English Vocabulary for Art Students
English Vocabulary for international students to study Art in Canada or USA during
an exchange program. Art vocabulary is necessary for exchange students to succeed during an exchange
program in the USA or Canada. Other grammar topics include vocabulary, parts of speech, sentence
structure, punctuation, tenses, verbals, conditionals and writing.
Vocabulary for Visual Arts
A style of art that achieves its effect by simplifying or
altering the visual elements (e.g., line, shape, colour), rather than by
representing recognizable things or people.
The process of making art work abstract.
A type of balance in which the parts are unequal in size,
shape, etc., but still produce a balanced visual effect.
The part of a composition that appears to be farthest from
A principle of design. A feeling of balance results when the
elements of design are arranged to create the impression of equality in weight
A form of art in which a variety of materials (e.g.,
photographs, fabric, objects) are glued to a flat background.
An element of design. Colour is the particular hue that is
seen when light is reflected off an object.
A tool for organizing colours and representing
relationships among colours.
Colours that are directly opposite each other
on the colour wheel (e.g., red and green, blue and orange, yellow and purple).
The organization of the elements of design in an art work,
following certain principles of design.
Art created in the present day.
Colours that suggest coolness (e.g., blue, green,
A term used to describe an object's extent in space. A
two-dimensional object is one that has length and width. A three-dimensional
object is one that has length, width, and depth.
Elements of design.
Fundamental components of art works. They include
colour, line, texture, shape, form, and space.
A principle of design. Emphasis may be defined as the
special attention or importance given to one part or element in an art work.
Emphasis can be achieved through placement, contrast, size, etc.
The element or object in a work of art on which the
viewer's attention is focused.
The area of a picture that appears closest to the viewer.
It is often at the bottom of the picture plane.
An element of design. Form is sculptural or three-dimensional
shape (e.g., cube, pyramid, sphere).
A shape that is based on geometric figures (e.g.,
square, circle, triangle).
The "line" at which the sky and the earth
appear to meet.
The common name of a colour (e.g., red).
Art in the Impressionist style, a characteristic
of which is the depiction of the effect of light on objects.
An element of design. A line may be defined as the visual path
left by a moving point.
A symbolic form that identifies organizations, products, etc.
Any material used by an artist to produce a work of art.
Area in the picture between the foreground and the
Any art work in which more than one medium is used.
Monochromatic colour scheme.
A colour scheme in which only one hue is
used, along with its tints (i.e., hue plus white) and shades (i.e., hue plus
A principle of design. Movement is the way in which the
elements of design are organized so that the viewer's eye is led through the
work of art in a systematic way.
The void or open areas around an object or form.
A technique for creating the illusion of depth on a
two-dimensional surface. There are three types of perspective: - linear
perspective, which involves the use of parallel lines that appear to converge as
their distance from the viewer increases; - diminishing perspective, in which
objects appear to diminish in size as their distance from the viewer increases;
- atmospheric perspective, which is produced by the gradual lessening of the
intensity of colour and the reducing of detail as the distance between an object
and the viewer increases.
Organic shapes or forms.
Shapes or forms that are non-geometric or
free- flowing, and that are based on natural objects.
Shapes or forms on a two-dimensional surface.
Principles of design.
Principles or guidelines used by artists to
organize the visual elements of an art work. They include balance, emphasis,
rhythm, unity, movement, variety, harmony, and proportion.
Colours that cannot be created by mixing other
colours, but that can be mixed to produce all the other colours (red, yellow,
A principle of design. Proportion may be
described as the relationship between objects with respect to size, number, etc.
Art whose subject matter contains recognizable
images from real life.
A principle of design. Rhythm involves the repetition of
elements to create the illusion of movement.
A work of art in three dimensions (i.e., with height,
width, and depth) that is meant to be seen from all sides.
Colours that are created by mixing the primary
colours (orange, green, and purple).
A colour with a certain amount of
An element of design. Space is the area around, within, or
between images or elements. Space can be created on a two-dimensional surface by
using such techniques as overlapping of objects, varying of object size or
placement, varying of colour intensity and value, and use of detail and diagonal
The artist's way of representing something. The choice and use
of materials, methods of work, subject matter, etc., reflect the style of an
individual, a culture, or a historical period.
A type of balance in which parts or elements are equal in
size or shape, or in some other attribute.
A method or procedure used in producing a work of art.
An element of design. Texture is the feel or appearance of
an object or material.
A colour with a certain amount of white added.
A principle of design. Unity is the coherence of a work that
gives the viewer the feeling that all the parts of the piece are working
The lightness or darkness of a colour.
In perspective drawing, the point on the horizon line
where the converging parallel lines appear to meet.
A principle of design. Achieving variety involves the use of
differences or contrasts.
Colours that suggest warmth (e.g., red, yellow, orange).
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