Art Terms — H

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A glossary of art vocabulary and definitions beginning with H.

Halftone
The reproduction of a continuous tone original, such as a photograph, in which detail and tone value are represented by a series of evenly spaced dots of varying size and shape.
Hard-Edge Painting
Refers to a twentieth century movement in painting in which the edges of shapes are crisp and precise rather than soft or blurred. This technique consists of rough, straight edges that are geometrically uniform and encompasses rich solid colors, neatness of surface, and the arrangement of forms all over the canvas.
Harmonious Colors
basic color wheelColors that go well together and/or sit next to each other on the color wheel. For example: red and orange, orange and yellow, yellow and green, green and blue, blue and purple, purple and red. Complementary colors, analogous colors, and other such related colors are also considered to be harmonious. For more information on color harmony see: Color, Part 1 and Color, Part 2.
Harmony
The unity of all the visual elements of a composition achieved by the repetition of the same characteristics or those which are similar in nature. Harmony serves to bind the various parts into a whole.
Hatching
A technique used in art to create tonal or shading effects by drawing or painting closely spaced parallel lines. When lines are crossed or placed at an angle to one another, the method is called cross-hatching. Artists use this modeling technique, indicating tone and suggesting light and shade, by varying the length, angle, closeness and other qualities of the lines, most commonly used in drawing, linear painting, engraving, and ethnic art.
Heptaptych
An artwork, usually a painting, divided into seven painted or carved panels where each panel depicts a different but related scene. The panels can be hinged together or presented side-by-side. Also called “septych” in Latin.
Hexaptych
A work of art consisting of six panels or sections where each panel depicts a different but related scene. The panels can be hinged together or presented side-by-side to make one large image.
Highlight
An area of intense brightness which reflects the most light. A technique used in art to direct attention or to emphasize, through use of pigment or color.
Horizon Line
In a painting, a level line where land or water ends and the sky begins. Vanishing points, where two parallel lines appear to converge, are typically located on this line. A horizon line is used to attain the perspective of depth. Click for information about horizontal lines.
Horizontal Balance
The components that are balanced left and right of a central axis.
Hue
The name of the color, such as red, green or yellow. Hue can be measured as a location on a color wheel, and expressed in degrees; the main attribute of a color which distinguishes it from other colors.

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UPDATED: 22 March 2021


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