Art Vocabulary List Art I,II,III,&IV

Visual Arts 

Art  Vocabulary/Terms


Acrylic paint: a fast drying synthetic paint made from acrylic resin.


Analogous colors: Colors that are closely related to each other because a common color can be found; for example: blue, blue violet, violet colors.


Asymmetrical: a type of balance where elements are arranged differently on each side of an imaginary mid-line.


Background: the area that appears to be farthest away or behind the other objects.


Balance: parts of the picture arranged symmetrically or asymmetrically so that the areas seem to have equal visual weight.


Composition: organization of elements in space.


Design: to create a work of art by combining elements of art into a planned whole.


Elements of art: those components that make up the composition: line, value, space, texture, shape/form and color.


Experimentation: to search out by trial.


Foreground: the area that appears to be nearest and in front of the other objects.


Image: a physical likeliness or representation of a person, animal, or thing, photographed, painted, or sculpted; a thought from the imagination made visible.


Intensity: refers to the brightness or dullness of a color; amount of saturation.


Line: the path of a moving point that is made by a tool, instrument, or medium as it moves across an area.


Medium/Media: materials used to create an image.


Middle ground: the area that appears between the foreground and background.


Movement: in visual arts, the direction or flow in artwork.


Organic: any living or natural shape that is not geometric.


Pattern: a principle of design wherein element or combination of elements are repeated in a planned way.




Portrait: artwork that shows the face or figure of a person.


Primary Colors: the basic colors that can't be reduced into component colors and be used to mix all other colors.


Principles of Design: the way the elements of art such as balance, movement, patterns/repetition, unity/variety and emphasis are used to create a composition.


Repetition: a principle of design, for an element is used more than once.


Secondary colors: colors made by mixing two primary colors. When red yellow and blue are used as primary colors, the secondary colors are orange green and violet.


Shade: A dark color achieved by changing the value of a color by adding black.


Space: an element of art that is the area in and around objects in a composition.


Style: an artist's special way of creating art; the style of an artwork helps determine how it is different from other artworks.


Symmetrical/Symmetry: a type of balance in which elements are arranged the same on each side of an imaginary line.


Technique: a special way to create artwork, often by following a step-by-step procedure.


Texture: an element of art that is the way an object feels or looks like it feels.


Tint: A light color achieved by changing the value of a color by adding white.


Tone: a color mixed with black and white, a grayed color.


Unity: a principle of design which is the quality of having all parts look as if they belong together; achieved by proximity or repetition.


Value: an element of art that describes the relative lightness or darkness of a color.


Variety: differences achieved by changing elements in a composition to add interest.