).

  • Naturalistic Design: A plan or method using what is naturally occurring.

  • Negative Space: The vacant area in the artwork. The area between the main parts of the artwork. In Your Art Class the negative space is given emphasis.

  • Neutral colors: For Your Art Class, the neutral colors are grey, beige, black white, tan, metallic gold and silver. These colors when mixed with the primary colors, give a shade, tone, or tint of that color.

  • Nonobjective: Style of art that does not represent specific objects. See Joan Miro, “Composition.”

  • Oil Paint: An artist’s medium of paint using a drying oil with pigment added. Oil paint dries slowly and uses linseed oil to modify its consistency. Artists clean up using turpentine.

  • Op Art: Stands for optical illusion art. A type of artwork using an optical illusion, tricking the eye.

  • Opaque: Something that can’t be seen through. Not transparent.

  • Opposition: Is an aspect of art using contrast to strengthen the theme.

  • Orange: Secondary color that is the result of combining the primary colors red and yellow. Adding more reds, or yellows, or black, or gray, or white will change the different hues of orange.

  • Paint: A thin coat of colored, fluid material that is usually applied with a brush over a surface.

  • Pattern: Refers to a shape with limits that is repeated over and over.

  • Pen and Ink Technique: An artist’s drawing technique that traditionally used an ink well of bottled ink and a pen to apply lines with different strokes to draw an image. There are many different markers and pens that artists use today. The various lines and techniques used are the same.

  • Perspective: When distance is achieved in the work giving the appearance of depth. The artist uses the foreground, the middle plane, and the background to create the depth.

  • Plane: Refers to the surface the artist is using, especially in landscapes. There is a foreground, a middle plane, and a background.

  • Pointillism: Using small dots or lines to apply color rather than solid strokes. This style of applying color allows for a lot of light.

  • Pop Art: A style of art that started in England around 1950. Usually the subject of the artwork is from popular media and is characterized by bright colors. Notable artists are Andy Warhol, Peter Max, and Jasper Johns

  • Portfolio: Used by an artist to keep art samples together. For Your Art Class the art portfolio we recommend is a simple 3-ringed binder that can be found at any office supply store. The binder should be at least 1 ½” deep and have a clear plastic display cover. (Students can design an art portfolio cover on an 8 ½” x 11” piece of cardstock paper). Portfolio Sleeves or plastic sheet protectors are used to put the art in.

  • Portfolio Sleeve: Is called a “Sheet Protector” in office supply stores. It is made of clear plastic and has three holes to insert in a binder. (For Your Art Class use the binder as an Art Portfolio and add the sleeves with the finished artwork.)

  • Portraiture: A type of artwork with the subject being people, or a person.

  • Post-Impressionism:  Styles of art developed after the Impressionism art movement in the late nineteenth century. Pointillism, Fauvism, and Cubism are a few styles of art developed in the Post-Impressionism movement. Notable artists of this movement are Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Gaugin, Georges Seurat, Paul Cezanne, and Vincent Van Gogh.

  • Primary Colors: The three primary colors or hues are red, yellow, and blue.

  • Purple: A Seconday color made from mixing blue and red together. The color is also called violet.

  • Rainbow: Is the arch of colors formed in the sky after a rain.  A rainbow always makes a great background for a scene.  The colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, blue, green, indigo, and violet.

  • Realism: Style of art that represents things as they are in “real life.”

  • Realistic Design and Art: Accurately representing what is real and using real nature to design.

  • Red: A primary color. There are three primary colors that all colors are made from. Red is an intense color, with a lot of Symbolism. Check out the Color Wheel.

  • Reflection: The method of mirroring back or showing light off of a subject, giving emphasis to the artwork.

  • Repetition: Involves a certain shape, stroke, technique, pattern, or color used several times to strengthen the unity of the art. Repetition in Design: A plan or method using Repetition. Shape, color, and texture are repeated.

  • Rhythm: Just like the rhythm of music, the theme and unity of the art are strengthened by the rhythmic flow of strokes.

  • Scandinavia includes the countries of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Some people suggest that Finland and Iceland be included also. The animated Disney hit, “Frozen,” took place in Scandanavia.

  • Scandinavian Folk Art: Painting and Design using Rosnaling and Kubits techniques. The designs are simple strokes and colors used in simple patterns to create interesting images.

  • Secondary Colors: Combinations of the primary colors. :Orange = Red + Yellow. Violet/Purple = Red + Blue. Green = Blue + Yellow

  • Shade: Refers to color. Shade indicates a darker version of a color when mixed with black.

  • Shadow: Darker area that results from lack of light.

  • Shading: A method of applying darker lines or color to create the effect of shade or shadow.

  • Shape: One of the seven elements of art. A beginning line connects with the end to form a shape. Shapes are divided into organic and free flowing or geometric and specific.

  • Simplicity: Artwork or design that is considered minimal, refined, edited, not complicated or extreme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Simple flower: The shape of a daisy flower.  This simple design can be used for a background or negative space. The design uses simple loop lines. A step by step drawing is included.

 

Simple leaf: The shape of a leaf. This simple design can be used for a background design. This design uses a simple curved line. A step by step drawing is included.

 

 

  • Space: The vacant areas between patterns. Space also refers to depth and a third dimension in art. Space is one of the seven elements of art. See Negative Space.

  • Still Life: A type of artwork with the subject being inanimate, or non breathing, objects arranged in a particular way.

  • Stylized Design: Decorative design from a modified pattern or style. A stylistic pattern rather than a pattern of nature.

  • Substrate: The surface on which the artist works such as canvas, paper, wood, etc.

  • Symbolism: Anything that represents something else. For example, the heart is a symbol for love.

  • Symmetrical: Balanced and proportioned as mirror images. 

  • Symmetry: Identical proportions, designs, or parts that are in perfect balance. Whatever is on one side of the artwork is duplicated on the other side like a mirror image.

  • Technique: The method used to do the art is the focus.

  • Texture: Is an artist’s tool or an aspect of art that refers to the feel of the surface. Texture is one of the seven elements of art. Texture may also refer to the surface on which the artist works such as canvas, paper, wood etc. (sometimes called the substrate). Texture also refers to other materials, such as string, glue, paper, sand, egg shells, artist’s mediums, etc. that are added in the art work.

  • Theme: The topic or meaning of the artwork.

  • Tint: Color that indicates a lighter version of a color when white is mixed in.

  • Tole painting:  Is a particular form of folk art that started during the 18th century in the North East area of the United States.  Artisans painted on wood and metal household objects.

  • Tone:  An artist’s tool which refers to light and dark shades.

  • Traditional Design: A plan or method of making a pattern, shape, or decoration that has been used in the past to represent something.

  • Twistable Crayons or pencils:  Is an artist’s tool or medium.  Many different companies make the twistable crayons.  Crayola makes the best.  There are fine tip, medium tips, and wide tips.  There are basic colors, florescent colors, and mixed colors.  What is so great about the twistable (sometimes called retractable) is that they don’t have to be sharpened like colored pencils and they are much better than traditional crayons. 

  • Unity: Is an aspect of art that makes great art stand out. Colors, lines, spaces, patterns, and textures all work together to create the art. Unity is the way the artist organizes the work of art.

  • Value: Aspect of color that indicates the lightness (tint) or darkness (shade) of color. Value is one of the seven elements of art.

  • Variation:  Any change or awareness of something different in the art work which creates interest.

  • Vertical: Upright so that the top is directly above the bottom. Direction that goes up and down, and at right angles with the horizon.

  • Viscosity: A term that refers to a paint’s texture or its fluidity or thickness.

  • Warm colors: Refers to color that helps the artist to create a feeling of warmth. The warm colors are yellows, oranges, and reds. Some grays and beiges are considered warm because yellows are mixed in with the gray and beige colors.

  • Watercolor: Is an artist’s Medium. Water activates the color.  The artist can apply the color to paper with a brush. Watercolors are solid, water- based compounds.

  • White: The color, according to scientists, which contains all light waves not absorbed. For Your Art Class white is accomplished by leaving the page uncolored where white can show through. It is difficult to find white crayons, pencils or watercolor paint that is opaque. Generally, white is symbolic of innocence and purity.

  • Words: Speech, talk, or written part of language with meanings. Many artists use words in their art to further impact their work with meaning.  

  • Work: Is the artist’s work (in progress or completed art) usually referred to as “THE PIECE”.

  • Yellow: A Primary Color. There are three primary colors that are used by artists to mix and make all the colors. Yellow is a Warm Color.

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