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Suncoast Art Academy, LLC

 Joanie Crane, EdD.  Instructor    P.O. Box 47933,  St. Petersburg, FL 33743 
Call  727-460-6879
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up to 6 painters $94
7-10 painters $164
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Art Terms


Art Terms

abstraction - Relying on color, pattern and form rather than realistic pr naturalistic portrayal of subject matter. Originating with recognizable form but amplified or distorted into a new entity.

Abstract Expressionism - The American art movement to gain prominence over European movements. NYC based dominant modernist form in the early 1940’s through 1950’s. Main figures, William De Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Barnett Newman.

aesthetic - A personal response to what we consider beautiful, often based on cultural or educated experience

analogy - An inferred relationship between things that is otherwise unlike. Likeness may be drawn on structural, intellectual, or psychological levels.

anomaly - Something that is noticed because it differs from its environment.

art criticism - The process and result of critical thinking about art. It usually involves description, analysis, and interpretation of art, as well as some kind of judgment.

background - In a two-dimensional work that creates an illusion of three-dimensionality, the area that appears farthest from the observer; also called ground or field.

balance - The distribution of the visual weight of design elements.

bleed - The part of an image that extends beyond the edge of a page and is trimmed off.

blind contour - A contour drawing in which the artist’s eye focuses on the object being represented rather than on the image being created on the drawing surface.

body type - Type smaller than 14 point, generally used for the main body of text. Also called text type.

calligraphy- The art of beautiful writing. Broadly, a controlled flowing use of line referred to as “calligraphic”

chiaroscuro - Using contrasts of light and dark to create the illusion of three-dimensional form on a two-dimensional surface.

Classicism - Movements, periods, and impulses in Western art that prized qualities of harmony and formal restraint. Traditionally contrasted with Romanticism.

collage - Building image using glue to attach paper or other materials to build color and texture. Often used in combination with paint, Picasso was one of the first artists to use as a distinct medium.

composition - The way the parts are arranged

concept - An idea of general notion, as in the underlying meaning of a work of art.

conceptual art - Works in which the idea or concept is primary and more important than form.

Constructivism - Early 20th century Russian Constructivism emerged from Picasso and Braque’s experiments with Cubism. Influenced ways of thinking about art in relation to art and technology. Its rational approach influenced graphic design, minimalist sculpture and painting.

content - The message created by the artist. May be functional for consumer purposes; iconography.

contrast - The result of comparing one thing to another and seeing the difference.

control - To organize areas of work—including unfilled areas—so that they have the intended effect on the viewer.

cool colors - Colors whose relative visual temperature makes them seem more restrained in color temperature. Generally greens and blues.

crafts - Art works that are both decorative and functional. (Weaving, fabric design, jewelry-making, and pottery).

Cubism - An early 20th century art movement dominated by Picasso and Braque, distinguished by its experiments with analyzing forms into planes seen from many sides as once and by liberation of art from representational depictions. Flattened pictorial space, and figure-ground ambiguity.

culture - Behaviors, ideas, skills and customs of a group of people.

Dada - An anti-rational, anti-aesthetic, art movement begun in 1916. Marcel Duchamp, Jean Arp major figures. Although over seventy years old Dada reverberates through contemporary popular culture.

design - To choose and arrange elements in such a way that they satisfy an artistic and/or functional intention.

distortion - Changing an object’s usual shape to communicate ideas and feelings.

elements - The parts, or components, of a design.

emphasis- The main element or focal point; what the viewer’s eye should see first.

egyptian - A slab-serif type category.

economy – In art making, using only what is needed to create an intended effect, eliminating any elements that might distract attention from the essence of an idea.

elements of design - The basic components of visual arts; line, shape, form, space, texture, lighting, color, and perhaps time.

emphasis - Drawing attention to a portion of a composition.

erasure - A subtractive method used in working a surface.

Expressionism - The broad term that describes emotional art, most often boldly executed and making free use of distortion and arbitrary color. Artists dealing with inner feelings rather than outer reality. Art movements- German Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism. In music: Punk and improvised jazz.

Fauvism - An art movement of the first decade of the twentieth century, using bold color to express inner qualities rather than superficial appearances of things.

Feminist Art - In opposition to the purity and exclusivity of Modernism, feminism called for an expansive approach to art. The feminist use of narrative, autobiography, decoration, ritual, craft-as-art, and popular culture helped catalyze the development of Postmodernism.

figure - In two-dimensional work, an image that appears to be somewhat closer to the viewer than the background against which it is presented.

fine arts - Disciplines involving the creation of artwork principally for aesthetic appreciation.

found object - Something extracted from its original context and used in creating a work of art.

functional design - Design that is utilitarian; necessary.

Futurism - A movement initiated in Italy in 1909 to sweep aside all artistic conventions and captured the qualities of modern industrialized life in a Cubist like construction.

golden section or mean - In ancient Greek aesthetic theory, an ideal proportional relationship between parts, whereby the smaller is to the greater s the greater is to the whole. This ratio is approximately 5:8 or 1:1:6

harmony - Pleasing arrangement of elements of design in a work of art.

icon - Any image used to represent a person, place, thing or idea.

idealized - Referring to art in which representational images conform more closely to ideal aesthetic standards than to real life.

image - (1) A representation of an object, individual, or even. (2) In nonobjective art, a positive shape.

imaging - The production of mental images. Memory images are retrieved from past experiences; imaginary images are reconstruction's of past experiences rearranged by creative fantasy.

implied - A line, shape or form that is suggested to the eye but not actually present.

Impressionism - An art movement originating in late 19th century France centered on direct responses to light and color.

industrial design - The art of creating functional products that also have aesthetic appeal as well as utilitarian function.

intensity - The relative purity or grayness of a color. Saturation of color.

intent - What the designer or artist intended with the design; may not have a content or message

kinetic art - Three-dimensional art that moves.

line art - Black-and-White copy with no variations in value. Suitable for reproduction without halftone screen.

linear perspective - Technique of creating the illusion of depth on a flat surface. The lines of buildings and other objects converge to a vanishing point on a horizon line (viewer’s eye level)

linear shape - An elongated shape that reminds us of a line.

logo - A visual symbol that identifies a business, club, individual or group.

low contrast - Predominant use of medium values in a work

low relief - A three-dimensional work in which contours barely rises off a flat surface.

mass - Having volume or depth; takes up three-dimensional space.

matte- A dull finish surface

medium - The kind of material(s) one is working with, such as pigments, film, fabric, pencil, steel, and the like (plural-media).

metamorphosis - An evolution or change from one form or state to another.

metaphor - A figure of speech or visual presentation in which a work, phrase, or image is used in place of another to suggest a likeness between them, while in the process formulating a new concept for the imagination.

mixed-media - Combined use of several different techniques- such as drawing, painting, and computer generated imagery- in a single work.

Modernism - Arose as part of Western societies attempt to come to terms with the urban, industrial, and secular society that began to emerge in the mid-19th century. Modern artist have challenged middle-class values by depicting new, avant-garde subjects in dislocating new styles that seemed to change at a dizzying pace. Modern-art, especially abstract art, was thought to progress toward purity; refinement of the medium’s essential qualities of color and flatness: direct line of influence running from impressionism, to Post-Impressionism and on to Cubism, Constructivism, expressionism, Dada, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art and Minimalism.

Naturalism - A style of art, which seeks to represent accurately, and faithfully the actual appearance of things.

Neo-Expressionism - A late 20th century movement, in which painting is used to express the artist feelings, projected as distorted images from the exterior world.

nonfigurative art - Without figures

nonobjective - Referring to art that does not represent a known object.

nonobjective art - Art that is not a representation of any particular object from the world of our experience.

nonrepresentational art - Art that does not depict real or natural things in any manner.

optical color mixture - A color-mixture sensation created in the viewer’s perception by use of juxtaposition of small areas of different hues

original - A primary, inventive form to producing an idea, method, performance, etc.

organic form - Shapes or forms that are free flowing and non-geometric.

overlapping - Obscuring of part of an image by another one that seems to lie between it and the viewer.

palette - (1) the surface on which paints are mixed. (2) The range of colors used in a particular work or by a particular artist.

pattern - A coherent visual structure, usually created by repetition or similar design elements.

perception - The individual response to the sensations of stimuli, often cultural

photorealism - A style of art that mimics life as the camera sees it.

pigment - A substance that reflects approximately the same color as the band of the same name in a spectrum of refracted light.

placement- Location, situation, or juxtaposition of elements.

Political Art - Art works with overtly political subject made to express critics of the status quo. Artists include Rudolf Baranik, Sue Coe, Leon Golub, Hans Haacke, Martha Rosier, and Guerrilla Girls.

point - A typographic measurement of 1/72” or 1/12 pica

point of view - (1) the place where the viewer appears to be in relationship to images depicted in a composition. (2) In linear-perspective drawing, the point from which the artist is looking.

pointillism - (1) use of the small dots of carrying colors in painting to create optical color mixtures. (2) A 19th century French school of painting that used this technique.

Pop Art - A movement beginning in the late 1950’s that uses objects and images from the commercial culture.

Popular Culture - Made up of a multitude of forms of cultural communication- illustrated newspapers, movies, jazz, rock, pop music, radio, cabaret, advertising, comics, cheap novels, television, internet- it is a distinctly modern phenomenon born in Western Europe in late 19th century, Currently a worldwide in scope.

Post-Impressionism - Transcendence of the perceived limitations of Impressionism by such artists as Gaugin, Van Gogh, and Cezanne.

Post-Modernism - One distinctly new aspect of Post Modernism is the dissolution of traditional categories. The divisions between art, popular culture and the media have been eroded by many artists. Questions Modernism’s unyielding optimism idealism. Appropriation artist challenged the cherished modern notion of Avant-Garde originality by borrowing images from the media or art history and re-presenting them in new juxtapositions that paradoxically function as art.

preseperated art - Art that has been separated into acetate overlays by the setup artist before being sent to the printer

primary colors - The basic pigment colors of light—red, blue, and blue—from which all other colors can be made are called “additive” primaries because when added together they produce white.

principles - Ways the pats or elements are used, arranged, or manipulated to create the composition of the design; how to use the parts.

print - (1) to reproduce the raised surfaces features of an object by inking them and applying the object to another surface. (2) The image created by this process

read - With reference to the visual arts, to look at and assign meaning to a visual image.

representational - Descriptive of art that depicts objects from the world of our experiences.

reproduction - Copy of a work of art.

Romanticism - The tendency to emphasize emotion and imagination rather than logic. Occurring many times in Western art.

scale - The proportion between two sets of dimensions.

secondary colors - Color produced by mixing two primaries.

semi abstract - Type of art in which objects in a work may be partially identifiable as elements of the natural world.

space - Space can be the area around, within or between images or elements. Space can be created on a two-dimensional surface by using such techniques as overlapping, object size, placement, color intensity and value, detail and diagonal lines.

style - Style is the artist’s ways of presenting things. Se of materials, methods of working, design qualities, choice of subject matter, etc. reflect the style of the individual, culture or time period.

stylized - Referring to distortion of representational images in accordance with certain artistic convention or to emphasize certain designs qualities.

subject - A topic or idea represented in an artwork.

surreal - Like pictures from a dream or the unconscious mind

symbol - Visual image that represents something else.

synergy - A process in which two or more elements interact to create effects of which they are individually incapable.

temperate colors - The apparent psychological or emotional state of warmth or coolness of colors

tertiary colors - (intermediate colors) - colors produced by mixing a primary and a secondary color.

texture - The quality of being tactile, or being able to feel a rough or smooth type of surface.theory - The examination of information that often ends in a plausible assumption or conclusion.

three-dimensional - Having length, width, and depth in space.

trompe-l’oeil - Means, “fool the eye”. Style of painting where the artist creates the illusion of three-dimensional objects.

two-dimensional - Having length and width

two-dimensional art - A shape that has height and width but no true depth.

value - The range of possible lightness or darkness within a given medium

variety - The changing of the original character of any element diversity

visualization - The forming of a mental image or images, particularly visual images either of objects real and present or of things imagined.

void - A hole, or negative form, in a three-dimensional piece.

volume - Space enclosed by and defined by mass

warm colors - Colors whose relative visual temperature makes them seem warm.

working space - The space that reflects the actual space. The two may, but not always, be the same space. This is the space we use to solve our design problem.