Art and design vocabulary KS1



  • 2D shapesFlat shapes which just have a length and a width.

  • 3D drawingA drawing of a solid three-dimensional object, which shows its height, length and width
  • 3D shapesSolid shapes with three dimensions: height, length and width.

  • AbstractArtwork made from colour, shape or pattern rather than objects that you recognise.
  • Air drying clayClay that does not need to be fired to dry it
  • AnthropomorphismTo make an animal or object behave like it is human
  • AssembleTo put all parts together to form the final product.

  • BlendTo gradually and gently join two colours, tones or images together

  • CarnivoresAnimals that eat meat
  • CartoonA illustration or animated film designed to be funny
  • CeramicsPottery such as plates, bowls and vases which could be made from clay
  • ChoreographTo plan, arrange and put together
  • ChristmasChristian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus held on 25th December.
  • CircleA perfectly round shape that has just one side.
  • CollaborationWorking together as a group on one piece of artwork
  • Colour washA very light layer of colour usually made using ink or paint
  • ComicA series of drawings which tell a story
  • CompositionThe arrangement of the features of a piece of art, for example, where a shape will go on the paper.
  • Concentric circlesCircles that all have the same centre. They fit inside each other and are the same distance apart all the way around
  • Contemporary ArtThe art of today, made in the second half of the 20th century or in the 21st century.
  • Continuous lineA line that doesn’t have breaks or gaps in it

  • DadaA modern Art movement which makes fun at the modern world.
  • DarkWhen a colour or tone is not light. Colour may have black added to it to make it darker.
  • Day of the DeadA national holiday in Mexico to celebrate the dead
  • DensityHow solid or thick something is
  • DesignTo make, draw or write plans for something.
  • DetailsWhen drawing, this would be adding small extra marks to improve it.
  • Dot matrixA series of dots to create the look of a colour or tone
  • DrawingCreating an image of something on a surface, like paper, using lines but also other marks and shading.
  • Drawing mediumsMaterials to draw with such as ink, graphite, charcoal, pastel

  • Ed Ruscha  Ed Ruscha is an American artist who is associated with the Pop Art movement because of his use of flat lines and bright colours. But his work spans many decades and styles.   He has worked in painting, printing, drawing, photography, and film and many of his works feature words and text.   He was influenced by John McLaughlin and Robert Rauschenberg and their paintings and by all the work of Marcel Duchamp.     Ed has influenced many graphic designers of the 20th and 21st century and the whole movement of artists’ books.   Find out more about Ed Ruscha   Link:‘Ed Ruscha’ on WikiArt   Link: ‘Edward Ruscha’ on Google Arts & Culture   Kapow Primary lessons referring to Ed Ruscha   Kapow Primary Art: KS1:Y2: Formal elements of art: Tone 1: 3D pencil drawings
  • Edouard Martinet  Edouard Martinet is a contemporary French artist and sculptor, born in 1963.   He collects scrap materials and scrap metal and then draws and designs 3D sculptures (usually animals or insects) by joining the various parts together.   He was influenced by a teacher who introduced him to the world of insects.   Artists who also create insects include Elizabeth Goluch, Raku Inoue, Susan Beatrice, Rosalind Monks, and Mike Libby.   This style of art influences fashion, in what is called ‘steampunk’.   Find out more about Edouard Martinet   Link: ‘Edouard Martinet’ on the Sladmore Contemporary website   Kapow Primary lesson referring to Edouard Martinet   Art: KS1:Y1: Sculptures and models: Junk model animals
  • EtchingA printing process created by scratching lines onto the plate, applying ink and then paper
  • ExoskeletonsAnimals with skeletons on the outside have exoskeletons
  • ExperimentTry something out to see what happens.

  • Fine brushA paintbrush with a small head and thin bristles, good for detailed work.
  • FrameAdd a border to something like a picture
  • FrottageA rubbing

  • HorizontalSomething being at right angles to a vertical line; a line going across rather than up or down.

  • IllustratorAn artist who draws pictures for books
  • InkA coloured liquid medium used for drawing, painting and printing.

  • LandscapeThe depiction of natural scenery.
  • LightWhen a colour or tone is not dark. Colour may have white added to it to make it lighter.
  • LineA mark on paper that can be straight, curved, heavy, light, short, long, hand-drawn or printed.

  • Mixed mediaUsing lots of different art materials to make one piece of work
  • Modern ArtArtwork made between the 1860s and the 1970s
  • MonoprintA type of printing where the image can only be made once, usually because it is drawn rather than made with a printing block or similar.


  • ObservationLooking very carefully at something in order to draw it accurately (Art)
  • OpaqueWhen a colour or surface isn’t see through.
  • Optical illusionAn image that tricks your eyes and brain so you see something different from the actual image
  • OverprintingPrinting over the top of a print

  • PatternA repeated decorative design.
  • PhotorealismA painting that is so detailed it looks like a photograph
  • Pop ArtA simple style using bright colours and everyday objects
  • PotteryAnother word for ceramic objects made from clay. Pottery can also refer to the factory or workshop where ceramics are made.  
  • Primary coloursColours which cannot be created by mixing other colours
  • PrintingA design is made on a surface which can then be transferred using ink

  • Repeating patternA repeated design or recurring sequence which creates a pattern
  • Repeating patternsA repeated design of sequence which creates a pattern
  • RubbingA copy of the texture of an object made by placing a piece of paper over it and then rubbing the paper with drawing materials

  • SculptureA 3D (solid) piece of artwork.
  • Secondary coloursColours made by mixing two primary colours together
  • Self-portraitA drawing or painting which the artists makes of their own face or body
  • ShadeTo add black to a colour to make it darker
  • ShapeThe form of an object.
  • SketchA rough first drawing which helps you to plan your work  
  • SlipA thick mixture of water and clay used to join pieces of clay together
  • SmudgeUse your finger to blur or blend a line or area of colour.
  • SurrealismAn Art movement where artists painted from their imagination. The images look as though they are from a dream

  • TaperWhen something becomes thinner at one end
  • TessellationAn arrangement of shapes close together in a repeated pattern, without gaps or overlapping
  • TextileCloth or fabric
  • Three dimensionalAn object that you can hold rather than something that is flat on a page.
  • TintAdding white to a tone to make a colour lighter.
  • ToneThe lightness or darkness of something
  • TransparentTransparent material allows nearly all light to pass through it.
  • TriangleA three-sided shape.
  • Tudor style houseMany houses in Tudor times were half timbered. This means that they had a wooden frame and the spaces between were filled with small sticks and wet clay.

  • UndilutedUsing ink or paint straight from the container and not adding water to it first.

  • Van Gogh  Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch artist born in 1853.  He spent most of his time painting and drawing in France. He actually started painting in Belgium, spent time in London, and then moved to the south of France.   Vincent was a post-Impressionist painter and most of his work was created between 1881 and 1889.   He had many influencers, initially from artist Peter Paul Rubens, as well as a lifetime love for Japanese art. Later in life, he worked alongside Paul Gauguin and they influenced one another.   His use of colour influenced Henri Matisse, and the German Expressionist painter Emil Nolde said that Vincent had influenced his own paintings.   He was not famous in his lifetime.   After his death in 1889,  his brother Theo and Theo’s wife, Johanna, promoted his work.   Many of his paintings are very well known, particularly his paintings of sunflowers.   Van Gogh’s paintings are amongst the world’s most expensive paintings. In 1990, his portrait of Doctor Gachet sold for 82 million dollars.   Find out more about Vincent Van Gogh   Link: ‘Vincent Van Gogh’ on WikiArt Link:‘Vincent Van Gogh’ on Google Arts & Culture Kapow Primary lessons referring to Vincent Van Gogh   Art:Ks1:Y1: Landscape (beach textures)   Art:KS1:Y1: Landscapes using different media (painting over texture)   Art:Ks1:Y1: Landscapes (beach collage)   Art:KS2:Y6: Impressionism
  • VerticalBeing at a right angle to the horizontal; like a line that goes up and down rather than across.

  • Watered downAdding water to paint or ink to dilute the colour and make it lighter.

  • YBA’sYoung British Artists who dominated the art scheme in the UK in the 1990’s


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