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elements of design

The basic components used by artists when producing works of art. Consist of color, value, line, shape, form texture, and space.


A painting, drawing, or sculpture of a person's face.

primary colors

The basic colors from which other colors are made. The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue.


A quick drawing.


Something tactile, that one can feel. May be smooth, rough, hard soft, etc. Can be added to drawings, paintings, and sculpture to make them appear more realistic and interesting.


Mixing a color with white.


Mixing black with a color.

secondary colors

Colors made by mixing two different primary colors together in equal amounts.


A drawing or painting of an outdoor scene.


The representation of three-dimensional objects and space on a flat surface.


The lightness or darkness of a color or shaded area.

horizon line

A line that represents the division between earth and sky.


A black material made from burnt wigs and sticks. Easily blended and used as a drawing medium.


Colors directly opposite each other on the color wheel.


The name of a color.

vanishing point

An imaginary dot on the horizon line where parallel lines will eventually meet in a perspective drawing.

still life

A drawing or painting of inanimate objects, objects that do not move.


The area of an object that reflects the most light.


The size relationship of an object when compared with other objects.


When using watercolor, the paint is diluted with water.

op art

An art style of the 1960's in which artists attempt to show optical illusions and movement in their designs.


Method of working with watercolors in which water is applied to the paper and paint is applied into the wet areas.

contour drawing

Drawing the edges and outlines of figures and objects

principles of art

Rules that govern how artists organize the elements of design.

overlapping planes

A method of perspective in which the appearance of distance and depth are created by placing objects in front of other objects


Technique of shading through smooth gradual application of dark value.

Chuck Close

An American artist that developed and used a grid system for painting. Painted large-than-life-size paintings that imitate photographs. Became partially paralyzed but continued painting with the use of an arm brace and a wheelchair.

M.C. Escher

Created visual puzzles through the manipulation of positive and negative space. Produced lithograph prints of complex designs in which bees become birds, which turn into fish, and then to boats. Created a lithograph print titled Relativity that features a series of puzzling staircases.

Grant Wood

As a child he/she often used charcoal from the remnants of the wood fire to sketch on leftover brown paper. Considered an American Regionalist painter. Painted the famous painting American Gothic.

Winslow Homer

An American artist that specialized in the use of watercolors and oil paints. Became an illustrator for Harper's Weekly magazine depicting the events of the Civil War. His/her trademark subject matter was the sea.

Mary Cassatt

American artist that became a member of the Impressionists. His/her most famous subject matter was that of mother and child.

Janet Fish

Painted still life arrangements, waiting until the perfect light would fall on each object so it would look its best.

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