Monday, October 29, 2012

Young and Free Street Artists

Whether you like the hand of Kid Zoom as shown here, or a plethora of other really really good street artists, this is the place to read more.

Click here

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Vocabulary for Visual Arts

Abstract art.

A style of art that achieves its effect by simplifying or altering the visual elements (e.g., line, shape, colour), rather than by representing recognizable things or people.


The process of making art work abstract.


A type of balance in which the parts are unequal in size, shape, etc., but still produce a balanced visual effect.


The part of a composition that appears to be farthest from the viewer.


A principle of design. A feeling of balance results when the elements of design are arranged to create the impression of equality in weight or importance.


A form of art in which a variety of materials (e.g., photographs, fabric, objects) are glued to a flat background.


An element of design. Colour is the particular hue that is seen when light is reflected off an object.

Colour wheel.

A tool for organizing colours and representing relationships among colours.

Complementary colours.

Colours that are directly opposite each other on the colour wheel (e.g., red and green, blue and orange, yellow and purple).


The organization of the elements of design in an art work, following certain principles of design.

Contemporary art.

Art created in the present day.

Cool colours.

Colours that suggest coolness (e.g., blue, green, purple).


A term used to describe an object's extent in space. A two-dimensional object is one that has length and width. A three-dimensional object is one that has length, width, and depth.

Elements of design.

Fundamental components of art works. They include colour, line, texture, shape, form, and space.


A principle of design. Emphasis may be defined as the special attention or importance given to one part or element in an art work. Emphasis can be achieved through placement, contrast, size, etc.

Focal point.

The element or object in a work of art on which the viewer's attention is focused.


The area of a picture that appears closest to the viewer. It is often at the bottom of the picture plane.


An element of design. Form is sculptural or three-dimensional shape (e.g., cube, pyramid, sphere).

Geometric shape.

A shape that is based on geometric figures (e.g., square, circle, triangle).

Horizon line.

The "line" at which the sky and the earth appear to meet.


The common name of a colour (e.g., red).

Impressionistic art.

Art in the Impressionist style, a characteristic of which is the depiction of the effect of light on objects.


An element of design. A line may be defined as the visual path left by a moving point.


A symbolic form that identifies organizations, products, etc.


Any material used by an artist to produce a work of art.

Middle ground.

Area in the picture between the foreground and the background.

Mixed media.

Any art work in which more than one medium is used.

Monochromatic colour scheme.

A colour scheme in which only one hue is used, along with its tints (i.e., hue plus white) and shades (i.e., hue plus black).


A principle of design. Movement is the way in which the elements of design are organized so that the viewer's eye is led through the work of art in a systematic way.

Negative space.

The void or open areas around an object or form.


A technique for creating the illusion of depth on a two-dimensional surface. There are three types of perspective: - linear perspective, which involves the use of parallel lines that appear to converge as their distance from the viewer increases; - diminishing perspective, in which objects appear to diminish in size as their distance from the viewer increases; - atmospheric perspective, which is produced by the gradual lessening of the intensity of colour and the reducing of detail as the distance between an object and the viewer increases.

Organic shapes or forms.

Shapes or forms that are non-geometric or free- flowing, and that are based on natural objects.

Positive space.

Shapes or forms on a two-dimensional surface.

Principles of design.

Principles or guidelines used by artists to organize the visual elements of an art work. They include balance, emphasis, rhythm, unity, movement, variety, harmony, and proportion.

Primary colours.

Colours that cannot be created by mixing other colours, but that can be mixed to produce all the other colours (red, yellow, and blue).


A principle of design. Proportion may be described as the relationship between objects with respect to size, number, etc.

Representational art.

Art whose subject matter contains recognizable images from real life.


A principle of design. Rhythm involves the repetition of elements to create the illusion of movement.


A work of art in three dimensions (i.e., with height, width, and depth) that is meant to be seen from all sides.

Secondary colours.

Colours that are created by mixing the primary colours (orange, green, and purple).


A colour with a certain amount of black added.


An element of design. Space is the area around, within, or between images or elements. Space can be created on a two-dimensional surface by using such techniques as overlapping of objects, varying of object size or placement, varying of colour intensity and value, and use of detail and diagonal lines.


The artist's way of representing something. The choice and use of materials, methods of work, subject matter, etc., reflect the style of an individual, a culture, or a historical period.


A type of balance in which parts or elements are equal in size or shape, or in some other attribute.


A method or procedure used in producing a work of art.


An element of design. Texture is the feel or appearance of an object or material.


A colour with a certain amount of white added.


A principle of design. Unity is the coherence of a work that gives the viewer the feeling that all the parts of the piece are working together.


The lightness or darkness of a colour.

Vanishing point.

In perspective drawing, the point on the horizon line where the converging parallel lines appear to meet.


A principle of design. Achieving variety involves the use of differences or contrasts.

Warm colours.

Colours that suggest warmth (e.g., red, yellow, orange).

Friday, October 26, 2012


Hyperbole means exaggeration. In a hyperbole things are described as being bigger or smaller than they really are. This form of style is often well used in writing to add 'flavour'.

Hyperboles are common in everyday language and in poetry.
Read on and you will see what I mean:

We have been waiting for ages.
She wept oceans of tears.
I wouldn't do that for all the tea in China!
I was hopping mad.
I nearly died laughing.
All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. (Shakespeare)
When she smiled all the world was gay.
If I had to marry him I would kill myself.

Next time you write an essay why not try putting in a hyperbole or two?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

since and from

Both from and since can be used to say when things begin or began. Since is usually used with perfect tenses. From is used in other cases. From can also indicate the starting point in space. Since cannot be used with this meaning.

Test your understanding of from and since with this grammar exercise.

A special thank you to English Practice

Friday, October 19, 2012

Unreal Uses of Past Tenses

This can be tricky!

Why not do a little reading up on the grammar behind sentences such as:
If only I had known then what I know now.
I'd rather he didn't come over tonight.
If only I had a better computer.

I have found this nifty place to read up and then practice this form.
CLICK here to begin

PET B-1 Reading anyone?

Dear English Learner,
To get the certificate for PET- B-1 - we have to study.
Time to read people!
In PET Cambridge PET(Cambridge Preliminary English Test) part 2 you have to read notices.

Let's practice here

...special thanks to the people who put these exams online for us.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

But, However, So, Because, And

Linking words help you to connect ideas and sentences, so that people can follow your ideas.

Study this example.

She loves the cinema.  She goes as often as possible.
Because she loves the cinema she goes as often as possible.
She loves the cinema so she goes as often as possible.

She loves the cinema. She doesn't go very often.
She loves the cinema but she doesn't go very often.
She love the cinema. However she doesn't go very often.

Here are some links to practice!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

but, though, in spite of and despite

All of these are words used to express contrast. While but and though are conjunctions, in spite of and despite are prepositions.

Read the following sentences.
He was ill. Still he went to work.
The meanings of these two sentences can be expressed in a single sentence in the following ways.
He was ill but he went to work.
Though he was ill, he went to work.
In spite of being ill, he went to work.
In spite of his illness, he went to work.
Despite his illness, he went to work.

Let's practice!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Seaside Holidays

A listening exercise for intermediate learners.

Go to this page and click on the ipod arrow:


PET Writing part 1

I would like to tell you about the
Cambridge Preliminary English Test B-2 level.
Here you find some samples of the writing part.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Letter writing tips

Every educated person should know how to write a good letter. 
All of us have to write letters of some sorts at some point of time.
There are several different kinds of letters. For examples, there are personal letters and business letters. The form of each letter is determined by its kind. For example, personal letters are written in a friendly tone. Business letters, on the other hand, are written in a formal style.
Parts of a letter
There are six important parts to all letters. They are:
1. Heading
2. Salutation
3. Body of the letter
4. Subscription or leave taking
5. Signature
6. Superscription on the envelope

The heading usually consists of two elements – the writer’s address and the date. The purpose of the heading is to inform the reader where the letter was written and when.
The heading should give the full postal address of the writer to which the reader may reply. The heading is usually given in the top right-hand corner of the first page. The date is given below the heading. Don’t put your name with the address. The address and the date may alternatively go on the left.
The date may be written in any of the following formats:
18 October 2003
18th October 2003
October 18, 2003

The date may also be written entirely in figures.

All-figure dates are interpreted differently in British and American English. For example, 12.10.2003 means 12th October 2003 to British people. To an American it means 10th December 2003. Americans put the month before the day.
Salutation or greeting
The form of greeting depends upon the relationship between the writer and the reader of the letter.
In letters written to family members and close friends, the greeting could be –
Dear Father, My Dear Mother, Dear Uncle, Dear John etc.
In business letters the greeting should be Dear Sir/Dear Madam/Dear Sirs etc.
Note that here the use of the term dear does not imply any special affection. It is a merely a polite expression.
Put the salutation at the left-hand corner of the page. It should be put at a lower level than the heading.

BEC Higher Reading Part 1

Business English is all about a specifically learned vocabulary. In order to improve, reading and practicing are a must.

                                  For practice at the C-1 level.

Monday, October 1, 2012


Honest describes someone or something that is truthful, trustworthy or genuine. (adjective)
  1. An example of honest is someone telling their friend that a meal they prepared had too much salt.
  2. An example of honest is a student admitting they cheated on a test.

For German translation click here