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Glossary
Of Terms
A
Archival Inks
Inks manufactured to resist fading.
Archival Paper
Paper manufactured to a specific neutral ph level. Archival paper is acid free and lignin free and is made to last long term without changes in color.
Aspect Ratio
This is the ratio (proportion) of a shape’s width to its height.
B
Binder
The substance in a paint which holds together (binds) the pigment and makes the paint stick to whatever it's painted on.
Brushwork
The characteristic way each artist brushes paint onto a support.
C
Canvas
Commonly used as a support for oil and acrylic painting. Canvas is a heavy woven fabric made of flax or cotton. Canvas is stretched tightly by stapling to a wooden stretcher frame. Canvas paintings or prints are not covered with glass or acrylic when framed.
Collage
A technique of picture making in which the artist uses materials other than traditional paint, such as cut paper, wood, sand, and so on.
Composition
The arrangement of elements by an artist in a painting or drawing.
D
Digital Print
A fine art print made using the most advanced computer technology.
Diptych
A two part piece of artwork meant to be hung together in a specific orientation so the composition flows from one to the other.
Duotone
An artwork consisting only of two tones of color, one of which could be black.
E
Encaustic
Literally, to burn in. A painting technique in which the binder is melted wax.
F
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 support.
G
Gesso
A ground, white material for preparing rigid supports for painting. Made of a mixture of chalk, white pigment, and glue. The same name applied to acrylic bound chalk and pigment used on canvas as well as panel.
Giclee
A printmaking process with the capability to produce millions of colors, allowing for a wide range of tonal values.
Glaze
A very thin, transparent colored paint applied over a previously painted surface to alter the appearance and color of the surface.
Gouache
Opaque watercolors used for illustrations.
H
Hue
The perceived color of an object identified by a common name such as red, orange, blue, etc.
I
Impasto
A style of painting characterized by thick medium.
Intensity
The purity and brightness of a color. Also called saturation.
L
Lignin
A compenent of the cell walls of plants that occurs naturally, along with cellulose. Lignin is largely responsible for the strength and rigidity of plants, but its presence in paper is believed to contribute to chemical degradation. To a large extent, Lignin can be removed during manufacturing.
Lightfast
Resistant to fading or other changes due to light.
Limited Edition
A limited edition print is one in which a limit is placed on the number of prints produced in a particular edition, in order to create a scarcity of the print. Limited editions are signed and numbered by the artist. Once the prints in the edition have been sold out, the digital file is then removed by the Giclee printmaker in order to maintain the integrity of the limited edition. The image will not be published again in the same form.
M
Margin or Border
Area of white paper or canvas beyond the image.
Medium
The liquid in which pigments are suspended. Also a material chosen by the artist for working. Plural is media.
Mixed Media
In drawing and painting this refers to the use of different media in the same picture.
Mural
Also referred to as wall painting. This word describes any painting made directly on the wall.
O
Open Edition
Prints made in an unspecified and unlimited number of impressions.
P
Palette
The surface on which a painter will mix his colors. Also the range of colors used by an artist.
Pigments
Particles of color that can be mixed with adhesive binders to form paint.
Plein Air
French for "open air". Term describing paintings created outside, directly from the subject.
S
Shade
Term for a color darkened with black
Sketch
A preliminary drawing of a composition.
Stretcher
A wooden frame used as a support around which the canvas is to be wrapped and stapled.
Study
A detailed drawing or painting made of one or more parts of a final composition.
Substrate
Refers to the paper or canvas on which the artwork was printed, drawn or painted.
T
Triptych
A three part artwork meant to be hung together in a specific orientation in order for the composition to flow from one part into the other.
Tromple L'Oeil
French for "deceive the eye". A painting with extreme naturalistic details, aiming to persuade the viewer that they are looking at an actual object, not a representation.
V
Value
The relative lightness or darkness of a hue.
W
Watercolor
A technique of painting using a binder made from a water-soluble gum. Watercolors can be transparent or opaque.