Art Terms and Definitions — Y

art words explanation

An art words explanation dictionary that begins with the letter “Y”. The list below begins with YBA ART and ends with YELLOWING.

Quick links to more art words explanation lists are located at the end of the list.

Art Words Explanation: “Y” Words


Stands for Young British Artists, also called Brit artists or “Britart.” YBAs were a loosely affiliated group of artists in London who began exhibiting their artwork together in the late 1980s. If they had anything in common, it was probably an anything-goes attitude when it came to the materials used and their creative processes. As artists, they worked and experimented in various media and art forms and were best known for their use of shock tactics, entrepreneurial spirit, and wild partying.


art words explanation

The color between orange and green on the color wheel. Considered to be the most visible color on the spectrum and the most attention-getting. One of the four primary colors used in printing ink (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black). One of the three primary colors used in art (red, yellow, and blue). The complement or opposite of the color violet. In painting, yellow is used to create a multitude of colors when mixed with other hues.

Yellow Ocher


A yellow pigment often used by artists that usually contains limonite, a yellowish-brown oxide of iron; a natural earth pigment containing hydrated iron oxide, which ranges in color from yellow to deep orange or brown.


A discoloration that can occur over time in oil paintings due to excessive use of linseed oil medium; applying any of the varnishes that are prone to yellow with age; or most often, an accumulation of dirt embedded into the varnish. Also referred to as “after-yellowing.”

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rose blossom fine art
Yellow Rose Blossom
6″ w x 6″ h
human figure painted picture
Girl in The Red Dress
24″ w x 18″ h
table setting art
Still Life with Fruit and Candle (2004)
14″ w x 11″ h

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Contributing to The Art Dictionary

This art words explanation 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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