Abstract art

Back to top

Does not represent objects realistically. Abstract art is characterized by free forms, lines, colors and textures. There are varieties of abstract art such as cubism and abstract expressionism.

Master in technique. Understands his materials. Makes functional or utilitarian objects. Before industrialization, the artisan was an indispensable person in his community as he constructed objects of daily use.

Creator of original objects.  Artisan who, in addition, proposes and communicates ideas through visual shapes and forms.

Fabric or canvas. Painting surface.

Cold color

Back to top

Cold colors are those which absorb light (green, violet and blue). Optically they seem to distance themselves.


Back to top

Group of art works that pertain to a person or institution, which are acquired with the goal of preservation and exhibition, recognizing their artistic, historic, and cultural value.


Back to top

Organization of visual elements within a specific format.

Border, limit, boundary.


Back to top

One of the principles of design. Refers to opposing colors and forms that do not have a relationship or affinity between themselves.


Back to top

The most active of all the lines. This movement always indicates action, proximity or distance. On occasions, it can also infer violence.

Fantastic landscape

Back to top

Where the artist has the opportunity to combine real and imaginary situations.


Back to top

Art which represents identifiable figures, the opposite of abstract art.

Flat shapes

Back to top

They are measured height by width; they don’t have volume. For example: the circle, square, triangle, rectangle, among others.

Focal point

Back to top

Area or areas that succeed in capturing the attention of the viewer.


Back to top

Refers to the customs or traditions of an area or region. Popular manifestation.

Limits and dimensions within which a work of art is produced, whether it is a painting, a sculpture, or an architectural structure.  The format adds limits to the composition.


Back to top

Refers to the part and no the whole. When an object is not represented in its totality.

Horizon line

Back to top

Reference that helps us determine the point of sight from where we are observing. This could be high, low, or at the level of the object itself.


Back to top

One of the three possible directions assumed by a shape. It suggests calm, rest, serenity, therefore, it is the most passive of all.

Typical representation of medieval painting in which the figure is presented in frontal form, looking at the viewer, and employing elements that symbolize characteristics of portraiture.


Back to top

Indirect process that prepares a surface, which upon being dyed, transfers an image to the paper. Textile printing is a type of impression.


Back to top

The first movement of modern art that emerged at the end of the 19th century.  The artists worked outdoors looking for the fleeting moment or an accident of light. To create these effects, they utilize rapid and short brushstrokes creating textured effects on the surface of the canvas. They are rejected in their time for being innovators.  They break the established canons of their time and are the root that unleashes which will be known as the vanguards of the 20th century, which changes forever the way art is made.


Back to top

Refers to the saturation or brilliance of a color. When a color is not mixed, it is in its pure form.

Mold or surface which contains an image to be printed.

Lost Iron engraving

Back to top

A very risky method of printing in which an iron is not used for each color, but instead for all colors.  The design of the prior irons is lost because the iron minimizes through working on each color successively.


Back to top

Small scale work with very elaborate details.


Back to top

Object that is designed to be larger than normal.

Natural light

Back to top

The opposite of artificial light, it seems to come from the locality or context where things are presented.

Pigment mixed with linseed oil.  Quality painting medium.

Point of flight

Back to top

The furthest point on the horizon where convergent lines merge (visible or invisible).

Point of view

Back to top

Refers to the place where the artist positions us in relation to the pictorial space. The alternatives are level with, above, or below the subject.


Back to top

One of the great themes in art. Employed with frequency when the photographic camera did not exist.  Today, the portrait and the self-portrait can speak of other aspects of a person aside from his physical appearance.

Print advertisement that combines word and image to communicate a message and attract the attention of the visitor.


Back to top

Naïve Art. Highly expressive immature style that utilizes simple shapes which are often flat or almost flat.

Artistic tendency that seeks to faithfully represent the external appearance of an object.


Back to top

Design principle in which the same element reappears.

Late Baroque French artistic style (17th century) that is characterized by elegance, frivolity, and decorative richness.

Self portrait

Back to top

A portrait that an artist makes of himself.


Back to top

A person who did not attend school or an institution to receive his education. Acquires understanding on his own, by educating himself.

Low value.

Still life

Back to top

One of art’s big themes.  Painting or drawing which represents inanimate objects such as vegetables, fruit, or flowers.

Technique card

Back to top

Information that appears next to an exhibited work of art. It indicates the title, author, technique, and surface employed, the ear in which the work was created, collection and other relevant information.

Three dimensional shapes

Back to top

They are measured height by width, by density, so they have a body and occupy a place in space.

High value, closer to light. When white is added to another color.


Back to top

An effect that allows the viewing of things underneath. Implies layering, therefore a space or form suggested in profundity.


Back to top

The latest trends which are not always accepted in their beginnings for being too bold, experimental, innovative or radical for the average taste.  Each movement that, in the beginning, broke from established norms, in its time, is considered vanguard.


Back to top

One of the possible directions a shape assumes. Can indicate strength, solemnity, superiority or a moral attribute. It is a little more active than the horizontal.

Visual element

Back to top

Vocabulary through which the artist communicates.  Composed of lines, form, color, texture, light and shadow, and space, among others.  Tools that, united in composition and to the mode in which the media is employed succeed in expressing a message to the viewer. The principles of art (focal point, movement, rhythm, direction, balance, relation and proportion) are also a part of the visual vocabulary.

Visual movement

Back to top

Clues present in a work that intuitively direct the viewer to visually traverse space following a determined pattern.

A mode for creating the illusion of three dimensionality on a paper or canvas surface.

Warm color

Back to top

Warm colors are those which expand or project light (red, yellow and orange). Optically they seem to draw closer.