Glossary

Washington Classroom-Based Performance Assessment (WCBPA)
Arts Performance Assessment
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Visual Arts Glossary

 

Sketch

a drawing without much detail, usually completed in a short amount of time; sometimes used as a rough draft for later work

Design

another word for composition

Focal point

the part of an artwork that attracts the eye of the viewer

Perspective

a way to create the appearance of depth on a two-dimensional surface

 

 

VISUAL ARTS
ELEMENTS

the basic components that make up a work of art:
color, form, line, shape, space, texture, value/shading

color

an element of visual arts
the visible range of reflected light
saturation, tint, value/shading

form

an element of visual arts
a three-dimensional object that has height, width, and depth

line

an element of visual arts
the flat path of a dot through space used by artists to control the viewer’s eye movement
a thin mark made by a pencil, pen, or brush

shape

an element of visual arts
a closed space made when a line connects to itself

space

an element of visual arts
the area above, below, around, and within a work of art

texture

an element of visual arts
how something feels or appears to feel; stippling, hatching, cross hatching, scribbling, broken lines, repeating lines, and shapes

value/shading

an element of visual arts
the lightness and darkness of a line, shape, or form

 

 

VISUAL ARTS
PRINCIPLES OF ORGANIZATION

means of organizing the elements in a work of art:
balance, contrast, emphasis/dominance, harmony, movement/pattern, proportion, repetition/rhythm, unity, variety

balance

a principle of organization of visual arts
an arrangement of elements that makes individual parts of artwork appear equally important

asymmetrical balance

not having balance
different appearance on opposite sides of a dividing plane or line

radial balance

a type of balance in which visual arts elements come out from the center of the artwork

symmetrical balance

having balance
exact appearance on opposite sides of a dividing line or plane

contrast

a principle of organization of visual arts
using opposite qualities side by side
(e.g., light against dark, heavy against light, textured against smooth, etc.)

emphasis/dominance

a principle of organization of visual arts
importance given to certain objects or areas in an artwork
color, texture, shape, space, and size can be used to create importance

harmony

a principle of organization of visual arts
the creation of unity through the use of stressing similarities of separate but related parts of the artwork

movement

a principle of organization of visual arts
the use of arts elements to draw a viewer’s eye through an artwork

pattern

a principle of organization of visual arts
the repetition of arts elements in an organized way

proportion

a principle of organization of visual arts
the relationship of parts to a whole or to one another referring to size and placement

repetition

a principle of organization of visual arts
the repeated use of arts elements to create movement, rhythm, pattern, unity

rhythm

a principle of organization of visual arts
the use of repeated arts elements to create movement in an artwork: random, regular, alternating, flowing, progressive

unity

a principle of organization of visual arts
a successful combination of arts elements to create a sense of wholeness and visual completion in an artwork

variety

a principle of organization of visual arts
the use of arts elements to create differences in an artwork for visual interest