Art Vocabulary

On this page, you will find some of the art vocabulary we use in the art room together. I will update it as I introduce different vocabulary words throughout the year. Hopefully, by the end of the year, there will be a nice glossary here! Ask your child if they know these words, and how they relate to the art projects they are bringing home. Each vocab word will have a short definition, as well as an example of how the word has been used in class. 

Kindergarten

Details: more information
* It is important to add details to our drawings so that people know what we are trying to draw. For example, if I was drawing a house, I would want people to know what the windows, doors, siding, landscaping, roof, etc... looks like. Adding details to my drawing helps me show others the ideas I am thinking about. 

Warm Colors : warm colors are red, orange, and yellow
*Warm colors remind us of a hot sun. We talked about warm colors during our Eric Carle project. 

Cool Colors  : cool colors are blue, green, and purple 
* Cool colors remind us of the cool ocean or cold winter. We talked about cool colors during our Eric Carle project. 

Style : a way of working that is unique to a specific artist
* Each artist has his or her own style, including students! We celebrate each artist's unique way of making art. 

Collage :  artwork made from cut paper or found objects glued together on a flat surface
* When we are gluing different pieces of paper together to create a piece of art, we are making a collage. Eric Carle is a collage artist. We created collages just like Eric Carle!

Wedging : a process of getting air bubbles out of a piece of clay 
* When working on our clay pinch pots and clay turkeys, students had to wedge the clay before working with it. If air bubbles are left in the clay, it can crack in the kiln. 

Kiln : a large, oven-like structure used to fire clay
* Students learned that firing their projects in the kiln made them much harder. 

Self-Portrait: making a picture of one's self
* Each student drew a picture of himself or herself portraying a certain emotion for our "Self-portraits with Feeling" project. 

Pattern: a repeating sequence
* Students created shape patterns while working on their pattern mittens

Primary Colors: red, yellow and blue // the primary colors can be mixed together to make almost any other colors
* Students were introduced to primary colors when studying artist Piet Mondrian

Series: the same thing painted over and over, either in one painting, or in a set of paintings
* Kindergartners painted a series of circles in their Kandinsky paintings, and then reviewed the word series when they painted a series of ice cream cones in their Thiebaud paintings.

Symmetry: when to halves of something are the same
* To connect art and math, students created symmetrical wild things in the art room.

Profile: seeing the side of something
* Students worked with the concept of profiles when they created dinosaur profiles for their Name-o-saurus project. 


First Grade

Texture: how something feels
We talked about texture during our Cave Art project. Students thought that cave walls would be rough and bumpy. 

Collage: the process of cutting paper up and gluing it down to make something new
* The students "Wild" Turkeys are examples of collage

Self-Portrait: a picture of an artist done by himself or herself
We did two self-portraits. The first we drew and the second we made out of clay. 

Two-Dimensional art: art that is flat like a drawing or painting
Our drawn self-portrait is an example of Two-Dimensional or 2D art

Three-Dimensional art: art that is not flat like a clay bowl or a woven basket
Our clay self-portrait is an example of Three-Dimensional or 3D art 

Wedging : a process of getting air bubbles out of a piece of clay 
* Students had to wedge their clay before beginning their clay self-portraits. If air bubbles were to remain in the pieces of clay, they could crack in the kiln. 

Kiln : a large, oven-like structure used to fire clay
* Students learned that firing their projects in the kiln made them much harder. 

Technique: how one works with a material
* First graders explored different watercolor techniques while working on their winter birch tree paintings.

Close-up: drawing something in a way that it appears close
* Students were challenged to make a close-up snowman by only showing part of a snowman instead of the whole thing

Sculpture: a three-dimensional form; something that "pops out"
* Students made sculptures in the style of artist Louise Nevelson

Embellishment: adding decorative details to something
* Students added a lot of embellishment to their Klimt tree drawings

Series: the same thing painted over and over, either in one painting, or in a set of paintings
* Each student made a series of hearts when making their Jim Dine inspired heart paintings

Mural: a very large painting, usually done on a wall by a team of artists
* Students worked in groups to create murals to decorate our hallways

Primary Colors: red, yellow and blue // the primary colors can be mixed together to make almost any other colors // no two colors can mix to form the primary colors
* Students learned how to mix colors for their Color Wheel Creature project.

Secondary Colors: orange, green, and purple // each secondary color is a mix of two primary colors
* Students learned how to mix secondary colors for their Color Wheel Creature project.


Second Grade

Foreground, Middle Ground, Background: The three sections of many landscape paintings with the foreground being the largest and closest thing, the background being the furthest thing, and the middle ground being everything in-between. 
* We discussed the foreground, middle ground, and background of Van Gogh's Starry Night during our owl paintings. 

Warm Colors : red, orange, yellow
* Although the main warm colors are red, orange and yellow, we can also include lighter and darker versions and mixes of these colors such as peach, brown, or yellow-orange.

Cool Colors : blue, green, purple
* Although the main cool colors are blue, green, and purple, we can also include lighter and darker versions and mixes of these colors such as light blue, navy blue, or teal. 

Batik: a process of fabric dying, popular in parts of Asia and Africa 
* After drawing their spiders, students applied a wax layer of oil pastels to their drawings before crumpling them and adding paint to create a batik effect. 

Self-Portrait : A self-portrait is a picture of an artist made by himself or herself. 
* In class we looked at a self-portrait of Vincent Van Gogh. Students also made self-portraits showing what they want to be when they grow up. 

Coil Pot: a pot made from building coils on top of one another
* Students created a pot using the coil building technique while studying the art of pueblo potters. 

Loom: a structure used for making a weaving
* Each students used a cardboard loom to create their Navajo-inspired yarn weaving

Glaze: a thin, glassy coating on a piece of pottery
* Students applied glaze to their coil pots to add color

Origami: the art of paper folding
* Most second grade classes were able to create some penguin origami to go along with their classroom study of penguins

Calligraphy: a fancy way of writing, usually done with ink and a fancy pen or brush
* Students studied Chinese Calligraphy before trying some of their own

Story Quilt: a quilt that tells a story
* Students studied Faith Ringgold's famous story quilt Tar Beach while doing their Dream Paintings

Border: a design that goes around something else
* Students created a fabric border around their Faith Ringgold Dream Paintings

Silhouette: the outline or shape of something, often seen when the sun is setting
* Students created their own silhouettes while working on their Sunset Silhouette pieces


Third Grade

Printmaking : A way for artists to make copies of an original drawing
* Students made self-portrait prints. 

Printmaking Vocabulary...

Original : The first drawing the artist makes

Printing Block : the material that the drawing is carved into; this is what is used to make the copies

Ink : What is rolled onto the printing block

Brayer : The roller that is used to roll the ink onto the printing block

Print : A copy of the original artwork made by rolling ink onto the printing block and stamping it onto paper 

Slab: a thin slice of clay
* Third graders started with slabs of clay for their Day of the Dead Skulls


Glaze: a thin, glassy coating on a piece of pottery
* Students applied glaze to their clay skulls to add color

Amate Paper: a form of paper made from the bark of the Amate tree in Mexico 
* Students were inspired by Mexican amate cutouts when they created their own

Russian Architecture Vocabulary
* Students learned the following words during our Russian Architecture project 

Dome: a half of a sphere that sits on top of a building, the top of our capitol building is a dome

Onion Dome: a dome shaped like an onion or Hershey's Kiss

Arch: a rounded shape found on buildings usually in the form of doors or windows

Spire: a skinny cone-shaped structure on the top of a building

Sumi-e Painting: Japanese brush painting
* Students spent two days practicing sumi-e, finishing with a final painting on rice paper.

Stencil: a thin sheet with designs cut out of it, used to produce a desired shape 
* Students made mountain stencils to use during their Northern Lights project

Plaster: a material used in some sculptures
* Two classes of third graders used plaster on their animal masks 

Aboriginal: a term referring to the native people of Australia
* Students studied Aboriginal paintings as inspiration for their own paintings that told a story




Fourth Grade

Symmetry
Metal Tooling : a process of pushing into metal, causing it to stretch
* Students each tooled one of their initials 

Photography Vocabulary...
* Students used the following vocabulary during their digital photography project this fall. 

Lens : where the light enters the camera
Optical Viewfinder : where the photographer looks through the camera 

Shutter Release Button : the button you push to take a picture
Zoom : the button you push to make things seem closer 

Graphic Design: using a computer to make art related to advertising
* Beth Johnston, is a graphic designer. Students did their own graphic design work when they edited their photos in the computer lab.  

Parfleche : a leather bag used by Plains Native Americans to carry things like medicine and dried food during day trips. 
* Each student created a parfleche during our study of Native Americans in art class. 

Architecture Terms 
* Students worked with the following vocabulary during their winter castle project. We looked at Russian and Gothic Architecture for inspiration

Terms from Russian Architecture


Dome: a half of a sphere that sits on top of a building, the top of our capitol building is a dome

Onion Dome: a dome shaped like an onion or Hershey's Kiss

Arch: a rounded shape found on buildings usually in the form of doors or windows

Spire: a skinny cone-shaped structure on the top of a building

Terms from Gothic Architecture
Pointed Arch: an arch shape with a point at the top

Gargoyle: a stylized statue designed to keep evil spirits away and sometimes designed to act like a gutter, making water flow away from the building

Flying buttress: a slanted part of the building used for structural purposes

Statue: a form used to add decoration to the building 


Spire: a skinny cone-shaped structure on the top of a building

Rose Window: a circular stained glass window whose shape resembles a flower

Terms from Narrative Comic Unit
* Students learned the following vocabulary words during our study of comics

Sketching: getting one's ideas quickly down on paper 

Penciling: drawing out a comic lightly with a pencil

Inking: going over the comic with black ink

Coloring: filling the comic in with color, either using watercolor or special markers

Lettering: writing the words in the comic's speech bubble

Digital Painting: using computer tools to imitate the look of paint
* Students created digital paintings using KidPix for our project inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe

Inspiration: using artwork, nature, or an idea to come up with an original piece of art
* Students used paintings by artist Georgia O'Keeffe as inspiration for their digital painting project 

Coil Pot: a pot made from building coils on top of one another
* Students created a pot using the coil building technique while working on their functional coil pot project

Functional: useful
* Each student was challenged to create a functional coil pot this year, meaning that their pot had to be useful to them in some way 

Form: the shape a piece of 3-D art takes
* Students discussed the idea of "form follows function" when making their coil pots. Students that made vases had coil pots with different forms than students that made banks. 
















5 comments:

  1. You are a GREAT art teacher

    Ivy

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are the best art teacher
    Lilly

    ReplyDelete
  3. Replies
    1. you are the best. my mom likes you to. how are you?


      Emma L

      Delete
  4. What a wonderful idea. I teach in the Milwaukee area. I spent a day in PD talking about vocabulary.

    ReplyDelete