Glossary of Art Terms | Homespun and Hands-On

Glossary

The language of art — in your language.

Abstract Art: The visual representation of something from real-life that does not look real, but rather is unnaturally composed of shapes, forms, colors, and textures. 

Abstract Expressionism: An artistic movement of the mid-20th century in which artists portrayed thoughts and emotions in response to real life rather than portraying the real-life objects they see.

 

Acrylic Paint: A thick paint made by mixing pigment with a binding agent called acrylic resin.

Binding Agent: A wet substance in paint that helps the dry colored pigment stick together.


Canvas: a firm closely woven cloth usually made from linen, hemp, or cotton that is stretched over a wooden frame.

 

Collage: An artistic composition made of various materials (such as paper, cloth, or wood) glued on a surface.

 

Color: How the light reflected from an object looks in terms of hue, lightness, and saturation.

 

Composition: The arrangement of figures or materials in a work of art.

 

Crosshatching: A method of shading done by repeatedly drawing two series of intersecting perpendicular lines.

 

Fine Art: Visual art (such as painting or sculpture) made for the sake of beauty.

 

Form: The shape and structure of something, as opposed to what it is made from.

Functional Art: Works of art that have a useful purpose in addition to being beautiful.

 

Gouache: A type of 'opaque' watercolor made with a higher concentration of pigment and additional material such as chalk.

 

Hue: Describes whether an object is one solid color or somewhere between two colors.

 

Impasto: The technique of applying paints in a thick paste-like manner.

 

Impressionism: An artistic movement of the 19th Century in which the works of art gave a visual impression of real life — focusing on light and color — rather than creating an accurate depiction of an object.

 

Lightness: How much light is reflected in a color.

Line: A one-dimensional continuous mark made by moving a dot or point across a surface.

 

Masterpiece: A work of art done with extraordinary skill..

 

Medium: The material or technical means used to create a piece of art.

 

Oil Paint: A type of paint made by mixing pigment with a binding agent called drying oil.

 

Palette: A thin tablet that a painter holds and mixes pigments on.

 

Pastels: Condensed paste made of powdered pigment that can be used on its own or to make crayons.

 

Pigment: A coloring matter, originally found in animals and plants, that is converted to a powdered substance and may be mixed with a liquid binding agent to form paint.

 

Pointillism: A technique using tiny dots — or points — of pure colors with the intention of encouraging the viewer's eye to blend those colors together.

 

Pop Art: An artistic movement of the 1950s-1960s in which popular culture and commonplace objects are used as subject matter.

Post-Modernism: An artistic movement of the late-20th-century that questions what 'art' is or should be by returning to traditional materials in new ways.

Shape: The two-dimensional area inside an enclosed line or in contrast to its surroundings.

Space: The area between the other elements of art within a piece of artwork.

 

Study: A literary or artistic piece intended to be an outline, experiment, exploration, or analysis of specific features or characteristics.

 

Surrealism: An artistic movement of the 1920s-1930s in which artists painted illogical scenes realistically, creating strange scenes from everyday objects, expressing their unconscious.

Tempera Paint: A type of paint made by mixing pigment with eggs as a binding agent.

Texture: The way that the surface of an object looks or feels.

 

Watercolor Paint: A type of paint made by mixing pigment with a binding agent such as glue, casein, or gum arabic, which is then diluted with water.

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