Friday, March 5, 2010


A color scheme using only one hue with varying degrees of value or intensity.


A system of color mixing (used in painting and drawing) based on the juxtaposition of small bits of pure color. Also called divisionism.

Cool color

A color closer to blue on the color wheel.

Visual color mixing

The optical mixture of small units of color so that the eye perceives the mixture rather than the individual component colors.


The use of light and dark values to imply depth and volume in a two-dimensional work of art.

Wash Drawing

Where dark ink or watercolor are mixed with water to produce shades of gray.


Relating to the hue or saturation of color.

Multiple image

A visual device used to suggest the movement that occurs when a figure is shown in a sequence of slightly overlapping poses in which each successive position suggests movement from the prior position.

Op Art

A static painting that gives the optical illusion of movement.

Blurred outline

A visual device in which most details and the edges of a form are lost in the rapidity of the implied movement.

Amplified perspective

A dynamic and dramatic illusionistic effect created when an object is pointed directly at the viewer.

Horizon line

The farthest point we can see where the delineation between the sky and ground becomes distinct. The line on the picture plane that indicates the extent of illusionistic space and on which are located the vanishing points.


When one image or shape is placed next to or in comparison to another image or shape.

Equivocal space

An ambiguous space in which it is hard to distinguish the foreground from the background. Your perception seems to alternate from one to the other.


The tools or materials used to create an artwork.


A painting technique in which pigments are applied in thick layers or strokes to create a rough three-dimensional paint surface on the two-dimensional surface.

Visual texture

A two-dimensional illusion suggestive of a tactile quality.


The repetition of a visual element or module in a regular and anticipated sequence.


Composed of straight lines.


An art style that takes natural forms and turns them into geometric planes.


A mixed-media artwork that generally takes into account the environment in which it is arranged.


An artistic theory in which the world is not reproduced as it is, but as it should be. All flaws, accidents, and incongruities of the visual world are corrected.


An artistic style that sought to recreate the artist uses perception of the changing quality of light and color in nature.

Lost-and-found contour

A description of a form in which an object is revealed by distinct contours in some areas while other edges simply vanish or dissolve into the ground.


A drawing technique in which a series of lines are layered over each other to build up value and to suggest form and volume.


Abrupt changes and dynamic contrast within the visual rhythm.

Progressive rhythm

Repetition of shape that changes in a regular pattern.


An early 1900s experimental form of art in Russia that reflected the interest in the industrial era.

Radial balance

A composition in which all visual elements are balanced around and radiate from a central point.

Bilateral Symmetry

Balance with respect to a vertical axis.


A measure of relative lightness or darkness.


Suggestive of Greek and Roman ideals of beauty and purity of form, style, or technique.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


An artistic style that stresses fantastic and subconscious approaches to art making and often results in images that cannot be rationally explained.

Pop Art

An art movement originating in the 1960's that sought inspiration from everyday popular culture and the techniques of commercial art.

Focal point

A compositional device emphasizing a certain a certain area or object to draw attention to the piece and to encourage closer scrutiny of the work.

Radial Design

When all the elements in a design point towards one point.


The overall arrangement and organization of visual elements on a two-dimensional surface.

Visual Unity

Elements have a similarity to the eye; they are similar in shape, size and color.


An assembly of found objects composed as a piece of sculpture. (Like a 3-D collage.)


An element of design that communicates an idea or meaning beyond beyond that of its literal form.


An artwork created by assembling and pasting variety of materials to a two-dimensional surface.