Glossary: V

Value - Relative lightness or darkness of a color and is perceived in terms of contrast. For example, pink is a light value of red, while navy is a dark value of blue. Value is an element of art.

Value Scale - A grayscale or a series of spaces filled with the tints and shades of one color, starting with white or the lightest valued tinted on one end, which gradually changes into the darker shades. A full value scale measures from white to black or vice versa.

Vanishing Point - In an artwork using linear perspective, the point at which converging lines meet.

Varnish - A protective transparent finish applied in a liquid state to a surface. Many are available with a matte, semi-gloss, or glossy finish.

Variety - Combines various elements of art to add interest to any artwork. Variety is a principle of design.

Vellum - Fine parchment, originally calf-skin, used traditionally for manuscripts.

Vehicle - Also referred to as a base or medium in visual art painting. It binds pigments or carries them and determines what kind of paint is produced, i.e., oil paint, watercolor, gesso. A painter can mix a vehicle with solvents, pigments, or other substances to make paint (or dye or ink) and control its consistency. A variety of vehicles provides a matte, semi-gloss, or glossy finish. Just as motorized vehicles move us around on our planet, think of these substances as moving pigments around on various supports.

Vertical - Upright, at right angles to the horizon.

Viewer - A person who gazes; an onlooker or spectator. Sometimes used as a synonym for the audience. Also, any of many possible optical devices used in viewing something, especially photographic transparencies such as slides, by illuminating and magnifying them. Also, see interpretation, patron, theater, and voyeur.

Viewfinder - A small window cut in a piece of paper or card that shows what will be in a picture's composition. Or, when seen through a camera, the window indicates an approximation of an image the camera would photograph. Viewfinders assist in making compositions. This is a fundamental sort of optical device.

Viewpoint - An angle or side from which an object can be seen or depicted in an artwork.

Vignette - A decorative design placed at breaks in an article, at the beginning or end of a book or chapter, or along the border of a page. Sometimes, in an unbordered picture, often a portrait, the edges fade off or blur into the color of its surrounding area.

Virtual - Existing not in actual fact or form, but in essence or effect in mind, especially as a product of the imagination or illusion. Also, see mirror, new media, simulation, truth, universal artwork, virtual museum, virtual reality, and visualize.

Viscosity - Viscosity is a measure of a fluid's resistance that is being deformed by either shear or tensile stress. In other words, viscosity is the "thickness" or "internal friction" of a fluid. Thus, water is "thin," having a lower viscosity, while honey is "thick," having a higher viscosity. This term is used to describe the thickness of oil painting mediums.

Visual Art - The "Visual Arts" category includes fine art and applied decorative arts and crafts. Traditional visual arts include drawing, painting, printmaking, calligraphy, sculpture, metalsmithing, woodworking, jewelry making, origami, glass blowing, glass cutting or fusing, ceramics, monuments, and architecture. Modern visual arts include assemblage, collage, mixed-media, fiber art, photography, digital art, and installations.

Visual Texture - Texture is perceived by sight rather than by touch, as in an artwork (implied texture).

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