As we look at the various styles and art terminologies, we shall begin to see how and why such terms were derived. Sometimes the term of an art form or style is easily derived from its physical appearance. Thus the knowledge of these definitions should be especially helpful to the average art researcher or patron, artists, teachers, and students alike, and also considering the fact that art theory has become extremely useful in our current schools art curriculum.
An abstract genre of art whereby artistic content depends on internal form rather than pictorial representation. This is a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance.
This has to do with the attribute of accepting the facts of life and favouring practicality and literal truth. An artistic movement in 19th century
marked by the striving of artists and writers for detailed realistic and factual description in their works. France
This is art consisting of a design made of small pieces of coloured stones or glass.
This is a form of art requiring paste-ups made by sticking together pieces of paper or photographs. We also have photomontage, which is also a form of collage whereby photographs are placed side by side.
A painting that is applied to a wall surface, usually described as wall painting or decoration. Fresco is also a form of wall painting except that it is a more sophisticated form or technique whereby the pigment is worked directly into a wet plaster.
A style of painting characterized by the application of paint in dots and small strokes; developed by Georges Seurat and his followers in late 19th century
. This form or style can also be applied in a drawing approach. France
A monochrome picture made by using several different shades of the same colour. Here there is a deliberate effort to apply the use of or the handling of light and shade. The influential Dutch artist Rembrandt VanRijn (1606-1669), is fondly remembered with this style.
This is the line at which the sky and Earth appear to meet. The appearance of things relative to one another as determined by their distance from the viewer, thus in art drawing, this is a line on the vertical plane where every line of perspective meet.
In drawing or painting composition, this suggests a point beyond which something disappears or ceases to exist. It is the appearance of a point on the horizon at which parallel lines converge.
Perspective drawing implies the appearance of things relative to one another as determined by their distance from the viewer.
In art and painting, primary colours refer to colours that cannot be obtained in anyway by mixing. These colours are RED,
BLUE and YELLOW.
These refer to the set of colours that are as a result of the mixture of any two of the primary colours. For example, RED + YELLOW = ORANGE;
BLUE + YELLOW = GREEN; BLUE + RED = PURPLE.
Tertiary Colours are colours that are as a result of mixing the secondary colours. An example of these is Bluish-Green.
Complimentary or Opposite Colours
This refers to colours positioned opposite each other on the colour wheel. For example, green is the opposite of red.
These are basically the two universal colours that cannot be obtained by mixing. They are BLACK and WHITE.
Transparency of Colours
This describes colours that allow the passage of light, while opaque colours are the reverse, i.e. they do not permit light to pass through, especially when using the watercolour medium in painting. Also, in watercolour painting, white is not normally used, but when an opaque white is applied, then that white is referred to as Body Colour.
This is the harmonious state or sense of agreement of a composition and colours; congruity of parts with one another, and with the whole piece.
A line is a point in motion, or many points joined together.
A point is a dot having no motion to it, and so it is a stationary dot. It is an element that has position but no extension.
A drawing or painting of inanimate objects such as fruits or flowers, rocks, household items, etc.
Life (Drawing) composition
A drawing or painting of living objects such as human beings and animals.
A drawing or painting of plants and plant related objects or environments
Sculpture in the Round
This is a term to describe any freestanding sculpture.
This is the practice of making a design on the skin by pricking and staining.
This is a three-dimensional work of plastic art created on a flat surface.
Texture refers to the tactile quality of any work of art
In sculpture, it is the process of bronze casting popularly known as the lost wax technique.
This is the technique of producing a picture in painting or drawing, made by using several different shades of the same colour.
An outline of a solid object (as cast by its shadow). A drawing of the outline of an object; filled in with some uniform colour.
In sculpture, this is the skeleton or the structural framework upon which a sculptural piece is built.
A depository for collecting and displaying objects having scientific or historical or artistic value.
A room or series of rooms where works of art are exhibited.
This is the art of penmanship or the skill of beautiful handwriting.
This refers to any art composition that is executed strictly from imagination, which is without recourse to any visible or existing reference material.
The art and skill of cutting and engraving precious stones.
Art produced by decorating a surface with cut-outs and then coating it with several layers of varnish or lacquer
This is art created by piecing together different parts (of cloth) of different colours by sewing or stitching.
Bedding made of two layers of cloth filled with stuffing and stitched together; Stitch or sew together; of textiles.
Mixed Media painting
When a piece of painting is produced by combining materials with a painting medium in order to create a picture, it is called a mixed media painting.
An art movement early in the 20th century; the artist's subjective expression of his inner experiences was emphasized. A genre of German painting that tried to show the subjective responses to scenes rather than the scenes themselves
A genre of French painting that pictured appearances by strokes of unmixed colours to give the impression of reflected light.
A 20th century movement of artists and writers (developing out of Dadaism) who used fantastic images and incongruous juxtapositions in order to represent unconscious thoughts and dreams. Genre of art and literature attempting to express the working of the subconscious and characterized by fantastic imagery and incongruous juxtapositions. A great exponent of this movement is Salvador Dali
This expresses the doctrine that ideas are the only reality. It deals with the impracticality by virtue of thinking of things in their ideal form rather than as they really are, and thus is expressed through any medium of art. This movement celebrates elevated ideals or conduct; the quality of believing that ideals should be pursued.
An artistic movement in
beginning in 1907 that featured surfaces of geometrical planes. Cubism is essentially the fragmenting of three-dimensional forms into flat areas of pattern and color, overlapping and intertwining so that shapes and parts of the human anatomy are seen from the front and back at the same time. Picasso created the style in tandem with his great friend Georges Braque. France
A nihilistic art movement (especially in painting) that flourished in Europe early in the 20th century; based on irrationality and negation of the accepted laws of beauty.
An art movement launched in 1905 in which a work was characterized by bright and non-natural colours and simple forms; influenced the expressionists. This is a genre of painting characterized by vivid colours and simplified forms that gave a decorative effect.
A system of symbols and symbolic representations, the practice of investing things with symbolic meaning.
A humorous or satirical drawing published in a newspaper or magazine.