Art Terms and Definitions — U

Ultramarine     |     Urban Landscape

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

Art Terms and Definitions -- UA deep blue to purple-blue pigment initially made from ground lapis lazuli. The name comes from the Latin ultramarinus, which translates “beyond the sea.” During the 14th and 15th centuries, ultramarine was the finest and most expensive blue used by Renaissance painters.
A natural pigment of brown or reddish-brown color used in painting. In its natural form, it is called raw umber, but when it is heated, the color becomes more intense and is called burnt umber. Umber is not one precise color but a range of different earth colors. The name comes from the Italian terra d’ombra (or “earth of Umbria”),  named after a mountainous region in central Italy where the pigment was originally extracted.
Preliminary drawing that lies under the final painted or inked image.
Underground Art
A term used to describe a subculture of art that operates outside conventional norms in the art world, like graffiti, street art, or visionary art. Any form of art that mainly occurs on public property.
The preliminary layers of paint in a painting which render the basic outline of the image before the final paint layers are added to complete the work.
A subdued or muted tone of color, specifically a color seen through and modifying another color.
An organization of parts so that all contributed to a coherent whole. It is the combined result of all principles of design. See the Principles of Good Design discussion on unity for more information.
In typography, capital letters that gained this alternative name from the standard location where typesetters once stored them.
Urban Landscape 
A premise of urban planning arguing that the best way to organize cities is through the design of the city’s landscape rather than the design of its buildings. Also referred to as landscape urbanism.

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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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