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Glossary of Art Terms
 
Welcome to USBlackart.Com Glossary of common Art Terms. Here we hope to give you a brief definition of various art terms which might be unfamiliar to you. If you have any questions, comments, or ideas please e-mail us.
 
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Vanitas: - Latin for vanity, refers to a type of still life consisting of a collection of objects that symbolize the brevity of human life and the transience of earthly pleasures and achievements. Such paintings were particularly popular in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, especially in the Netherlands. Return to top
 

Values:- The relative lightness or darkness of colors or of grays. Return to top
 
Variegated Wash: -A wet wash created by blending a variety of discrete colors so that each color retains it's character while also blending uniquely with the other colors in the wash. Return to top
 
Vehicle: -The liquid used as a binder in the manufacture of paint. Return to top
 
Vignette: -A painting which is shaded off around the edges leaving a pleasing shape within a border of white or color. Oval or broken vignettes are very common. An image or painting where the borders are undefined and seem to fade away gradually until it blends into the background. Return to top
 
Vanishing point::- in perspective, the point on the horizon in the distance where two lines seem to converge and visibility ends. Return to top
 
Vector Graphic:- a graphic made up of mathematically defined curves and line segments called vectors. Vector graphics can be edited by moving and resizing either the entire graphic or the lines and segments that compose the graphic. Vector graphics can be reduced and enlarged (zoomed in and out) with no loss of resolution. Return to top
 
Vermilion:- scarlet red, a variable color that is vivid red but sometimes with an orange tinge. Return to top
 

Vertical balance:- the distribution of visual weights in a piece in such a way that top and bottom seem to be in equilibrium. Return to top
 

Viewfinder-: a tool used to look through to compose an image. This tool is helpful in selecting the most interesting composition to be found in a larger image by cropping out unwanted perimeters. In photography a viewfinder is what the photographer looks through to compose, and in many cases to focus, the picture (see illustration). Return to top
 

Verisimilitude: - Appearing to be true or real. See likeness, realism, representation, and simulacrum. Return to top
 
Visual Culture: - A term which is used more and more in place of the term art. Return to top
 

Viridian:- a blue-green pigment composed more of green than blue. Viridian takes its name from the Latin viridis meaning "green". Return to top
 
Visual Communication: the communication of ideas through the visual display of information. Primarily associated with two dimensional images, it includes: alpha numeric, art, signs, and electronic resources. Recent research in the field has focused on web design and graphically oriented usability. Return to top
 
Visual Economy: -as used in art, a paring down to only the essential elements required to achieve the desired effect; in essence to keep it Simple. Return to top
 
. Volume: the mass of three-dimensional shapes in space. Return to top
 
Value:- The relative lightness or darkness of a hue. Black is low value. White is a high value. Return to top
 

Varnish:- Generally, a more or less transparent film-forming liquid that dries into a solid film. Return to top
 
Veduta:- Italian for “view ”.The accurate depiction of an urban landscape. Return to top
 

Vehicle:-The entire liquid contents of a paint. Return to top
 
Venice Turpentine:- An oleo resin - the semisolid mixture of a resin and an essential oil - derived from the larch and used primarily in making mediums and diluents for oil painting. Return to top
 
Verdaccio:- Old term for green under painting. Return to top