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Art Vocabulary - The letter Ss

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

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Definition: A color that has been combined with a mixture of black to make it darker. That's what a shade is. The opposite of shade is tint.

Pronunciation: shayd • (noun)


Definition: An enclosed space defined by other art elements of art. In painting or drawing, shapes may appear to be solid, three-dimensional objects even though they have only two dimensions (length and width). The two-dimensional characteristics of a shape, distinguish it from form, which has three dimensions (depth + length + width). Geometric shapes look a though they were made with a straight edge or drawing tool. Square, circle, triangle, rectangle, and oval. Organic shapes are also called free-form. These shapes are not regular or even. Their edges are curved or angular, or a combination of both.

Pronunciation: shayp • (noun)


Definition: This is what we say when we are discussing the distance or area between, above, below, around or within things that appear in a work of art. Some space is two-dimensional, three-dimensional, positive (part of an object) or negative (the space around an object).

Pronunciation: spays • (noun)


Definition: Spectrum is the band of colors which results when a beam of white light is broken up by a form of prism into its hues. In other words, white light goes in and red, orange, yellow, green , blue, indigo and violet come out.

Pronunciation: spek·trem • (noun)


Definition: Stippling is a process used to create an image using a series of dots with paint, ink or pencil to produce gradations of light and shade. Submitted by: Sharon Austin

Pronunciation: stip·el·ing • (v.)

Also Known As: Pointillism


Definition: A symbol is a picture or image that tells a story without using words. Think for a moment about everyday symbols like the pictures seen on men's and ladies washrooms, no smoking signs or the Big "M" of McDonalds®. How many other symbols can you think of?

Pronunciation: cim·ball • (noun)


Definition: Symmetry is literally when one side of something, "balances out the other". Visualize two beach balls sitting on opposite sides of a stick on the ground. Each side appears equal and therefore the picture in front of you is symmetrical.

Pronunciation: sim·met·ree • (noun)

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