Art Terms

Composition: The plan, placement or arrangement of the elements of art in a work. It is often useful to discuss these in reference to the principles of design, as well as to the relative weight of the composition’s parts.

Line: A continuous mark from one point to another

Colour: Produced by light of various wavelengths, and when light strikes an object and reflects back to the eyes. An element of art with three properties: (1) hue or tint, the color name, e.g., red, yellow, blue, etc.: (2) intensity, the purity and strength of a color, e.g., bright red or dull red; and (3) value, the lightness or darkness of a color.

Monochromatic: Consisting of only a single color or hue; may include its tints and shades.

Art movement: An artistic style or tendency seen in the intentions or works of a number of artists, because there is a striking similarity among the techniques, philosophy or goals they have embraced, or in the attitudes which they espouse in a (more or less) organized effort. Art movements have each thrived for a limited time — measured in a few months, years or decades.

Impressionism: An art movement and style of painting that started in France during the 1860s. Impressionist artists tried to paint candid glimpses of their subjects showing the effects of sunlight on things at different times of day.

Post-Impressionism: An art movement where the artists showed a greater concern for expression, structure and form than did the Impressionist artists. Building on the works of the Neo-Impressionists, these artists rejected the emphasis the Impressionists put on naturalism and the depiction of fleeting effects of light.

Fauvism: An early twentieth century art movement and style of painting in France. The name Fauves, French for “Wild Beasts,” was given to artists adhering to this style because it was felt that they used intense colours in a violent, uncontrolled way. The leader of the Fauves was Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954).