Art Terms


Line -a path made by a moving point
Shape – an area defined by its outline, geometric or organic
Form – a three-dimensional shape
Value – the lightness or darkness of an object
Color – hues on a spectrum; we use a color wheel made of primary, secondary, and intermediate colors
Texture – the way something feels or appears to feel
Space – the illusion of depth in an artwork


Contrast-  an arrangement of opposite elements (light vs. dark colors, rough vs. smooth textures, large vs. small shapes, etc.) in a piece so as to create visual interest, excitement and drama.
Emphasis- part of the work should stand out, in order to draw the viewer’s eye there first and is often accomplished through contrast.
Balance- ways in which the elements (lines, shapes, colors, textures, etc.) of a piece are arranged. Balance can be symmetrical (mirror image) or asymmetrical (placed unevenly but balanced).
Unity- all of the elements of a piece combine to make a balanced, harmonious, complete whole.
Pattern- the repetition of an element (or elements) in a work such as colors , lines or shapes.
Movement is the suggestion or illusion of motion in a painting, sculpture, or design. For example, circles going diagonally up and down from right to left could show that the design moves up and to the right or down and to the left.
Rhythm- Rhythm, in art, is a visual beat. For example, the colors of a piece can convey rhythm, by making your eyes travel from one component to another. Lines can produce rhythm by implying movement. Forms, too, can cause rhythm by the ways in which they’re placed one next to the other.
Proportion/Scale– describes the size, location or amount of one element to another (or to the whole) in a work.

MEDIA- materials used to make art such as the following:

Drawing: pencil, ink, pastel, oil pastel, chalk, charcoal
Painting: tempera, acrylic or watercolor
Printmaking: creating multiple images by transferring ink from a stamp or plate
Collage: shapes that are cut and pasted to a surface
Sculpture: clay, metal, cardboard, or other 3-D materials
Textiles: stitchery, knotting, weaving
Technology: photography, computer art
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