Painting And Drawing   Mural   Edition   Bas Relief   Bauhaus
Acrylic   Naive Art   Edition Number   Bronze   Beaux Arts
Acrylic Paint   Oil Paint   Engraving   Carving   Contemporary Art
Charcoal   Pastel   Hors Commerce   Casting   Cubism
Chiaroscuro   Pentimento   Intaglio   Ceramic   Expressionism
Collage   Perspective   Iris Print   Contrapposto   Impressionism
Conté   Plein Air   Litograph   Lost Wax   Genre
Egg Tempera   Tempera   Monoprint   Mobile/Stabile   Nonobjective Art
Fresco   Trompe l'Oeil   Monotype   Styles of Art   Pop Art
Frottage   Watercolor   Photogravure   Abstract Art    
Gesso   Printmaking And Lithography   Plate Signed   Abstract Expressionism    
Glazing   Artist's Proof   Pochoir   American Genre Painting    
Gold Leaf   Block Print   Remarque   Art Deco    
Gouache   Bon A Tirer   Serigraph   Art Nouveau    
Impasto   Chop   Woodcut   Ashcan School    
Monochromatic   Collograph   Sculpture And Ceramics   Barbizon School    


Acrylic A clear plastic used as a vehicle in paints and as a casting material in sculpture. Noted for its quick drying and luminosity.

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Acrylic Paint A pigment in a plastic binder medium that is water based and adheres to most surfaces. Acrylic paint is used to mimic the look of oil paint.

Charcoal A drawing pencil or crayon made from a black, porous carbonaceous material. Also, charred twigs of willow or vine used by artists because of the various degrees of value achieved when the charcoal is smudged.

Chiaroscuro The dramatic use of light and shadow to create a mood or a focal point in a painting.

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Collage A grouping of different textured materials or objects on a generally flat surface.

Conté A proprietary name for synthetic black, red or brown chalk. Nicolas Conté invented the modern lead pencil.

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Egg tempera A water-base paint made with egg yolk binder.

Fresco (Ital. fresh) Wall-painting in a medium like watercolor on plaster. True fresco (buon fresco) is one of the most permanent forms of wall decoration because the pigment is applied while the plaster is still damp.

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Frottage Textural rubbing on paper done with crayon, oil or pencil.

Gesso An underpainting medium consisting of glue, plaster of paris, or chalk and water. Gesso is used to size the canvas and prepare the surface for painting.

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Glazing The process of applying a transparent layer of oil paint over a solid one so that the color of the first is profoundly modified.

Gold leaf (Also Silver leaf) Gold (or silver) beaten into extremely thin sheets; used for gilding.

Gouache A watercolor medium which is mixed with finely ground white pigment to provide an opaque paint.

Impasto The thick textured build up of a picture's surface which is created through the repeated applications of paint.

Monochromatic A color scheme that involves different values of a single color.

Mural A continuous painting which is designed to fill a wall or other architectural area.

Naïve art An art form going back centuries through Chagall and Rousseau to peasant art and primitive art. A childlike, primitive depiction of life.

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Oil Paint A powdered pigment which is held together with oil, usually linseed oil. Oil color is more easily mixed than acrylic color.

Pastel A combination of pure pigment and binder forming permanent-colored sticks; noted for colors which go from soft to brilliant. When the ground is completely covered with pigment, the work is considered a pastel painting; leaving much of the ground exposed produces a pastel sketch.

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Pentimento An underlying image in a painting, as an earlier painting, a part of a painting, or an original draft, that shows through, usually when the top layer of paint has become transparent with age.

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Perspective A formal method of creating a three dimensional effect on a two dimensional surface.

Plein air (Fr. open air) Referring to landscapes painted out of doors with the intention of catching the impression of the open air.

Tempera Pigment which is mixed with water or egg yolk and usually applied to board or panel.

Trompe l'oeil A French term translated as "fool the eye," which denotes a painting so real that the viewer feels he can touch the objects.

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Watercolor A pigment mixed with a binder and applied with water to give a transparent effect.

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Artist's proof One of a small group of prints set aside from the edition for the artist's use; a number of printer's proofs are sometimes also done for the printer's use.

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Block Print A relief-printing technique in which incisions made in a wood or linoleum block print white, and what is left in relief prints black.

Bon a Tirer This is a French term which translates as "Good Pull". It denotes that the print that has just been pulled can be used as a guide to match up the remainder of the prints that are pulled in the edition.

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Chop The impression made by the artist's or the printer's seal on the paper.

Collograph A print made from an image built up with glue and sometimes other materials. The inked image is transfered from plate to paper and is simultaneously embossed.

Edition A set of identical prints, sometimes numbered and signed, pulled by, or under the supervision of the artist.

-Open edition An unlimited number of impressions.

-Limited edition Has a known number of impressions, usually fewer then 200, that are numbered and signed.

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Edition Number A fraction found on the bottom left hand corner of a print. The top number is the sequence in the edition; the bottom number is the total number of prints in the edition. The number appears as a fraction usually in the lower left of the print. For instance the edition number25/50 means that it is print number 25 out of a total edition of 50.

Engraving A type of intaglio printing in which the plate is cut with a tool called a "graver" or "burin," which cuts a V-shaped trough. Engraved lines are cut so they are sharp and clean, and can be distinguished from etched lines, which are slightly irregular since they are bitten unevenlyby the acid.

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Hors Commerce This French term literally translates as "before business." Originally an Hors Commerce print was used as the color key and printing guide which the printer would use to insure consistency of the print run. Hors Commerce pieces are designated by the letters H.C. written on the print itself. These pieces are usually printer's proofs that are not for sale and are often used for promotional purposes. H.C. designations can also be used to extend the run of the edition.

Intaglio (Italian for "cut in") a method of printing in which the image is carved into a flat surface, usually copper, so that the areas to be inked are recessed beneath the surface of the printing plate. Damp paper is placed on the plate and run through a press under great pressure forcing the paper into the engraved areas and thus transferring the image. The main intaglio processes:

-Line engraving The image is produced by cutting or gouging a metal plate directly with a sharp tool.

-Drypoint Drawing on the metal plate with a hard steel "pencil" that produces a burr by displacing, rather than removing metal, causing the printed line to be somewhat fuzzy thus adding a richness to the image. Because this wears during printing, editions are usually limited to 50 or fewer prints.

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-Etching A metal plate is first covered with an acid-resistant ground, then worked with an etching needle. The metal exposed by the needle is "eaten" in an acid bath, creating the recessed image.

-Mezzotint A tonal, rather linear, engraving process made by first roughening the surface of the plate with a mesh of small burred dots and then producing the picture by flattening and burnishing selected areas which print as highlights. It is rarely practiced now since photographic methods have superseded it.

-Aquatint Another tonal process where a porous ground allows acid to penetrate to form a network of small dots. Any pure whites are stopped out entirely before etching begins, then the palest tints are bitten and stopped out, and so on as in etching. This process is repeated 20 to 30 times until the darkest tones (deepest recesses in the plate) are reached.

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Iris print A new process using advanced technology to create a lustrous, continuous-tone digital print that meets or exceeds the quality of traditional lithography and screen printing. Organic, water-based four-color inks are applied to the surfaces of archival papers from tiny jets one tenth the diameter of a human hair. Also called a giclée print.

Lithograph The process of printing from a small stone or metal plate on which the image to be printed is ink-receptive and the blank area is ink repellent. The artist, or other print maker under the artist's supervision, then covers the plate with a sheet of paper and runs both through a press under light pressure. The resultant "original print" is of considerably greater intrinsic worth than the commercially reproduced poster which is mechanically printed on an offset press (see "limited edition" above).

-Chromolithography A process using several stones or plates--one for each color, printed in register. The result is color prints, to be distinguished from colored prints that have the color hand-applied after printing.
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Monoprint One of a series in which each print has some differences of color, design, texture, etc. applied to an underlying common image.

Monotype A one-of-a-kind print made by painting on a smooth metal, glass or stone plate and then printing on paper. The pressure of printing creates a texture not possible when painting directly on paper.

Photogravure A photomechanical process invented in 1879 for fine printing. An image is transfered to a copper plate which is chemically etched. For each print the plate is hand-inked.

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Plate Signed Prints in which the artist's signature is put onto the plate itself, and then transferred to the print through the same process as the rest of the design.

Pochoir A stencil and stencil-brush process used to make multicolor prints, for tinting black and white prints, and for coloring reproductions and book illustrations, especially fine and limited editions. Pochoir, which is the French word for stencil, is sometimes called hand coloring or hand illustration.

Remarque A sketch made by the artist on the margin of an etched plate, often unrelated to the main composition.

Serigraph/silk screen print A form of print making utilizing stencils attached to porous screens that support delicate areas of the cut design. Most often issued in signed and numbered editions.

Woodcut An original print made from a wood block which is inked on the surface, where an imagehas been cut.

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Bas-relief A low relief sculpture that projects only slightly from its 2 dimensional background.

Bronze An alloy of copper and tin used for sculpture.

Carving A subtractive method of sculpture which consists of removing wood or stone from a single block.

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Casting Reproducing in plaster, bronze, or plastic, an original piece ofsculpture made of clay, wax, or similar material.

Ceramic Any object made of clay and fired.

Contrapposto A twist or "S" curve of the human figure caused by placing the weight on one foot and turning the shoulder.

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Lost Wax A method of creating a wax mold of a sculpture and then heating the mold to melt out the wax and replace it with a molten metal or plastic.

Mobile/Stabile Terms coined to describe work created by Alexander Calder. The mobile is a hanging, movable sculpture and the stabile rests on the ground but also may have moving parts.

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Abstract Art Not realistic, though the intention is often based on an actual subject, place, or feeling. Pure abstracion can be interpreted as any art in which the depiction of real objects has been entirely discarded and whose aesthetic content is expressed in a formal pattern or structure of shapes, lines and colors. When the representation of real objects is completely absent, such art may be called non-objective.

Abstract Expressionism A 1940's New York painting movement based on Abstract Art. This type of painting is often referred to as action painting.

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American Genre Painting Usually paintings of the rural Midwest and west during the 1920s and 30s.

Art Deco During the 1920s and 30s, artists used decorative motifs derived from French, African, Aztec, Chinese, and Egyptian cultures.

Art Nouveau A style which evolved during the 1890s which used asymmetrical decorative elements derived from objects found in nature.

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Ashcan School A group of American painters and illustrators of the early 20th century, often known as The Eight. They were Robert Henri, John Sloan, George Luks, William Glackens, Everett Shinn, Maurice Prendergast, Arthur Davies, and Ernest Lawson. Their work depicted such subjects as the streets and inhabitants of big cities with a vigorous sense of realism.

Barbizon School French landscape artists who worked near Barbizon, France between 1835 and 1870.

Bauhaus A design school founded by Walter Gropius in 1919 in Germany. The Bauhaus attempted to achieve a reconciliation between the aesthetics of design and the more commercial demands of industrial mass production. Artists include Klee, Kandinsky, and Feininger.

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Beaux-arts A school of fine arts located in Paris which stressed the necessity of academic painting.

Contemporary Art Generally defined as art which was produced during the second half of the twentieth century.

Cubism A revolutionary art movement between 1907 and 1914 in which natural forms were changed by geometrical reduction. Leading figures were Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso.

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Expressionism A concept of painting in which traditional adherence to realism and proportion is overridden by the intensity of an artist's emotional response to the subject.

Impressionism A painting technique in which the artist concentrates on the changing effects of light and color. Often this style can be characterized by its use of discontinuous brush strokes and heavy impasto.

Genre A form of realistic painting of people that depicts ordinary events. These paintings are not religious, historical, abstract or mythological.

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Non-Objective Art Not representing any object, figure, or element in nature, in any way; nonrepresentational.

Pop Art A style derived from commercial art forms and characterized by larger than life replicas of items from mass culture. This style evolved in the late 1950s and was characterized in the 1960s by such artists as JasperJohns, Andy Warhol, Claus Oldenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Larry Rivers, Robert Rauschenberg, George Segal, and Robert Indiana.

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