How to be an artist in Russian Posted by Maria on Oct 2, 2014 in Russian for beginners
We have already talked about photography, so I thought it may be nice to learn to talk about other visual arts. I am not a very skilled or advanced artist, so I will concentrate on the basics. Feel free to ask me or your fellow readers for anything I don’t mention in this post!
First, Russian does not lexically distinguish between drawing and painting. Both are known as рисование. If you would like to specify the exact kind, you need to give more information about the medium/technique. The art itself is called живопись. Please mind that the school subject will most likely be called рисование or ИЗО (изобразительное искусство) as opposed to искусство (literally, “art”). Classes about art history and appreciation will, however, have the word искусство in their names.
Specific techniques include
рисовать маслом – to paint (with oil paint)
рисовать карандашом – to sketch/draw (with a pencil)
As you noticed, the material/medium is in the instrumental case. I will be listing more media below.
делать зарисовки – to sketch
делать наброски/эскизы – to sketch a study
To make a drawing or painting you will need some of the following:
холст – canvas
мольберт – easel
кисти – paint brushes
краски – paint
гуашь, рисовать гуашью – gouache; this material is very popular in Russian school art classes.
акварельные краски – watercolor paint
акварель can also refer to a watercolor painting
масло – oil paint
мелки – chalk
Many genres will be familiar from my post on photography.
пейзаж – landscape
портрет – portrait
натюрморт – still life
абстрактная живопись – abstract painting
The Practice of Art
An artist is referred to as художник. The Russian word артист usually refers to performers. Note the conjugation of рисовать – художник рисует (the -ова- suffix disappears).
Художники can show their paintings на выставке (at an exhibition). Some музеи (museums) and галереи (galleries) have постоянные экспозиции (permanent collections). Famous old paintings (картины) can sell for a lot of money на аукционе (at an auction). Коллекционеры искусства (art collectors) are ready to pay a very high price.
You may want to check out my post about colors in order to be able to describe specific paintings.
А вы рисуете? Кто ваш любимый художник?
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