To abstract something (whether it be a figure, animal or object) is done by either the distortion or the simplification of the item’s form. The form is changed or modified in a way that takes away details and other pieces of information describing the form.
An acid number is a lab measurement taken in order to find the degree of free fatty acid in a vegetable drying oil. This amount is valuable to know because it assists in the selection of an oil for whatever purpose it is being used for. The milligrams of potassium hydroxide needed to neutralize the free fatty acids contained in a gram of oil is represented by the acid number.
An acid number between 5-10 indicates that an oil is best employed for grinding paints. And an acid number between 1-3 indicate that an oil is best employed in varnishes and other kinds of clear coatings. Often low-numbered oils are used for paint oil colors due to the nonyellowing characteristics and better color stability. These factors are more important than ease of grinding considerations.
An acrylic canvas is a type of canvas made with polymer primer employed for use with polymer colors. These colors are superior to oil paints in flexibility. Moreover, due to breaking the fat-over-lean rule, painting with oil paint on acrylic canvas may not be recommended by some. Due to atmospheric changes, polymer primer is ideal for painting on acrylic canvas, because it does not expand/contract to the same degree as oil paint and adheres better to an acrylic surface.
Acrylic colors are created by spreading out pigments in a transport made from a polymethyl methacrylate solution mixed in mineral spirits. They are different from polymer colors (containing acrylic and other resins mixed in water) and may be referred to as plastic paints or straight acrylic colors to differentiate between them. Acrylic colors can be easily taken off with turpentine and mineral spirits; moreover, they dry fast and do not yellow over time. Because of these characteristics, acrylic colors are good for inpainting in order to repair damaged or destroyed parts in conservation work.
A type of paint that is water-based and often used to paint interior woodwork. When it dries it gives off a soft sheen because of its silky finish.
A water-based paint used to seal fiberboard and wood. The paint prepares the surface for paint application. If for example, one is painting with oil paint, a primer is needed to prevent the oil in the paint from seeping into the surface of a canvas or board.
Acrylic resin is created synthetically from the polymerization of acrylic acid esters. There are several types of acrylic resin, the most prominent being polymethyl methacrylate. Other kinds such as methyl methacrylate are employed in the processing of picture varnish, lacquers and acrylic colors and several other products. Another kind of resin, called polymethyl methacrylate, in solid form is a durable, glasslike plastic that does not yellow over time and is often employed in constructions and present-day sculptures.
Acrylic resin paint is a type of synthetic art medium thinned with turpentine and linseed oil. It is oil-compatible.
A varnish employed as the last surface coating on an dried oil painting. The varnish serves as a preservation and protection mechanism and gives the painting a glossy look. Two important varnishes for painters include damar varnish and clear acrylic (methacrylate) varnish. Damar varnish gives the painting a bright gloss finish. And clear acrylic varnish gives paintings a satiny or mat gloss. Over time paintings need to be cleaned because of dirt/dust/grime from the environment. Ideally a picture varnish is easily soluble in a mild solvent (such as mineral spirits) so dirty varnish can be taken off using careful conservation methods. Damar varnished has replaced mastic varnish (used in the 19th century) because of its resistance to bloom, yellowing over time and features a duller gloss. Damar varnish may be used in thin coats.
Ultraviolet light (actinic light) is light that falls past the visible spectrum at the violet section and features wavelengths shorter than the wavelengths of visible light. Light that encompasses ultraviolet radiation is said to be actinic, because it results in photochemical processes such as paint embrittlement, pigment and dye fading, and the creation of images on paper/photo film. Accelerated tests in labs use strong ultraviolet light for their procedures. Unfortunately, the ultravolet light part of direct sunglight has harmful influences on organic paint ingredients. When manufactuers sell paints, they rate the stability of the materials based upon the presumption that the painting will be displayed in a place where the daylight hitting it is diffused.
A style of painting popularized by Jackson Pollack. In action painting, paint may be smeared, dribbled or splashed on a canvas in such a way that the physical act of making the artwork is stressed. This style of painting counterposes the carefully thought-out brushstroke work of other styles of painting. Action painting is sometimes referred to as "gestural abstraction."
In art, the appearance of warm colors coming forward in the picture plan and the cooler colors staying back is called advancing and retreating color. This idea of warm and cool colors relates to aerial perspective and is used in painting landscapes; the artist may try to give the illusion of depth in the picture plan by employing atmospheric perspective and geometric methods. However, the concept's use is used judiciously by artists because the theory does not always work effectively in every painting. For example, an artist could easily create a warm, rich sunset in the distance while having cool water in the forefront and succeed in having great depth in a painting.
Painting techniques that strive to emulate the effect of usage and time on surfaces.
Alcohol colors are bright liquid colors produced from alcohol-soluble aniline dyes in a substance that is water-miscible. The colors are ideal for use with an airbrush and for artwork intended to be copied. Alcohol colors can be applied to a variety of surfaces that are resistant to water paints.
Alizarin brown is a brown pigment color that contains a reddish, clear hue. It is created as a version of alizarin crimson, containing a more dull appearance. It can result from a failed attempt at making alizarin crimson.
Alizarin carmine was a term used in the past for alizarin crimson. It is now no longer in use.
Alizarin crimson is a brilliant, clear, red lake pigment that features a bluish undertone with a maroon mass value. The pigment is produced from dihydroxy anthraquinone, a coal-tar substance. Alizarin crimson is suitable for permanent painting uses as long as the standard conditions for preserving a piece of artwork are followed. This is despite the face that it does not completely fit in the category of absolute permanence of furnace-made mineral pigments. The pigment shows as a ruby-red when used transparently; and when combined with white pigment, beautiful and brilliant pinks can be created. Moreover, the pigment can be combined safely with other pigments that are listed as safe for its mixture use. The paint will retain its pigmentation when combined with iron-bearing colors so artists do not need to be concerned the pigment will become brown. C. Liebermann and C. Graebe, both German chemists, are credited with discovering it; the pigment is ranked as the first of natural dyestuffs to be synthesized. In time, their version of alizarin was used more in textile dyeing and the producing of the alizarin pigment than the the natural version of it. Also, gradually alizarin crimson was used instead of madder lake, having a stronger tinting capability, and because it does not contain purpurin (an impermanent substance). Artists may combine sepia with alizarin crimson to create Roman sepia. The term alizarin crimson was once known as alizarin carmine.
Alizarin violet is a clear violet pigment created from purpurin, a synthetic. It shares characteristics of alizarin crimson in regards to its pigment properties. However, alizarin violet is not suitable for artist's work that is permanent, because it darkens when exposed to light over an extended period of time.
Alizarin yellow is a clear, yellow pigment that is brownish in color and dull. It features the exact same pigment properties as alizarin crimson but is not suitable for permanent work.
Alkanet is a red natural dyestuff that is taken out of two plants - one from Asia (Lawsonia alba) and one from Europe (Alkanna tinctoria). Unfortunately, it has stopped being used for creating lake pigments or dyeing textiles because alkanet loses its color quickly.
A synthetic resin put in mediums and paint. It functions as a binder that contains the pigment and quickens the drying time.
A number of synthetic resins that contain film-forming characteristics employed for use in varnishes, industrial house paints and enamels. Some artist materials use alkyds. Currently oil-modified alkyd is in use in artist materials. The kinds created with tobacco-seed, soya bean and safflower oils have stronger pigment retention than those created with linseed oil.
All-over space refers to a kind of space that exists in modern painting; it involves the distribution of forms filling a 2D surface versus creation of a center of interest used in traditional compositions. In this type of space, the forms are displayed as filling in the spatial depth, as well as displaying similar degrees of significance within the composition. This is in opposition to traditional composition in which there is a center of interest that is considered the most important part of the composition. The forerunner of all-over space was Jackson Pollack. He used all-over space in his drip paintings during the 1940’s and 1950’s.
All-purpose ground (multipurpose ground) is a prepared panel/canvas created for use with several types of media, including watercolor, polymer and oil. Every painting medium contains its own particular preference for its best use; therefore multipurpose panels and canvases cannot compare to the superiority of a panel/canvas prepared for a particular purpose. However, traditional gesso panel can be modified for use with every artist's type of paint.
An Italian term meaning “at the first.” It is a painting method that involves creating a painting in one sitting without the use of any under painting.
Cracks that form on the surface of layers of paint; they take on the appearance of alligator hide.
A style of painting in which the entire surface of the piece is worked on in a more or less uniform way, and the normal way of treating composition (with the picture having a center, top or bottom) is not considered. The term was originally used in response to Jackson Pollock's drip paintings. Later the term was used to refer to other pieces that refrain from the usual compositional approaches.
An altarpiece may refer to a number of carved or painted panels, a structure featuring a carving or painting, a single painting, or an ornate screen that is positioned behind, on top of, or on an altar. A traditional Renaissance altarpiece features a number of religious paintings on panels that are hinged together (such as a triptych), and contain frames that may be decorated with jewels, gilded or carved. The Spanish word "retablo," the French word "retable," the English word "reredos," and the Italian word "ancona" are all words used as synonyms for the word "altarpiece."
Alumina hydrate is aluminum hydroxide; it is made into a light, white powder and is employed as a inactive pigment. It is favored as a base for lake pigments, losing its color almost totally when mixed with oil. Alumina hydrate gives a wonderful brush-quality to oil paints and helps to keep pigment distribution consistent .
Aluminum paint is a type of lacquer or industrial paint that contains aluminum powder employed for use as a decorative effect; it gives off a silvery, mated appearance. Though resistant to tarnishing, aluminum paint does not exude the same luster that silver leaf lends to a surface. It is useful in industrial and commerical products/projects, but is not appropriate for gilding because of its texture and leaden characteristics.
Aluminum stearate is employed by makers of oil paints to be used as a stabilizer to stop oil and pigment division in paint tubes. It is an inactive pigment.
An amasette is a French word for a horn spatula; it was used in the past to scrape together the color from grinding paint. A slice or stainless steel spatula would be a similar tool used today.
American vermilion is a lake pigment created on a base of chrome red, red lead or orange mineral that contains a bright, man-made dyestuff. The paint (which may be referred to as vermilionette or imitation vermilion) is not appropriate for artist's work that intends to be permanent.
Ammonia is an alkaline gas made up of hydrogen and nitrogen that is employed in different degrees of concentration as an emulsifier and disinfectant/cleaner. Ammonia is favored in recipes requiring an alkali for permament paintings; this is because ammonia is changeable and as a result, will not leave behind any by-products.
An anamorphosis is a drawing/painting that cannot be recognized unless seen from a certain distance, angle or with a lens/mirror that corrects itself. During the 1700s anamorphosis was in particular celebrated as an artistic stunt. The distortion was often made by squaring the original piece and then making identical each of the squares into the same area of the distorted grid. Another method was that the original piece could be created with distortion by using a distorting tool or by perforating lines of the piece, sending light through the original piece onto a curved surface area. After this, the points of light would be connected with drawn lines. An artist might chose to use both regular perspective an anamorphosis to create unusual effects - such as drawing a normal landscape and then using an uncommon angle to hide a face or figure in the composition.
Liners and stripers are brushes designed to create hard edges, lines that are straight and for other uses as desired by artists. The liners differ according to the use of the person requiring the brush. Angular liners feature hairs that line up in a diagonal line, and some of these brushes are handled on their corners and edges (versus using their flat side). Examples of different liners include brick liners, dagger liners, Dresden liners and sword liners.
Paints that are designed specifically for things that reside beneath the water - such as boat docks or hulls, in order to stop the growth of organisms from covering their surfaces.
Reddish/orangish paint pigments created with antimony trisulfide. They were originally discovered and patented by Murock from Scotland. In oil paint form they are bright, but in their dry state they are boring and dull to look at. They are now obsolete, being replaced by cadmium reds in the 1920s. Unfortunately, they had the nature of blackening when mixed with flake white and other lead pigments.
Antimony sulfide is a pigment created by crushing gray-black stibnite or through chemical processes. The powder is employed only as a cover-up paint.
An antoxidant is a substance that when combined with oil paint will deter or stop surface oxidation. A retardant is an antoxidant fluid.
Antwerp blue is a less intense variation of Prussian blue. It holds about 75% of non-active pigment and is not suitable as a permanent paint for artwork.
Apricot gum is a transparent gum that comes from apricot trees. Fruit gums, such as apricot gum, have been mentioned in ancient formulas for use in varnishes and paint additives. Gums can be put into water for awhile if they dry; this method causes the gums to expand and transform into a gelled material. Cherry gum is the most frequently mentioned gum used in formulas for artists in the past.
Aquarelle is a particular style of painting in which the artist uses transparent layers of watercolor to create their artwork. The term may also mean a piece of artwork created in a certain way.
Aqueous paint refers to all paint that may be diluted with water, as opposed to paint that requires volatile solvents to be dissolved. Examples of aqueous paints include tempera, polymer colors, gouache and watercolor.
Atmospheric refers to a certain quality of 2D work that involves the property of the atmosphere. Something that is “atmospheric” contains within a quality of airiness. This quality is frequently used in contemporary images. Atmospheric also refers to the use of fading and using paler colors and values in order to give a sense of distance within a composition.
The first paint application layer on a surface. It is applied prior to decorative paint finishes.
An attribute referring to organic shapes made from natural or biological forms. The artists Calder, Arp and Miro used biomorphic attributes in their artwork.
The forming of bubbly protrusions in varnish films or paints due to lack of adhesion and the raise of the film from the surface beneath.
The stylistic way in which a brush paints on a surface. It refers to the texture and stroke of a brush.
A modeling effect in fine art painting in which strong contrast between dark and light values is used, lending a three-dimensional appearance.
Color field painting is a technique of painting started in the 1950’s – 1970’s. It involves either big or small regions of abstracted color. Well-known color field painters include Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Jules Olitski and Mark Rothko.
A water-based colored translucent glaze spread over a surface to give a certain effect.
A painting technique that involves scrapping the teeth of a comb through a surface glaze in order to uncover the surface beneath it.
A type of traditional glaze that involves layering water-based and oil-based paints that dry at different time intervals. The term also refers to pushing a color onto the top layer of varnish; this technique creates thin cracks over the paint application's surface.
Paint that gives off a matte finish; it is oil-based and is utilized in many traditional ways.
A type of low-sheen finish that can be found in a variety of colors. This type of paint is applied over surfaces similarly to gloss paint.
A type of paint that is water-based; it is often applied over ceilings and interior walls. Acrylic resins and vinyl are frequently added to these paints which makes them hardier than their traditional finish counterparts.
A technique used in painting that distributes pigments in water. The pigments are then put on a damp plaster wall. The binder is made from the wall and the support. The two methods of fresco painting are buon fresco and fresco secco.
A type of painting technique in which the pigment is combined with a binding agent and then applied on dry plaster. A true fresco painting is better than using the method of fresco secco in terms of durability.
A colored thin layer of transparent paint put on another layer of paint. It is used to change the look and color of the previous surface.
A type of paint that is washable and durable. It can be found in a variety of colors.
A style of painting using only various shades of gray; this type of painting is used in particular to create relief sculpture.
A style of painting in which the painter aims to create three-dimensionality from two-dimensional objects.
A method of painting that includes heavy, rich color in its paint application.
A type of paint featuring a velvety matte finish once it dries. It gives off a translucent finish and is usually used to tint porous surfaces.
A type of paint that is water-based that features a flat looking finish that does not reflect light.
A water-based paint that dilutes color. It is often spread over a surface's top coat as a protective layer.
A type of water-based paint that is used for its decorative effect on surfaces. It can be purchased in several different forms, including in a pot, spray can or tube.
Oil-based paints including satin, eggshell and wipeable gloss finishes. Each type of oil-based paint is ideal for different purposes. Eggshell and satin are best for wood or walls. Gloss is best for woodwork pieces.
The ingredients inside a coating that keep the pigment particles floating and join them to the substrate; binders are made up of resins, such as alkyd, latex and oils. The properties of the binder affect several of the paint's capabilities - such as adhesion and color retention.
Paints (either oil-based or water-based) that function as sealers on unpainted surfaces. Primers stop the layers of paint from seeping into a surface.
A retardant is an antoxidant fluid. It is combined with paints to prevent them from drying. When an artist desires to delay the painting's drying process, he/she will often use a retardant so work on the piece can be done over a number of days. Oil of cloves is a favored retardant; only a few drops are necessary to combine with oil paints to use as a retardant. Pine oil and oil of lavender are other useful retardants.
A colored thin layer of an acrylic glaze or transparent paint over a surface.
A type of fine art painting technique that involves the softening of hard outlines through the use of gradual blending of tones into each other through thin glazes; its purpose is to create the illusion of space. Fumare (to smoke) is the Latin origin of the word. Leonardo da Vinci is credit with coining the term. Chiaroscuro is a painting technique that is opposite to it.
A type of water-based acrylic or vinyl paint that contains a soft sheen. It is a durable, hardwearing paint that comes in either a satin or matte finish.
A type of finish designed for a particular area requiring special treatment. Examples of such areas may include kitchen cupboards or radiators. A kitchen cupboard might require a concrete melamine paint, whereas a radiator may require a silicone paint. Each paint must cater to the particular area it is layered on.
The first layer of paint spread over the primer; it creates the correct color base for the following coat finishes.
Underpainting is the starting layer of paint a painter uses to cover a ground/base layer. The underpainting acts as a base layer for all the future layers of paint. Often artists will execute the underpainting in a monochromatic color scheme. This assists the artist in differentiating the tonal values for future paint layers. Grisaille and verdaccio are both examples of kinds of underpainting a person can do. The term originated from the idea that the underpainting is completed with the intent of painting it yet again (overpainting). An artist follows a method of working in layers with the paint to finish the piece. While it is true to many underpaintings are monochromatic, they do not have to be. Underpaintings can be done in multiple colors, and artists such as Jan van Eyck and Giotto both used multi-color underpainting in their work. Multi-color underpainting can be covered with future layers of paint color and be mixed optically by the human eye, thus preventing the artist from having to mix the color pigments physically and risk making the colors muddy.