Glossary of Technical Art Terminology

Tutorials by Kevin Hulsey

Glossary of Art Terms

All Tutorial Text & Images - Copyright © 2011 KHI, Inc.

Glossary of Art Terminology

  • Aliasing (v) Condition when bitmapped or vector graphics show jagged edges under magnification.

  • Auxiliary View (n) An additional view, usually of a slanted surface.

  • Azimuth (n) The measure of how far a line is off due north.

  • Bevel (n) A surface slanted to another surface.

  • Bird's Eye (View) (n) A view of an object from above the horizon plane. An aerial view of the subject.

  • Cavalier Drawing (n) Oblique pictorial drawing in which receding edges are drawn to their full proportional length.

  • Chamfer (v) To bevel an edge.

  • CMYK (n) The four process colors used in four-color printed reproduction.

  • Color Space (n) The parts of the visible spectrum which can be reproduced in a given medium.

  • Continuous Tone (n) Rendering of the surface of an object with solid or gradated tone.

  • Cross Hatch (n) Rendering tone by placing surface lines close together for dark tones and further apart for light tones.

  • Cutaway (n) A drawing of an object as if part of it were cut away to show the inside.

  • Detail Drawing (n) A drawing of one part of a machine or structure.

  • Dimension Line (n) A line with arrowheads at either end to show the distance between two points.

  • Dithering (v) Simulating gray tones by altering the size, arrangement or shape of background dots.

  • DPI (Dots Per Inch) (v) Measuring the number of dots a printer can print per inch both horizontally and vertically.

  • Elevation (n) A drawing of a facade of a structure.

  • Ellipse (n) A non-normal view of a circle.

  • EPS (n) A vector based, computer graphics file format developed by Adobe Systems.

  • Exploded View (n) Drawing showing how an object looks when disassembled and spread out, showing how parts relate to each other.

  • FPO (v) (For Position Only), a low resolution image inserted into a layout to be replaced by a full resolution image before printing.

  • Ghosting (Ghosted) (n) A Ghosted illustration reveals the internal components by fading out the exterior skin of the object.

  • Gradation (n) In illustrations, the range of tones from the brightest highlights to the deepest shadows.

  • Greek (v) Nonsense words and letterforms used to approximate the flow of written language.

  • Hair Line (n) A .25 point line.

  • Halftone (n) A reproduction of a continuous tone image.

  • High 3/4 (View) (n) A pictorial drawing that shows the height, width, and depth of an object from above the horizon plane.

  • Isometric View (n) A kind of pictorial drawing based on height, width, and depth axes in equal 120 degree angles with each other.

  • Key Line (n) A thin line that is placed around a graphic image.

  • Line Art (n) A pictorial drawing or diagram with no continuous tone. Line only.

  • Nadir (n) The lowest point below the observer at which receding axes converge.

  • Oblique Drawing (n) A kind of a drawing that shows one face of the object in true shape, but the other faces on a distorted angle.

  • Orthogonal View (n) Viewing angle with no perspective - scale of the object doesn't decrease as distance from viewer increases.

  • Orthographic Projection (n) A system of showing an object in several views.

  • Overlay (n) A translucent sheet placed over a drawing.

  • Perspective Drawing (n) A kind of pictoral drawing that shows objects as they look to the eye.

  • Phantom View (n) A Phantom View illustration reveals internal components by fading the exterior skin of the object (see Ghosting).

  • Photo Illustration (n) An illustration, primarily consisting of a photograph or composite image containing a photograph.

  • Pictoral Drawing (n) A drawing that looks like a picture.

  • Pictoral Space (n) Illusionary space which appears to recede backward into depth from the picture plane.

  • Picture Plane (n) Two-dimensional picture surface.

  • Plan View (n) A drawing of a structure from directly overhead.

  • Point (n) Unit of measurement, approximately 1/72 inch. There are 12 points in a pica.

  • Registration (v) The process of aligning different elements or layers in an illustration.

  • Rendering (n) Surface shading used in a drawing.

  • Scaling (v) Determining the proper size of an image to be printed or reproduced.

  • Schematic (n) A diagram using symbols, icons, and connecting lines.

  • Section Lines (n) In a section view, thin, evenly spaced lines that indicate the cut surface.

  • Section View (n) A drawing of an object as if part of it were cut away to show the inside. Usually shown in an elevation view.

  • Stipple (n) Rendering tone by placing small dots close together for dark tones and further apart for light tones.

  • Technical Illustration (v) A pictorial drawing made to simplify and interpret technical information.

  • Three Quarter (3/4) View (v) A pictorial drawing that shows the height, width, and depth of an object.

  • Tint (n) Various even tones of a solid color.

  • Vanishing Point (n) In perspective drawing, the point at which receding axes converge.

  • Vector (n) Images defined by sets of straight lines, defined by the locations of the end points.

  • Vignette (n) An illustration in which the subject matter fades gradually away until it blends into the unprinted paper.

  • Working Drawing (n) A drawing that contains all of the information needed to make an object.

  • Worm's Eye (View) (n) A view of an object from below the horizon plane. An underground view of the subject.

  • Zenith (n) The highest point above the observer at which receding axes converge.

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