Creative Process /
Monoprints and Monotypes /
Painting Terms & Definitions /
Painting Terms and Definitions
FAT - a term used to describe paints which have a high oil content.
Fat over lean - painting a think underpainting first, building up the layers thicker and thicker.
Faux painting - a method of painting in which you achieve a certain result or duplicate a particular finish. For example, fake wood grain, fake marble, fake granite,
Filler - insert pigment added to paint to increase its bulk, also called extender.
Film - a thin coating or layer of paint, ink, etc.
Fixative - a solution, usually of shellac and alcohol, sprayed onto drawings, to prevent their smudging or crumbling off the support.
Flat wash - thinned acrylic either with water or a medium to become more transparent, a smooth and even layer of color.
Fresco - a painting technique in which the pigments are dispersed in plain water and applied to a damp plaster wall. The wall becomes the binder, as well as the
Fugitive colors - pigment or dye colors that fade when exposed to light.
Gesso - a white ground material for preparing rigid supports for painting, made of a mixture of chalk, white pigment, and glue. Same name applied to acrylic bound
chalk and pigment used on flexible supports as well as rigid.
Glazing - thinned paint with acrylic mediums to create glazes which can be layers for a depth effect.
Gouache - opaque watercolors used for illustrations.
Gradiations - gradual transitions from light to shadow.
Grissaille - a monochromatic painting, usually in gray, which can be used under colored glazes.
Ground - coating material, usually white, applied to a support to make it ready for painting.
Gum - a plant substance that is soluble in water.
Gum arabic - a gum, extracted from Acacia trees, used in solution as a medium for watercolor paints.
Hatching - a technique of modeling, indicating tone and suggesting light and shade in drawing or tempera painting, using closely set parallel line.
Highlighting - adding light colors to enhance areas exposed to more light or sun. Creates additional depth and dimension.
Hue - the perceived color of an object, identified by a common name such as red, orange, blue.
Hygroscopic - absorbing or attracting moisture from the air.
Impasto - thick layer of paint applied with a brush or a palette knife.
Imprimatura - a thin, veil of paint, or paint-tinted size, applied to a ground lessen the ground's absorbency or to tint the ground to a middle value.
Intensity - the purity and brightness of a color. Also called saturation.