In nearly every major city in the world, you can be sure to find an art museum. You do not need to share a common language with the artist to understand his work. Still, knowing some art vocabulary can help you express how you feel about a piece of art. Read on to learn some vocabulary words you can use to describe artwork. You can reference this list at a museum!
Composition – how the picture is arranged.
Still life – a type of painting or drawing that shows inanimate objects, such as vases or bowls of fruit.
Emphasis – putting focus or stress on an element, either by using color or exaggerating to draw attention to it.
Abstract – a style of painting that is not realistic. For example, a drawing of many shapes where you cannot see immediately what is depicted.
Portrait – a picture of a person.
Landscape – a picture showing a scenery, usually in nature.
Monochrome – using one color.
Perspective – the illusion that a painting is three-dimensional.
Foreground – the subjects that are at the front, or focus, of the picture.
Background – whatever is not in the foreground.
Canvas – the piece of cloth that a picture is painted on.
Sketch – a quick drawing.
Analysis – to examine art critically.