Art Terms and Definitions — N

art wordlist

An art wordlist and definitions that begin with the letter “N”. It contains more than 10 artistic terms ranging from NAÏVE ART to NUMBERED PRINTS.

Quick links to more art wordlist and definitions are located at the end of the list.

Art Wordlist: “N” Words

Naïve Art

art wordlist and definitions

A style of art characterized by its childlike simplicity, which includes minute detail, vibrant colors, disproportionate figures, and a lack of perspective. It depicts basic, easy-to-understand situations of everyday life that are frequently romanticized. The lack of perspective frequently gives the impression that figures within naïve paintings are weightless or floating. Naïve artists are frequently self-taught and have very little or no formal training in art.

Naples Yellow

art wordlist

The oldest synthetic yellow hue of a muted reddish yellow to a bright light-yellow pigment. Known to have been created by the Ancient Egyptians. Often used in paintings during the 1700s through the 1850s.

Narrative Art

A type of visual art that tells a story or represents elements of a story. An example of this genre would be Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper,” or illustrations often found in children’s books.

National Art Education Association (NAEA)

A non-profit professional organization founded in 1947 in the United States and is based in Alexandria, Virginia. It is the world’s largest professional art education association. The NAEA uses visual arts, design, and media arts to educate and enrich the lives of all learners and communities, as well as to serve as a catalyst for future generations to be creative and culturally competent.  Visit their website for more information about the NAEA.

Negative Space

negative space

The empty or open space that surrounds an object. It helps define the object, gives it some breathing room to prevent the painting from being too crowded, and significantly impacts how the art piece is perceived.

In the example, it’s the “empty space” (the area in black) or unoccupied areas that lies between objects, shapes, and forms within a composition and is also the space in the background that is not at first noticeable. It goes in all directions and goes on forever. It flows in, around, and between shapes and objects.

Neon Art

A new art medium that uses neon lights to create visually stunning artworks that often incorporate motion and interactivity. Neon art is used to enhance and intensify the significance of art installations. It differs from a neon sign in that it is used to light up an environment or make a statement rather than to advertise or guide.

Neutral Color

Colors of very low saturation, approaching grays. Neutral colors do not appear on the color chart and are neither warm nor cool. They are called neutral because they lack color and are derived by mixing equal parts of color opposites, resulting in drab-looking grays. Black and white are also considered neutral as they are neither warm nor cool and do not change color.

New Media Art

A genre of art that encompasses artworks created with new media technologies, including digital art, computer graphics, computer animation, virtual art, Internet art, interactive art, video games, computer robotics, 3D printing, and art as biotechnology.

NFTs (non-fungible tokens)

The latest development in digital art. Unique digital identifiers that are recorded on a blockchain. NFTs cannot be copied, reproduced, substituted, or subdivided. They are used to certify the ownership and authenticity of one-of-a-kind items like art, music, or films.

Non-objective Art

(Also known as: abstract art, non-figurative art, non-representational art)
An abstract or non-representational style of art that does not portray scenes or objects as they appear in the real world. Instead, the artist focuses on creating a visual expression through the formal elements of texture, value, color, shape, and line. Non-objective art is characterized by its geometrical imagery and is often referred to as geometric abstraction. This type of art is often difficult for people to understand or appreciate because they are naturally drawn to images that have concrete elements.

Non-Western Art

See “Tribal Art.”

Norse Art

See “Viking Art.”


A work of art (most often a painting or sculpture) depicting an individual without clothing or very little clothing.

Numbered Prints

A term used in printmaking to indicate the number of editions struck from one plate. The number is generally placed over the size of the edition. For example, 24/100 shows the unique number of that impression and the total edition size. Modern artists produce only limited editions of their works, usually signed by the artist in pencil and numbered.

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This art wordlist is provided as a valuable resource for art enthusiasts. If you like the information here and find it helpful, please consider purchasing a painting. Your support helps to cover the cost of keeping this art vocabulary words list lexicon online. Simply click or tap the thumbnail link of any Teresa Bernard oil painting to view additional details.

lighthouse artistic works
Currituck Beach Lighthouse (2008)
11″ w x 14″ h
autumn landscape artwork
Fall Pumpkins and a Wagon Wheel (2022)
6″ w x 8″ h

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Contributing to The Art Dictionary

The art wordlist 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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