Art Terms and Definitions — L

Lacquer     |     Lowercase

A dictionary of art terms and definitions that begin with the letter L.

Refers to a clear or colored finish material that dries to a hard, glossy finish. Usually applied with a sprayer, lacquer dries too quickly for smooth application with a brush unless specially formulated.
A painting, drawing, or photograph which depicts outdoor scenery. They typically include trees, streams, buildings, crops, mountains, wildlife, rivers, and forests. Click for more information on landscapes.
In typography (rhymes with heading), the space between lines of type, often measured from the baseline of one line to the baseline of the next and less frequently measured from ascender to ascender. Dates back to hot metal days when strips of lead were inserted between lines of type to provide line spacing.
Life Drawing
Drawings of a human figure. Usually, nude figures so that the artist can understand how the muscles look and how light, tone, and shadow reflect around the body.
Light Table 
Art Terms and Definitions -- L
Light Table

Refers to a table that has a translucent top with a light shining up through it, made especially for working with negatives, viewing transparencies and slides, and pasting up artwork.

Refers to the similarity in appearance or character or nature between persons or things.
Limited Edition 
A limit placed on the number of prints produced in a special edition to create a print scarcity. Limited editions are signed and numbered by the artist. Once the prints in the edition have been sold out, the digital file is then destroyed by the Giclée Printmaker to maintain the integrity of the limited edition. The image will not be published again in the same form.
An actual or implied mark, path, mass, or edge, where length is dominant. Click for more information about line.
Linear Perspective 
A system for creating the illusion of depth on a two-dimensional surface. The system is based on a scientifically or mathematically derived series of actual or implied lines intersecting at a vanishing point on the horizon. Linear perspective determines the relative size of objects from the foreground of an image to the background.
Linseed Oil
The most popular drying oil used as a painting medium. The medium hardens over several weeks as components of the oil polymerize to form an insoluble matrix. Driers can be added to accelerate this process.
Uses the principle that oil and water don’t mix as the basis of the printing process; a method of printing using plates whose image areas attract ink and whose non-image areas repel ink. Non-image areas may be coated with water to repel the oily ink or have a surface, such as silicon, that repels ink.
Local Color
An object’s true color; the actual color distinguished from the apparent color of objects and surfaces; true color, without shadows or reflections.
In typography, small letters of a typeface, as opposed to capital or uppercase letters. Derived from the location of the type cases where typographers used to store metal or wood letterforms.

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Contributing to The Art Dictionary

This art dictionary is a work in progress. New terms and definitions are added on a regular basis. If you know of an art term and definition that isn’t already listed in it, but you believe it should be, send it to us and we’ll consider adding it. We’ll let you know if we do. Thanks!

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UPDATED: 13 March 2023 

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