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.

Art Genres: The classification of types of painting including still lives, landscapes, portraits, and abstracts.

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

Blocking In: A painting technique in which oils or acrylics are used to rough in a preliminary composition using shape and color.

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.

Creativity: The ability to consider ideas from a unique perspective or create something meaningful in new or imaginative ways.


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

Elements of Art: The building blocks used in the composition of any piece of visual artwork — they include line, shape, form, color, value, texture, and space.


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.


Inspiration: The enthusiastic feeling experienced when discovering new and creative ideas.

Landscape: An art genre that encompasses the artistic representation of a large area of countryside, especially in relation to its appearance.

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.


Panel Painting: A painting executed on a rigid support — ordinarily wood or metal — created as one piece or multi-piece artwork.

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.

Plaquette: A decorative panel, of natural materials, created as a form of artistic expression.


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.

Portraits: An art genre that encompasses the artistic representation of humans or animals that are alive or that have been alive.

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.

Still Life: An art genre that encompasses the decorative arrangement and artistic representation of inanimate objects or live objects that do not move.

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.

Value: The relative degree of lightness or darkness of a color or of black.


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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