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A mark that connects 2 points and is greater in length than in width


A closed line creates this. These are 2D, flat and vary


A 3D shape that expresses length, width and depth


Defines the lightness and darkness of an object or area. Every color has one of these


This represents the wavelengths of white light reflected off objects


The area between and around objects - real ___ is 3D. The feeling/illusion of this can be created in 2D artwork


A surface quality that can be seen or felt - rough, smooth, hard, soft


The distribution of the visual weight in a composition to achieve a sense of stability


Arranging the elements of a composition so that they hold together with a sense of completeness


The part of the composition that catches the viewer's attention, differentiating the more important from less important parts of the piece


Refers to differences in values, colors, textures, and other elements to achieve emphasis and contrast


The repetition of an object or symbol all over the artwork. This may be achieved by the repitition/combination of lines, colors and shapes


The path the viewer's eye takes through the composition


Created when one or more elements of art are use repeatedly to create a feeling of organized movement

Rule of Thirds

Technique which guides you in creating an interesting composition. Rule of thumb taking a rectangular shape and dividing it into thirds

Still Life

A painting of inanimate and different objects (most likely related by a theme)

Thumbnail Sketch

Small rough sketch of a design

Contour Line Drawing

A drawing exercise with a continuous line that never breaks


The relation between elements and a whole

Linear Perspective

The appearance of things relative to one another as determined by their distance from the viewer (tricks the eye into seeing depth on a flat surface)

Atmospheric Perspective

Backgrounds seem fuzzy, gray and distant. Colors are not as vibrant as in foreground. It is a useful artistic tool for showing distance, especially in a painting

Positive Space

Space of content in a painting of an object or person

Negative Space

Space of content in a painting of background or blank space


Where an object in the foreground is drawn dramatically shorter than it is in real life to show depth

Horizon Line

Actual or imaginary line in art representing the point at which water or land seems to end and the sky begins

Bird's Eye View

Line of sight/horizon line is above object

Worm's Eye View

Line of sight/horizon line is below object

Person's Eye View

Line of sight/horizon line is equal to viewer's eye


When one object sits on top and partially hides another object

Diminishing Size

Objects in the background appear to be very small, especially the farther away it is


In Italian, it means light and dark. It is a technique showing strong modeling/shading with a great deal of contrast between lights and darks

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