Art Terms and Definitions — R

Rabbet     |     RYB

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

Art Terms and Definitions -- RIn art, the “L” cut all around the perimeter of the frame, against which glass, mat, or picture panels are installed (see illustration).
Radial Balance 
The balance as the result of components that are distributed around a center point or spring out from a central line.
A style of painting that depicts subject matter (form, color, space) as it appears in actuality or ordinary visual experience without distortion or stylization. Click for more information about realism art.
Recycled Art
Contemporary art made from recycled flip-flops.

Contemporary works of art made from garbage, discarded items, or found objects which once had another purpose. Such items include plastic shopping bags, food containers, old plastic toys, vehicle tires, fabric scraps, bicycle parts, car parts, clothing, footwear, etc.

RedOne of the three primary colors of pigments used in painting and the complement or opposite of the color green. In painting, red is used to create a multitude of colors when mixed with other hues.
Religious Art
Artistic imagery or representation depicting religious motifs as a subject matter intending to uplift the mind to the spiritual. Click for information about religious or sacred art.
One of the principles of good design. It is a series of repeated elements having similarities. For more information, see the blog article titled Good Design Principle: Movement.
Representational Art
Also called figurative art, an artwork that represents objects or events in the real world. It is an art that is clearly identifiable as something which already exists in life. The term is in contrast to abstract art.
A copy of an original print or fine art piece. The reproduction could be in the form of an offset-lithographic print or even reproduced using the same medium as the original.
Stands for Red, Green, Blue. In web design and design for computer monitors, colors are defined using these three primary additive colors.
A continuance, a flow, or a feeling of movement achieved by the repetition or regulated visual units.
Rich Black 
plain-black-rich-blackA printing term referring to a black ink mixture that has a percentage of cyan, magenta, and yellow added to the black. Plain black is 100% black ink and often appears dull and lacks a certain depth. Whereas rich black results in a darker, richer tone of black. The mixture often is 60% cyan, 40% magenta, 40% yellow, and 100% black, although the percentage can vary.
Right Brain
Refers to a theory in which the right side of the brain is the creative side, responsible for art and spatial comprehension. In contrast, the left side is responsible for reading, verbal, and mathematical sorts of tasks.
Rule of Odds 
A principle of composition that states an odd number of elements in an image is more interesting to look at than an even number. Therefore, if there is more than one element in a painting, the composition should comprise a minimum of three elements. Click for more information about the composition technique rule of odds.
Rule of Thirds
Art Terms and Definitions -- RA composition rule that divides the scene into three rows and three columns. The rule states that the painting is much more interesting if the focal point is not in the center of the canvas but instead in one of the outlying regions, preferably at one of the intersection points (see illustration). Click for more information about the rule of thirds composition technique.
Stands for Red, Yellow, Blue. The primary colors used in painting and art. Also, see Primary Colors.

Art Glossary Links

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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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