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ELC - English Language Center Los Angeles
English Grammar Lesson – Art Vocabulary June 24th, 2016

In nearly every major city in the world, you can be sure to find an art museum. You do not need to share a common language with the artist to understand his work. Still, knowing some art vocabulary can help you express how you feel about a piece of art. Read on to learn some vocabulary words you can use to describe artwork. You can reference this list at a museum!

Composition – how the picture is arranged.

Still life – a type of painting or drawing that shows inanimate objects, such as vases or bowls of fruit.

Emphasis – putting focus or stress on an element, either by using color or exaggerating to draw attention to it.

Abstract – a style of painting that is not realistic. For example, a drawing of many shapes where you cannot see immediately what is depicted.

Portrait – a picture of a person.

Landscape – a picture showing a scenery, usually in nature.

Monochrome – using one color.

Perspective – the illusion that a painting is three-dimensional.

Foreground – the subjects that are at the front, or focus, of the picture.

Background – whatever is not in the foreground.

Canvas – the piece of cloth that a picture is painted on.

Sketch – a quick drawing.

Analysis – to examine art critically.

Ferris Bueller