[ A ]
Abstract Art : Art which does not represent reality as we see it. This kind of work is characterized by a strong dependence on what appears to be accident and chance. It is believed that the spontaneity of the artist’s approach to their work draws inspiration from and releases the creativity of their unconscious minds.
Acrylic Paint : Synthetic paint with pigment dispersed in a synthetic vehicle . Acrylic paints dry quickly.
Black, white and greys. Artwork that is executed without color.
Thicker and stronger than tempera or watercolor paint, Acrylic is a water-based "plastic" paint.
Albumen Print :
This printing process is used in photography printing processes. Egg whites are used in the emulsion.
Alternative Process :
This photography term covers approximately 35 different processes for the final unconventional effect.
A structure used beneath something else for support. For example, a sculptor might create a clay sculpture with a wood or wire armature beneath it as support. Think about the frame of a house being constructed before all of the brick or siding is built on top.
Artists Proof :
A small group of outstanding prints for the artists use which have been set aside from the edition prints.
Arrangement : An order or composition of items used for a still life painting or drawing.
Art Appreciation : The introduction of basic principles of visual literacy - to general audiences for the purpose of enhancing their enjoyment of works of art.
Art Buyer : The person who is a link between an agency and freelance artists ; buys work for the agency.
Art Conservation : Preservation from loss, damage, or neglect.
Art Critic : A person who analyses, evaluates or expresses judgements of the merits, faults and value of artworks.
Artist : One who makes art.
Asymmetry : The parts of a design organized so that one side differs from the other without destroying the overall harmony.
[ B ]
Background : The part of a picture or scene that appears to be farthest away from the viewer, usually nearest the horizon.
An art and design principle concerned with the arrangement of one or more elements in a work of art so that they appear symmetrical (even) or asymmetrical (uneven) in design and proportion.
Base : A podium on which a sculpture is exhibited, or the portion of a sculpture on which its weight rests.
Basic color principles :
All color theory is based on the principle that 'color is light'.
An object that we see as red contains pigmentation which absorbs all of the colored rays of white light except the red color, which it reflects. White pigment absorbs none of the colored rays, and black absorbs all of the colors of the spectrum.
Batik : A method of dyeing cloth which involves the use of removable wax to repel the dye on parts of the design, where dye is not desired. Batik originated in Indonesia.
Binary Colours : Colours made by the mixing of two hues. Examples are orange, green and purple.
Binder : The ingredient in the vehicle of a paint which adheres the pigment particles to one another, and to the ground.
When clay has its first firing in a kiln, it is called bisque ware. At this point, the clay has changed composition and can no longer have water added to it and turned back into a useable material.
The complete absence of light. Because of impurities, you can not create black with pigments. In most black pigments, the is a slight blue trace. A black surface absorbs all light.
Blend : In art work, to merge colours applied to a surface, whether with a brush, crayon, coloured pencil or other medium.
Body Colour : An opaque paint. Transparent colours are often made opaque by mixing them with some gouache or some opaque white.
Bond Paper : A good quality paper used for drawing and sketching.
In printmaking, a Brayer is a roller which is used to apply ink to printing surfaces.
Browse Image: In digital imaging, a small image, usually derived from a larger one. Often called thumbnail images.
Brush : A tool used to apply paints and inks to a surface, consisting of hairs, or bristles held in place and attached to a handle.
Brush styles are designated by a letter following a series number. Some basic brushes to meet your needs:
F- Flats, square edge, long bristle
B- Brights, flat, square-edged, long sable
R - Rounds, pointed bristle
L- Longs, flat, square-edge, long sable
Filberts- Flat, oval edge, long fibre
Brush Cleaner : A compound used to clean oil, acrylic etc from artist’s brushes.
Brushstroke : The result of a brush loaded with paint or ink leaving some of that paint on a surface.
Brushwork : The particular manner in which an artist applies paint with a brush.
Buckle : Waves or bulges that appear in pages and canvas, generally from too much moisture and uneven drying
Bust : A Portrait sculpture or a painting representing a person’s head, neck, shoulders and upper chest, and perhaps the upper arms.
Butcher’s Tray : A white enameled tray used as a palette for watercolour or acrylic paints.
[ C ]
Calendar Painting : Painting having pleasing subject matter but rarely having lasting value as art.
Canvas : Commonly used as a support for oil or acrylic painting.
Fabrics that are prepared for painting. Available in panels, stretched on frames, or obtained by the yard.
Cast : To form (molten metal or liquid plaster) into a 3D shape, by pouring into a mold.
Used to describe the shaping, finishing and firing of clay.
Chalk : Pigments mixed with gum and pressed into a stick form, for use as crayons.
Charcoal : Compressed burned wood used for drawing.
Charcoal and Conte Crayon :
In stick form, both give you a very strong, dark line. A disadvantage to these crayons is that they break easily and tend to smudge. Can be found is stick form as well.
An impression made by the artist, or by the printer seal.
This is the intensity, or strength, or purity of a color. Squeezing paint directly from the tube to the palette is 'full chroma'.
A process where a photographic print can be made directly from a color transparency.
Collaboration : Two or more artists working together in a joint effort to produce artworks.
Colour / Color : Produced when light strikes an object and then reflects back to your eyes.
Colour Scheme : The colours an artist uses and the way they are combined in an artwork.
Colour Wheel : A radial diagram of colours in which primary and secondary, and sometimes intermediate colours are displayed.
Coil method in clay :
As one of the oldest methods used in the formation of pottery, long strands of clay are laid on top of one another, joined by blending the coils together.
Collage is from the French meaning "paste up". The combination of pieces of cloth, magazines and other found objects to create artwork.
This name is derived from the word 'collage'. It is an image built up with glue and other materials.
When light is reflected off an object, color is what the eye sees. The primary colors are red, yellow and blue. The secondary colors are orange, purple and green.
Commission : The act of hiring someone to execute a certain work or set of works.
Complementary Colours : Colours that are directly opposite each other on the colour wheel, such as red and green, blue and orange, and violet and yellow.
Compose : To create, put together, or arrange the elements of art in a work, usually according to the principles of design.
Composition : The plan, placement or arrangement of the elements of art in a work, usually according to the principles of design.
Complementary Colors :
Complementary colors are those which appear opposite to one another on a color wheel. The complimentary colors are red and green, blue and orange, and yellow and purple.
The arrangement of lines, colors and form.
Computer Graphics : Picture made with the assistance of computers.
Construction : A term referring to a sculpture made by joining together various components of various materials or of the same substance.
Contemporary : Current, belonging to the same period of time. Usually referring to our present time.
Content : What a work of art is about.
The modern pencil lead invented by Nicolas Conte. It is a black, red or brown chalk.
Contour : The outline and other visible edges of a mass, figure or object.
Contour Drawing : Drawing in which contour lines are used to represent subject matter. A contour drawing has a three-dimensional quality, indicating the thickness as well as height and width of the forms it describes.
Contour Lines : Lines that surround and define the edges of a subject, giving it shape and volume.
Contour Drawing :
Contour drawing shows the outline of the subject, and not the volume or mass of an object. Blind contour drawings are those created by looking only at the subject, and not the paper while drawing.
Contrast is created by using opposites near or beside one another, such as a light object next to a dark object or a rough texture next to a smooth texture.
Copy : An intentional imitation, replica, reproduction, or duplication of an original work of art, usually produced in the same medium.
Craft : Technical skill, considered apart from the fine arts, or from the expressive or aesthetic aspect of them.
Crackle glaze :
Tiny cracks in the glaze to decorate. Often rubbed in with coloring material.
Crayon : Traditionally, any drawing material, made in stick form, including chalk, crayon, charcoal. To children, the term invariably refers to sticks of colour, usually in a paper wrapper and sold under various trade names.
Crazing is the fine cracks that occur on the glaze.
Crop : To trim one or more of a picture’s edges, or to place one or more of the edges of an image so that only part of a subject can be seen within the image.
[ D ]
Depth : The apparent distance from front to back or near to far in an art work. Techniques of perspective are used to create the illusion of depth in paintings or drawings.
This painting technique involves the use of powdered colors that are mixed with glue size, or such things as egg yolk.
Dominance is an object or color that stands out in relation to the rest of the painting.
Drawing : Depiction of shapes and forms on a surface, chiefly by means of lines. Colour and shading may be included.
Drawing is the basis of all pictorial representation, and an early step in most art activities.
Dry Brushing :
Technique used in paintings using more pigment then water.
Dye Transfer :
This is one of the most permanent color processes. This method gives maximum control of color, balance and contrast for color prints or transparencies.
[ E ]
Earth Colours : Pigments such as yellow, ochre and umber, that are obtained by mixing.
This type of clay needs to be glazed, it is porous and not waterproof. Earthenware is a low-fire clay.
Easel : An upright frame for the stable display or support of a painter’s canvas or panel.
An easel is used to support your canvas while painting. Can be a collapsible tripod, studio types and as a combination sketch box unit. Some sketch boxes contain lids that serve as easels.
A group of identical prints that can be numbered and signed by the artist.
Open Edition: An unlimited number of prints
Limited Edition: Prints that have a known number of impressions, and are usually signed and numbered by the artist.
Egg Tempra :
A water-base paint made with an egg yoke binder.
Elements of Art :
Elements of art are the basic visual symbols found in the work such as lines, shape, form, space, point, light, motion, direction, scale, dimension, texture and color.
Emulsifier : A Catalyst combining oil, water and varnish into media for painting.
Enamel : A vitreous, usually opaque, protective or decorative coating.
This ancient art uses colored wax for painting. This technique involves painting images onto walls with pigments that are blended with wax. When used with heat, such as an iron, the permanent color is burned into the wall, for good.
Exhibit and Exhibition : A public showing of a piece or a collection of objects.
[ F ]
Fake : Having a deliberately false or misleading appearance ; not genuine.
Figurative : Describes artwork representing the form of a human, an animal or a thing.
Figure : The form of a human, an animal or a thing, most often referring to an entire human form.
To harden clay, you have to heat it at high temperatures which fuses the clay particles.
Fixative Spray :
For fixing charcoal drawing on canvas before painting. Fixative spray is available in spray cans, or for use with mouth atomizer.
Folk Art : Art made by people who have had little or no formal schooling in art. Folk artists usually make works of art with traditional techniques and content, in styles handed down through many generations, and often of a particular region.
Foreground : The area of a picture or field of vision, often at the bottom, that appears to be closest to the viewer.
Form : Form refers to an element of art that is three-dimensional (height, width and depth) and encloses volume.
An element of art, such as you would see in a sculpture that has three dimensions.
Pigment is applied directly to damp plaster making this wall painting medium one of the most permanent form of wall decoration.
[ G ]
Gallery : A room, building or institution where paintings and other artworks are exhibited; and often where they are also sold.
Gesture Drawing :
This quick drawing captures the energy and movement of the subject. It does not necessarily have to be realistic.
Color that is thinned to a transparent state and applied over previously painted areas to modify the original color. (see also Underpainting)
Gouache : A heavy, opaque watercolour paint, sometimes called body colour, producing a less wet appearing and more strongly coloured picture than ordinary watercolour.
Ground : A surface to which paint is applied, or the material used to create that surface.
Gif : Graphic image file format. A widely supported image storage format that has gained widespread use on on-line services and the Internet.
Gold Leaf :
Used for gilding, gold or silver (for silver leafing) is beaten to extremely thin sheets.
Opaque watercolors and the technique of painting with such colors using white to make tints.
Graphic : Any image made by or for a computer process.
When clay is hard, but not yet fired it is referred to as greenware. The clay can be made wet and turned back into a useable material.
[ H ]
Hindu Art : Cultural practice native to and predominant in India.
Small areas on a painting or drawing on which reflected light is the brightest.
Hue : The name of any colour as found in its pure state in the spectrum, or that aspect of any colour.
Hue is another word for color. The attribute which describes colors by name, i.e. red, blue, yellow etc.
[ I ]
Installation : Art made for a specific space, more often indoors than out. Installations may be temporary or permanent.
Intensity : The brightness or dullness of a colour.
Ilfochrome Classic (Cibachrome) Print :
Ilfochrome Classic (Cibachrome) is indisputably the best fine art color print process available today. Its archival qualities make it suitable for gallery and museum exhibits. Image sharpness and color fidelity are unsurpassed.
Constructed on a polyester base that is durable, chemically inert and will not yellow with age.
Only pure Azo organic image forming dyes are used.
These dyes yield an image with richer color saturation and more accurate hue rendition.
This product has unexcelled archival stability, offering extremely high fade resistance and life expectancy.
Impasto : A manner of painting where the paint is laid on thickly so texture stands out in relief.
Impressionism is referred to as the most important art movement of the 19th century. The term impressionism came from a painting by Claude Monet. His painting was titled Impression Sunrise. Impressionism is about capturing fast fleeting moments with color, light, and surface.
Intermediate Colour : Also known as tertiary colours, they are produced by mixing unequal amounts of two primary colours. Intermediate colours are located between the primary and secondary colours on a colour wheel.
This term is used to describe the brightness, or the dullness of a color.
Intermediate colors :
Obtained by mixing adjoining Primary and Secondary colors.
[ K ]
Kilns can be electric, of natural gas, wood, coal, fuel oil or propane. The kiln is the furnace used to fire ceramics or metal.
[ L ]
Landscape : A painting, photograph or other work of art which depicts scenery such as mountains, valleys, trees, rivers, and forests.
Life Drawing : Drawing the human figure from live model.
Limited Edition : An edition or set of prints of a known number of impressions, usually fewer than 200, numbered and signed.
A line is an identifiable path of a point moving in space. It can vary in width, direction and length.
Horizontal lines run parallel such as ===
Vertical lines run up and down such as |||||
Diagonal lines are slanting lines such as \\\\\
Angled lines are a combination of diagonal lines such as /\/\/\/\/ ><<>
Curved lines are curly and express movement such as ~~~~~
Linear : A painting technique in which importance is placed on outlines.
Linear Perspective : A system of drawing or painting in which the artist attempts to create the illusion of depth on a flat surface.
Linen : A cloth especially desirable as a support for painting. It is one of the several textiles that may be called canvas.
Linseed Oil : A drying oil used in paints.
Linseed Oil :
Used as a medium. The tradional "binder" for oil colors.
Lithography : A method of printing from a prepared flat stone or metal or plastic plate. A drawing is made on the stone or plate with a greasy crayon, and then washed with water. When ink is applied it sticks to the greasy drawing, but runs off the wet surface allowing a print – a lithograph - to be made of the drawing. The plate is then covered with a sheet of paper and run through a press under light pressure. For colour lithography separate drawings are made for each colour.
This is a printing process. A small stone, or metal plate is used. The printer, usually with the artists supervision covers the plate with a sheet of paper which are then run through the printer.
Loaded : In painting, a loaded brush is one that is filled with paint to its capacity.
Luminous Paint : A paint which actually glows in the dark.
[ M ]
Mask : Any two or three-dimensional representation of a face.
Media : The plural form of medium.
Medium : The material or technique used by an artist to produce a work of art. It may also refer to the solvent with which powdered pigments are mixed to make paint of the proper consistency. The plural form is media.
The art material that is used in a work of art such as clay, paint or pencil. Describing more then one art medium is referred to as media. Any substance added to color to facilitate application or to achieve a desired effect.
Miniature : A work of art made on a greatly reduced scale. Often refers to a portrait painted on paper, ivory or porcelain.
Three dimensional shapes which are suspended and free moving.
Modern : Refers to recent times or the present.
Modeling Material :
Material that is formed into a shape. Most modeling materials harden when the moisture in them evaporates, such as clay. Some do not harden, such as plastecine and can be used again.
Monochrome : A painting, drawing or print in one colour, including that colour’s shades and tints.
A print that has the same underlying common image, but different design, color or texture.
A one of a kind print made by painting on smooth metal, creating a texture that is not possible to paint directly on paper.
Mural : A large design or picture, generally created on the wall of a public building.
Mythology : A body or collection of myths belonging to people and addressing their origin, history, deities, ancestors and heroes.
[ N ]
Narrative Art : Art which represents elements of a story. While history painting depicts famous events, genre painting depict events of a more everyday sort.
Nature : The material world and its beauties, especially those parts remaining in a primitive, untouched state, unchanged by humans.
This paper comes in large sheets, and is inexpensive. Newsprint will eventually yellow, and is not a good choice for preserving artwork. Pen and market will bleed through newsprint.
Nonobjective Art / Non- representational Art : Art works having no recognizable subject matter such as houses, trees or people.
[ O ]
Oil Cup :
A container that can be clipped to your oil palette. One cup for the medium, the other cup for the brush cleaner.
Oil Paint : Show drying paint made when pigments are mixed with an oil, linseed oil being most traditional. Oil Paints are usually opaque and traditionally used on canvas.
Oil Paint :
A definition by Winsor & Newton state: "Oils are one of the great classic media, and have dominated painting for five hundred years. They remain popular for many reasons: their great versatility, offering the possibility of transparency and opacity in the same painting; the lack of color change when the painting dries; and ease of manipulation."
Original : Any work considered to be an authentic example of the works of an artist, rather than a reproduction or imitation.
Shapes that are not regular or even, using a combination of edges that are curved or angular.
The firing atmosphere containing lots of oxygen.
Applying metal oxides to the clay, mixing with water, you can create an effect of stained wood.
[ P ]
Paint : Pigment which is dispersed into a liquid. Types of paint include tempera, watercolour, oil paint, gouache, enamel.
Paint Box :
A piece of equipment used for storing brushes, paint, palette, and accessories when painting outdoors.
Painting : Works of art made with paint on a surface.
Painting Knife :
Knives come in a variety of shapes and sizes. A trowel-type flexible knife.
Palette : A slab of wood, metal, marble ceramic, plastic, glass, or paper, sometimes with a hole for the thumb, which an artist can hold while painting and on which the artist mixes paint.
Paper Mach' :
Papier mach' is an ancient art consisting of paper and a binder, such as wallpaper paste or glue.
Pastel : Pigments mixed with gum and pressed into a stick for use as crayons. Work of art done with such pigments are referred to as pastels.
Colors go from soft to brilliant in a stick form. When the paper is covered completely, it is known as a pastel painting. When the paper is exposed through the pastel, it is known as a pastel sketch.
Technical drawing pens produce a sharp line that never varies in width. They come in a range of colors, and widths which create different effects.
Perspective creates the feeling of depth through the use of lines that make your image appear to be three dimentional. The closer the image is, the more detailed it will appear, and the larger it will be.
Pigment is the material used to create the effect of color on any surface.
Pinch Pots :
Beginning with a ball of clay, the artist can form a pot by pinching the clay to form the center opening.
When mixed with water, this powder will harden into a chalk-like solid used to create sculptures, and other forms of artwork.
Plaster of Paris : Also known as Plaster, it can be mixed with water, hardening to a smooth solid which does not shrink or lose volume, because it hardens before all the water can evaporate. A common building material as well as a versatile medium in sculpture.
Portrait : A work of art that represents a specific person, a group of people or an animal.
Pottery : Objects, and especially vessels, which are made from fired clay.
Porcelain is a combination of kaolin, silica and feldspar. You can work with porcelain as you would clay, but when you fire it correctly, the result will be similar to that of glass.
Primary colors :
Red, yellow, blue.
Primary Colour : The colours yellow, red and blue from which it is possible to mix all the other colours of the spectrum.
[ R ]
This method of firing pottery results in irregular surfaces and colors. The pottery is removed when it is red hot. It is then placed in a bed of combustible materials and covered.
Firing clay with an inadequate amount of oxygen.
Repetition is created when objects, shapes, space, light, direction, lines etc. are repeated in artwork.
Replica : A copy.
Reproduction : The act of copying ; especially when it is significantly faithful in its resemblance to the form and elements of the original.
Retouch : To make correction on artwork.
Retrospective : An exhibit that shows a large number of works done over a period of time by a living artist.
When the regular repetition of particular forms or elements occurs in a work of art, that work is said to have rhythm. It suggests motion.
[ S ]
Sculptor : One who produces sculptures.
Sculpture : A three-dimensional work of art
Secondary colors :
Orange, Violet, Green. Each color is midway between the Primaries from which it can be mixed.
Seascape : A picture of a scene at sea or a scene prominently including a portion of the sea.
Self Portrait : A portrait an artist makes using himself or herself as its subject.
Using a mixture of black mixed with a color to make it darker. The opposite of shade is tint.
Shapes can be in the form of squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, and ovals.
Silver print :
This generic term covers all prints made on paper that is coated with silver salts. Black and white photographs are usually silver prints.
Slab built :
Clay slabs are cut into shape, and joined together with scoring and wet clay called slip.
A liquid form of clay. Slip is used to fill in pores, and even out the color. Slip is used to join clay.
Sketch : A quick drawing that loosely captures the appearance or action of a place or situation.
The colors that are the result of a beam of white light that is broken by a form of prism into its hues.
The process in which an area is cut out of paper, or material such as cardboard to enable paint or ink to be applied to a piece of paper, or canvas through the cutout.
Still Life : A picture of inanimate objects.
Sturdier then earthenware, stoneware is waterproof even without being glazed.
Studio : A place where an artist or craftsman works.
Style : An artist’s characteristic manner of expression.
Subject : That which is represented in a work of art.
A symbol is a picture or image that tells a story of what it is without using words.
Symmetry is when one side of something balances out the other side.
[ T ]
Terra cotta :
Commonly used for ceramic sculpture, it is a brownish-orange earthenware clay.
Technique : Any method of working with art materials to create an art object.
Tempera : A paint involving an emulsion of oil and water. It was in use before the invention of oil paints.
Tempera is a word used to describe any type of binder such as oil, water or egg that makes a pigment workable as a paint form.
Tertiary colors :
Colors that represent a mixture of secondary colors.
Texture creates the feeling of an object.
Tint is the opposite of shade. Tinting is combining white with a color to make it lighter.
Three-Dimensional : Having or appearing to have, height, width, and depth.
Turpentine (or Grumtine) :
Used for cleaning equipment and to thin mediums.
Two-Dimensional : Having height and width, but no depth.
[ U ]
Underpainting : Preliminary painting used as a base for textures or for subsequent painting or glazing.
A feeling of completeness is created by the use of elements in the artwork.
[ V ]
Shadows, darkness, contrasts and light are all values in artwork.
Vehicle : The liquid, usually water or oil, that is mixed with pigments to make paints, dyes, and inks.
A photograph printed within a few years of the negative being made.
[ W ]
A highly fluid application of color.
Watercolours : Watercolour is any paint that uses water as a medium. Paintings done with this medium are known as watercolours
A translucent, water-based paint that comes in cake or tube form.
Wax Crayon :
These crayons are ideal to use to loosen up your drawing style. Crayons are cost effective, and it is difficult to create really detailed drawings.
Wheel Thrown :
Comes from an English term meaning 'spin'. The clay is placed on the potters wheel and the piece is formed while the clay spins on the wheel.