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A

abstract: In art, the representation of real objects simplified into lines, shapes, and colors

acrylic: Quick-drying paint made by combining pigments in a synthetic resin solution

angular: Having sharp corners or lines

antique: Dating from a period long ago, as the table in Mandarin in His Study

apprentice: A person who learns from a master or someone highly skilled or knowledgeable in a specific area

arabesque: A decorative style that features interlacing, curving lines and flowers, animals, or leaves

architectural draftsperson: An artist who is skilled in drawing buildings and structures


C

calligraphy: An elegant form of handwriting. In East Asia, calligraphy is done with a brush and ink and is considered the highest art form

cast: To reproduce a three-dimensional object, such as a sculpture, using a mold. One common way to make a mold is to encase an object in wet plaster. After the plaster has set, the object is removed. The hollow space left by the object can be filled with molten metal or wet plaster, which hardens into the shape of the object. The copy produced is also called a cast.

collage: Technique in which pieces of fabric, paper, or objects are glued onto a surface

composition: Arrangement of formal elements (lines, shapes, colors, and patterns) in a work of art

concentric: Having a common center; usually applies to spheres or circles

contrast: The use of opposite effects or formal elements (lines, shapes, colors, patterns) placed near each other to add drama to a work of art

cowter: Piece of armor used to protect the elbow

Cubism: Style of art in which people, places, and things are simplified into flat, geometric shapes, often seen from multiple points of view

cuisse: Piece of armor that is worn to protect the thigh


D

decorative motif: Repeated design or pattern in a work of art


E

embroidered crest: Emblem or symbol that is stitched onto fabric with a needle and thread

etching: Technique used by artists to create pictures and decorative designs on metal—for example, Armor, for Use in a Tournament Fought on Foot. After covering the surface of a piece of metal with a chemical-resistant coating, the artist scratches lines into the surface. The metal is then placed in a chemical solution that eats away the unprotected parts, cutting the artist's design into the surface

Expressionist: Art in which artists are primarily concerned with communicating their emotions by distorting colors and shapes in very personal ways


F

flock: Small clump of fabric or fiber

fluorescent: Strikingly bright or glowing


G

geometric: Having the straight or curving lines or shapes used in geometry

geometric abstraction: Art in which the subject is simplified into geometric shapes and lines

glaze: Hard, shiny coat applied to pottery to seal it and add color


H

harmony: Consistent, orderly, and pleasing arrangement

heirloom: Family possession handed down from one generation to the next

hexagon: Geometric shape with six sides and six angles

highlights: Parts of a painting, drawing, or sculpture that appear to be lit up or are prominent

homage: Respect for something or someone shown publicly—such as the sculpture Malcolm X, No. 3 by Barbara Chase-Riboud

horizontal: Parallel to the ground or the horizon line


I

illuminated: Brightened with light

illusion: Aspects of a painting that are made to appear different from the way they are in reality. For example, in Night Sea by Edna Andrade straight lines look curvy because of how they are arranged

impasto: Thick paint applied in heavy layers with visible brushstrokes


K

kaleidoscope: Tube-shaped instrument with an opening at one end for viewing. As the tube is turned, bits of colored glass at the end of the tube tumble about and reflect in mirrors, creating a variety of symmetrical designs


L

landscape: A picture representing natural inland or coastal scenery

literati: Scholarly, well-educated people; intellectuals

luminescent: Emitting light not caused by incandescence (which is light caused by high temperature)


M

master printer: An expert in printing techniques who guides artists and students in making their prints

modeling: In drawing and painting, the depiction of three-dimensional form through light and shadow

mosaic: Technique of creating patterns and images using tiles or broken pieces of stone, glass, or wood materials. Mosaics can be placed on walls, ceilings, floors, or furniture.

motif: Distinctive and repeating form, shape, or figure in a design

muted: Dark or softened tones, shades, or colors


O

ochre: Earthy yellow color

octagon: Geometric shape with eight sides and eight angles

opaque: Not allowing any light to pass through—for example, the watercolors used in Sugriva Takes Rama to the Mountain Cave Where Sita’s Jewels Are Kept, which completely obscure the paper


P

pattern: Decorative design composed of elements in a regular arrangement—for example, the geometric patterns on the Leopard Stool and Tile Mosaic Wall Panel. Pattern can also mean anything designed to serve as a model or guide for something to be made; for example, the patterns used to create clothing or armor

pedestal: Support or base for a sculpture

plate armor: Armor that consists of metal sheets hammered and joined to fit around the contours of the wearer's body—in contrast to mail (chain mail), an armor consisting of many small, interlocking rings

point of view: Viewer's visual angle, or location, in relation to the subject of a painting

portrait: Depiction or description of a person, often created by an artist or writer

portrait bust: Sculpture representing the physical likeness of an individual consisting of only the head and top of the shoulders

pose: Body position assumed deliberately for an artistic purpose


R

radial: Organized around a central point. The Sunburst Quilt by Rebecca Scattergood Savery has a radial design.

realistic: When figures and scenes are depicted as they are or might be experienced in everyday life; lifelike; naturalistic—for example, Bust of Benjamin Franklin by Jean-Antoine Houdon


S

scroll: In China, Korea, and Japan, a painting or text on silk or paper that is either displayed on a wall or held and viewed in single, arm's-length sections; for example, Bamboo under Spring Rain by Xia Chang

symbol: Something chosen to represent something else in a work of art or a story, especially an object, animal, or sign that stands for an idea, person, or emotion. In the Leopard Stool, the leopard symbolizes the king or royalty

symmetrical: Composition that is identical on the right and left sides, or on the top and bottom

synthetic: Manufactured through a chemical process, as opposed to a natural process


T

tactile: Relating to the sense of touch

template: Pattern or guide for drawing or reproducing certain standard shapes or symbols: for example, Rebecca Scattergood Savery used templates to create her Sunburst Quilt; unknown artisans used templates to create the Persian Tile Mosaic Wall Panel; Edna Andrade used a template to create Night Sea

terracotta: Brownish-red clay. Terracotta literally means cooked or baked earth. Often used to make sculpture or tiles

texture: The look and/or feel of the surface of a work of art

turquoise: Greenish-blue color


V

vertical: In an upright position


W

washes: Applications of diluted watercolor


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