French Art Vocabulary

If you travel to France you’ll soon learn that the country has an extremely rich art history and that the society tends to hold artists in high esteem. On this page you’ll find a comprehensive list of both painting terms and general art terms.

PAINTING TERMS
acrylic paint l’acrylique
artistun(e) un artiste
brushun pinceau
canvasla toile
charcoalle fusain
darknessl'obscurité )(f)
exhibitionune exposition
easel, tripodle chevalet
figurativefiguratif (adj)
fresco paintingla fresque
landscapeun paysage
huela teinte
lightnessla clarté
masterpieceun chef d'oeuvre
negative spacel'espace négatif, le vide
naturalisticnaturaliste (adj)
oil paintsles peintures à l’huile
paintingun tableau, une toile, une peinture
paints, colorsles couleurs
oil paintingoil painting
palettela palette
pastelun pastel
perspectivela perspective
pigmentle pigment
portraitun portrait
positive spacel'espace positif
poster paintla gouache
watercolor paintl’aquarelle
shadingle ton
shading, hugeune nuance
still-lifeune nature morte
PAINTING VERBS
to paintpeindre
to sketchfaire des esquisses
to frameencadrer
to smudgefaire une trace
teinterto tint
OTHER ART FORMS + RELATED TERMS
artist, drawerdessinateur
clayl’argile
drawingle dessin
figurineune figurine
fine artsles arts plastiques
ink drawingun dessin à l'encre
jewelery makingla joaillerie
modelling tool
potteryla poterie
printingl’imprimerie
sculptingla sculpture
sculptorun sculpteur, une femme sculpteur
sculptureune sculpture
woodworkingla scupture sur bois
photographerun(e) photographe
photographyla photographie
statueune statue
statuetteune statuette
works of artles oeuvres
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