Keep a library of words in a shoebox, database, or notebook. Never mind that first one. If you keep them in a shoebox, you'll go crazy trying to find them when you need them.
Use a database or notebook.
What words can you count on?
What words do you need to have at the ready for your next brochure, artist statement, or wall label?
Words to Describe Color in Your Art
Don’t just say something is red. Is it “as red as a maraschino cherry in a daiquiri”? Or as “red as the Oklahoma clay”?
Maraschino-cherry red. Oklahoma-clay red.
Words to Describe Texture in Your Art
Stuck on “smooth” and “rough?” Try slick, shiny, glassy, jagged, or bumpy.
Words to Describe Line in Your Art
For artists to whom line is important, “straight” or “curvy” rarely says it all. Choose your weapon: sinuous, energetic, straight as an arrow, or gestural.
Words to Describe Space and Form in Your Art
You don’t have to be a sculptor to have the three-dimensional aspect of your art be paramount. Are the forms open and expansive? Or contained and dense?
Words to Describe Mood in Your Art
Why opt for “happy” or “sad” when exuberant and melancholy are much more interesting?
Words to Describe Action
Colorful verbs: shoot, paint, pull, carve, study, build, weave, throw, hammer, obliterate, rub, fire, melt.
Less colorful verbs: is, are was, were, has, have.
Add your own! Leave us a comment and tell us about the words you use.