Fine Art Glossary

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Aerial perspective

Aerial perspective: refers to creating a sense of depth in painting by imitating the way the atmosphere makes distant objects appear less distinct and more bluish than they would be if nearby. Also known as atmospheric perspective.

Aerial view

Aerial view: refers to viewing a subject from above, looking downward. Also called "birds-eye view".

Albumen Print

An albumen print is created by the process developed by Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard in 1850, which uses egg whites and photographic chemicals to produce a print on paper from a negative.


Alkyd: Synthetic resin used in the manufacturing of paints and varnishes. An alkyd is a mixture of alcohol and acid and must be thinned with solvent or paint thinner. Alykds dry faster than oils but not as fast as acrylic paints.

Alla prima

Alla prima: the method of oil painting in which the desired effects of the final painting are achieved in the first application of paint as opposed to the technique of covering the canvas in layers with the final painting being achieved at the end.

Analogous colors

Analogous colors: any set of three or five colors that are closely related in hue(s). They are usually adjacent (next) to each other on the color wheel.

Applied art

Applied art: the use of the principles and elements of design to create functional pieces of works of art.

Approximate symmetry

Approximate symmetry: the use of forms which are similar on either side of a central axis. They may give a feeling of the exactness or equal relationship but ar sufficiently varied to prevent visual monotony.


In this intaglio method of printmaking, a porous ground coats a metal plate, which is then immersed in acid allowing an even biting of the plate. The resulting image has a grainy and textural effect. 


Art: the completed work of an artist which is the expression of creativity or imagination, or both that portrays a mood, feeling or tells a story; works of art collectively.

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