Glossary

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Painting Terms and Definitions

  • Alkyd - synthetic resin used in paints and mediums. As a medium Liquin from Winsor and Newton works as a binder that encapsulates the pigment and speeds the drying time. In Paints W&N Griffith paints are good example of alkyd paints.

  • ALLA Prima - technique in which the final surface of a painting is completed in one sitting, without under painting. Italian for "at the first".

  • Anhydrous - free from water.

  • Antiquing - tinting with a thin paint or stain to achieve a soft or old look. Apply a light coat if desired or apply a heavy coat and wipe to desired effect.

  • Archival - refers to materials that meet certain criteria for permanence such as lignin-free, PH neutral, alkaline-buffered. stable in light, etc.

  • Antiquing - tinting with a thin paint or stain to achieve a soft or old look. Apply a light coat if desired or apply a heavy coat and wipe to desired effect.

  • ASTM - the American Society for Testing and Materials. An independent standard for certain paint qualities, adopted by most manufacturers.

  • Basecoat - background or first layer of paint.

  • Binder - the nonvolatile adhesive liquid portion of a paint that attaches pigment particles and the paint film as a whole to the support.

  • Bistre - a brown, transparent pigment.

  • Bleeding - in artwork, the effect of a dark color seeping through a lighter color to the surface.

  • Blending - smoothing the edge of two colors together so that they have a smooth gradation where they meet.

  • Bloom - a dull, progressively opaque, white effect caused on varnished surfaces by damp conditions.

  • Body Color - Opaque paint, such as gouache, which has the covering power to obliterate underying color.

  • Brushwork - the characteristic way each artist brushes paint onto a support.

  • Canvas - closely woven cloth used as a support for paintings.

  • Cartoon - other than what we watch on TV it is a planning device in mural painting, often a full-scale line drawing of the design, without color and tone.

  • Casein - a natural protein obtained from cow's milk. Produces a flat, water-resistant film.

  • Chiaroscuro - going from dark to light.

  • Crosshatching - more than one set of close parallel lines that crisscross each other at angles, to modeland indicate tone.

  • Chroma - the relative intensity or purity of a hue when compared to grayness or lack of hue.

  • Cockling - wrinkling or puckering in paper supports, caused by applying washes onto a flimsy or improperly stretched surface.

  • Collage - a technique of picture making in which the artist uses materials other than the traditional paint, such as cut paper, wood, sand, and so on.

  • Composition - the arrangement of elements by an artist in a painting or drawing.

  • Co-polymers - a polymer in which the molecule is of more often than one type of structural unit.

  • Copal - a hard resin used in making varnishes and painting medium.

  • Damar - a resin from conifer trees, used in making oil mediums and varnishes.

  • Dead color - a term of colors used un underpainting.

  • Deckle edge - the ragged edge found on handmade papers.

  • Decoupage - the act of cutting out paper designs and applying them to a surface to make an all over collage.

  • Designer colors - best quality Gouache paints, often used in commercial art.

  • Diluents - liquids, such as turpentine, used to dilute oil paint, the diluent for waterbased media is water.

  • Dispersion - apllied to paint, a smooth, homogeneous mixture of ingredients; the process of dispersal, in which pigment particles are evenly distributed troughout the vehicle.

  • Distemper - A blend of glue, chalk and water-based paint, used mostly for murals and poster.

  • Double-loading - having 2 seperate colors on your brush at one time, usually a light one corner and a dark on the other corner. This is done by dipping the corner of your brush into one color and then the other corner into another color. Stroke the brush back and forth on your palette to blend the two colors together.

  • Dry brush - skimming thick paint on a dry canvas.

  • Drying oil - an oil that, when spread into a thin layer and exposed to air, absorbs oxygen and converts into a tough film.

  • Emulsion - a liquid in which small droplets of one liquid are immiscible in, but thoroughy and evenly dispersed throughout, a second liquid. eg. Acrylic Emulsion.

  • Encaustic - literally, to burn in. A paiting technique in which the binder is melted wax.

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