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analytic line

Epitomized by the vertical and horizontal grid.

autographic line

Any use of line that is distinct to the artist who employs it and is therefore recognizable as a kind of "signature" style

Classical line

a line that is mathematical, precise and rationally organized

contour line

The visible border of an object in space

expressive line

A kind of line that springs from the artist's emotions or feelings - loose, gestural and energetic - epitomized by curvilinear forms, as opposed to analytic or classical line.


a two-dimensional area, the boundaries of which are measured in terms of height and width. the form of any object or figure.


Any solid that occupies a three-dimensional volume

three-dimensional space

Any space that possesses height, width, and depth

two-dimensional space

Any space that is flat, possessing height and width, but no depth, such as a piece of drawing paper or a canvas

negative shape / negative space

Empty space, surrounded and shaped so that is acquires a sense of form or volume.

figure-ground reversal

a two dimensional work in which the relationship between a form or figure and its background is reversed so that what was figure becomes background and what was background becomes figure


the comparative size of an object in relation to other objects and settings

vanishing point

In linear perspective, the point on the horizon line where parallel lines appear to converge

vantage point

In linear perspective, the point where the viewer is positioned


The modification of perspective to decrease distortion resulting from the apparent visual contraction of an object or figure as it extends backward from the picture plane at an angle approaching the perpendicular

one-point linear perspective

A version of linear perspective in which there is only one vanishing point in the composition.

two-point linear perspective

A version of linear perspective in which there are two (or more) vanishing points in the composition

Atmospheric perspective

a technique, to give the sense of the 3rd dimension on paintings using contrast


used in drawings and paintings, the use of light and dark to create the effect of the 3 dimensional, modeled surfaces


a Heightened form of Chiaroscuro

primary colors

the hues of colors that in theory cannot be created from a mixture of other hues: pigment colors are red, yellow and blue and refracted colors are red-orange, green, and blue-violet

secondary colors

Hues created by combining two primary colors: pigment colors are orange, green, and violet and refracted colors are yellow, magenta, and cyan

intermediate colors

the range of colors between primary color and its secondary


used to hold paint of different hues when painting

analogous color

pairs of colors that adjacent to each other on the color wheel like yellow and orange

complementary color

pairs of colors that are directly opposite on the color wheel, like red and green


surface quality of a work

actual texture

the real feeling of the object


paint applied very thickly to canvas or support

Op art

short for Optical painting, it is an art style popular around the 1960s which line and color are manipulated in ways that stimulate the eye into believing it perceives moment


a technique of putting a sheet of paper over textured surfaces and then rubbing a soft pencil across the paper

The Basket of Apples

Paul Cézanne

Man Pointing

Alberto Giacometti

Assumption and Consecration of the Virgin


The Three Crosses

Rembrandt van Rijn

The Starry Night

Vincent van Gogh

The Sower

Vincent van Gogh

Wall Drawing No. 681 C

Sol LeWitt

Numbers in Color

Jasper Johns

The Death of Socrates

Jacques Louis David

The Death of Sardanapalus

Eugène Delacroix

Lisa Lyon

Robert Mapplethorpe


Martin Puryear

Two Figures

Barbara Hepworth

The Last Supper

Leonardo da Vinci

Place de l'Europe on a Rainy Day

Gustave Caillebotte

The Dead Christ

Andrea Mantegna

Harmony in Red (The Red Room)

Henry Matisse

M.Cézanne in a Red Armchair


Madonna of the Rocks

Leonardo da Vinci

Rain, Steam, and Speed—The Great Western Railway

J. M. W. Turner

In the Loge

Mary Cassatt

Judith and Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes

Artemisia Gentileschi

The Creation of Adam (restored)


La Chahut (The Can-Can)

Georges Seurat

The Terrace at Vernon

Pierre Bonnard


Chuck Close

The Night Café

Vincent van Gogh

Black Lines

Wassily Kandinsky


Alexander Calder



Forest and Dove

Max Ernst


Gianlorenzo Bernini

Virgin of Guadalupe

Isidro Escamilla

Water Lilies, Morning: Willows

Claude Monet

. Drift No. 2

Bridget Riley

No. 29

Jackson Pollock

Room for St. John of the Cross

Bill Viola

. Study of Human Proportion: The Vitruvian Man

Leonardo da Vinci

Coronation of the Virgin

Enguerrand Quarton

Rose window

found in the Chartres Cathedral

Orange Crush

Larry Poons

Las Meninas (The Maids of Honor).

Diego Velázquez

The Great Wave off Kanagawa

Hokusai; from the series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji

La Memoria de Nuestra Tierra

Judith F. Baca

actual weight

the physical weight of material in pounds, opposed to visual weight


comparative size of an object in relation to other objects and settings

repetition and rhythm

an effect achieved when shape, colors, or a regular pattern of any kind is repeated over and over again

symmetrical balance

symmetrical if u were to draw a line right in the middle of the object

asymmetrical balance

they lack balance but possess the same visual weight

radial balance

which everything radiates outward from a central point

absolute symmetry

when each side is exactly the same

focal point

the point where it is visually the center of attention

bilateral symmetry

when both sides almost alike, but only minor dissimilarities

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