When learning how to draw, you probably run into many unfamiliar terms. Here is a basic drawing glossary explaining some of the most common art and drawing terms.
Cartoon – a cartoon is a type of non-realistic drawing. Cartoon images often use symbols and exaggerating typical characters for humor or satire purposes.
Contour/Contour Drawing – contour refers to the outline of the form, and the contour drawing, also known as line drawing, refers to the drawing style where the artist marks the silhouette of the drawing subject. Contour drawing is common among children who learn how to draw and drawing beginners.
Horizon Line – the straight line that split the drawing surface, used in perspective drawing to mark the eye level of the viewer. In most artwork the horizon line is invisible, but it is used as a starting point to layout the objects in the artwork.
Negative Space – the seemingly empty space between the drawing subjects, as opposed to the “positive space” which is the subjects themselves. In many artworks the negative space takes part in the composition, often to create an illusion of a hidden negative space. Drawing beginners tend to ignore the negative space, and it is one of the basic composition drawing lessons.
Perspective/Perspective Drawing – a drawing technique the focuses on creating a three-dimensional illusion of depth and distance using various artistic elements including lines, colors and playing with the sizes and clarity of objects.
Proportion/Body Proportions – proportions describe the relationship between the sizes of the drawing subjects. When drawing people, the terms refers to the relationship between the different body parts, and there are several theories that suggest the ideal and the average human body proportion.
Sketch – a sketch is a form of basic, often fast drawing, displaying the main elements of the drawing and is usually done using a pencil. A sketch can be developed and serve the basis of a fuller artrwork or it can remain at its sketchy situation.