10 Funny Art Words to Make You Laugh

Updated: Nov 2, 2019


Kate Moynihan grand kids, Aislynn and Liam

As usual, my grand kids had me laughing. Four-year-old Liam's tongue thrilled as he stumbled over the word: Centripetal, as during an art project he watched the paper spin and the rapid movement whisk the paint to the edges. Centripetal was a funny word.


Next, our art project moved onto other textures as we painted with brayers.

Liam turned his head at the word, brayer, saying: "It sounds like a donkey snorting: bra-a-a-ay!"

Brayer: Another funny word.


Kate Moynihan artist using an art brayer for mixed media painting

More Funny Art Words to Make You Laugh


These words got me thinking. The art world has a lot of funny names. These are my top favorites:

EMULSION - (ih-muhl-shuh n) Two or more liquids that don not blend together easily on their own.


BINDER - (bahyn-der) A component that creates uniform consistency in paint.


DIPTYCH - (dip-tik) A work of art consisting of two sections.


ASSEMBLAGE - (uh-sem-blij) Three-dimensional art made from found objects.


PLEIN-AIR (French: ple-ner) Developed in the mid-19th century to characterize painting outdoors to capture the natural air and light by the artist.


GICLEE - (No pronunciation for this!?!?) Another French word. If you don't recognize this word, you may think it's pronounced: "gig-lee." Actually, it's a long G sound, like "Ja-a-h," than add, "clay." The French translation is meas 'to spay.' In the art community, a giclee is a reproduction of an original piece of art printed on a highly technical ink-jet printer. This print-on-demand advanced technology has changed the art world, leaving the large editions of lithograph prints behind.


GOUACHE - (goo-ahsh) Opaque watercolor paints in endless colors.


FROTTAGE - (fraw-tahzh) a technique in the visual arts of obtaining textural effects or images by rubbing lead, chalk, charcoal,etc., over paper laid on a granular or relief- like surface.


TURPENTINE - ( tur-puh n-tahyn) Although this is a common word, a smile still crosses my face when I think of the pronunciation. Kind of twerpy.


Art Words Can Make You Laugh!

Chuckling is a contagious. Enjoy more, read 5 Benefits of Laughter