Glossary / Life Style

Painting Glossary

A.W.S.: Abbreviation of the American Watercolor Society, established in 1866.
Abrasion Resistance: Resistance to being worn away by rubbing or friction; related more to toughness than to hardness. A
Abrasive: Used for wearing away a surface by rubbing. Examples are powdered pumice, rottenstone, sandpaper, sa
Abstract Art: Painting that purports to be completely non-objective, with no reference to nature whatsoever. The 2
Academy Board: An economic board for oil-painting. It is made from several sheets of paper sized together. The face
Accent: A detail, brushstroke, or area of color placed in a painting for emphasis.
Acid Free: Acid free refers to papers without acid (ph) in the pulp when manufactured. High acidity papers degr
Acrylics: Pigments dispersed with acrylic resin (synthetic resins made by polymerization of acrylic acid ester
Adhesion: The strength of a paint or sealant to remain attached to a surface.
Aerosol: A product feature that uses compressed gas to spray the product from its container.
Airbrush: An implement that resembles a thick fountain-pen and which has a small container near the nozzle. By
Airless Spray: A spray that increases the fluid pressure of paint by means of a pump that causes atomization with a
Alia Prima: A method by which a painting is usually completed in one sitting painting in a direct manner.
Alkalai: A basic, or caustic, chemical substance. Found in fresh cement, concrete, plaster and certain househ
Alkyd: Synthetic resin modified with oil for good adhesion to a clean surface and good gloss, color retenti
Alkyds: These recently introduced colours act as an extension to oil-painting. They have a uniform speed of
Alla Prima: To paint a picture in one sitting, particularly applicable to oil-painting. The French use the term
Alligatoring: Condition of paint film where surface is cracked and develops an appearance similar to alligator ski
Altarpiece: A decorated screen, panel or series of panels, fixed or movable, placed on or behind the altar. Norm
Aluminum Paint: A paint that includes aluminum particles and gives a metallic finish when dried.
Analogous Colours: A grouping of related colours next to each other on the colour wheel. Example: Yellow, Yellow Green,
Anchoring: Mechanical bonding of a coating to a rough surface as contrasted with adhesion, which is chemical bo
Aniline: A derivative of coal tar used to produce brilliant, but not necessarily permanent, colors.
Anti-Corrosive Paint: Metal paint designed to inhibit corrosion. Applied directly to metal.
Antique Finish: A finish usually applied to furniture or woodwork to give the appearance of age.
Aquarelle: The French term for the process and product of painting in transparent watercolour.
Archival Paper: Archival watercolor paper is any pure 100% rag , cotton, or linen watercolor paper of neutral or sli
Armenian Bole: A rich, fine, red clay used as a ground on a gesso panel for gold-leaf. The strong colour serving to
Atmospheric Perspective: Suggesting perspective in a painting with changes in tone and colour between foreground and backgrou
Back Glass Painting: Painting pictures on the back of sheets of glass. With this manner the artist has to work his pictur
Back Primed: When a coat of paint is applied to the back of woodwork and exterior siding to prevent moisture from
Back Runs: When your fresh brush stroke hits a still damp wash it will force the original wash out in a irregul
Background: The area of a painting farthest from the viewer. In a landscape this would include the sky and horiz
Batik: Using wax resist designs on dyed fabrics. Colors are dyed lightest color to darkest color, with new
Beeswax: Has many uses in art, including: mixed with turpentine to make a wax polish for finishing oils, temp
Benzine: Often used as a lacquer dilutent. Highly volatile and a fire hazard in shipping and storing.
Binder: That which holds the paint together, such as linseed oil for oil painting, polymers for acrylics, gu
Bladder: From the mid i7th century artists' pigments when mixed with oil were stored in small bladders. To us
Bleaching: The process of restoring discolored or stained wood to its normal color or making it lighter.
Bleeding: Describes the action of one colour running into another. Most applicable to water-colour, where a se
Blending: A term concerned mostly with oils, acrylics or alkyds. It implies the softening of hard edges betwee
Blistering: The formation of bubbles or pimples on the painted surface caused by moisture in the wood by paintin
Blocking In: The simplifying and arranging of compositional elements using rough shapes, forms, or geometric equi
Bloom: A phenomenon that occurs with varnish on paintings, and occasionally on polished furniture. Causes c
Blotting: Using an absorbent material such as tissues or paper towels, or a squeezed out brush, to pick up and
Blotwork: A manner worked on by Alexander Cozens, which is elaborated on in A New Method for assisting the inv
Blow Dryer: For rapid painting production, these electronic hair drying devices are a necessity at times. Overhe
Blushing: A gloss film turning flat or a clear lacquer turning white, usually caused by moisture condensation
Body: The thickness or thinness of a liquid paint.
Body Color: The mixing of opaque white gouache with transparent watercolor; or gouache colors in general.
Boxing: Mixing paint by pouring from one container to another several times to ensure thorough mixing.
Breadth: The suppression of the smaller shapes, details, tones for the benefit of the whole.
Breathe: The ability of a paint film to permit the passage of moisture vapor without causing blistering, crac
Bridging: Ability of paint to span small gaps or cracks through its cohesion and elastic qualities.
Bright: A brush with short-haired bristles.
Bristle: The working part of a brush containing natural bristles (usually hog hair) or artificial bristles (n
Bristol Board: A stiff durable ply-produced cardboard suitable for pen and ink work or water-colour and gouache.
Broken Color: A color that is broken by another color.
Broken Colors: The unequal mixing of two complementary colors.
Brush Marks: Marks of brush that remain in the dried paint film.
Brush-Out: A technique sometimes used to influence a large sale that consists of brushing out a sample of paint
Brushability: The ability or ease with which paint can be brushed.
Bubbles: Air bubbles in a drying paint film caused by excessive brushing during application or by over vigoro
Build: Thickness or depth of a paint film.
Burning In: Repairing a finish by melting stick shellac into the damaged places by using a heated knife blade or
Burnisher: An instrument to polish either a metal surface or other substance that will take it. It is either sh
Burnishing: Shiny areas on a painted surface achieved by rubbing or washing the surface.
Cabinet Pictures: An old-fashioned name for small easel paintings.
Calcimine: A water-thinned paint composed essentially of calcium carbonate or clay glue.
Camel Hair: Trade name for tail hair from various types of Russian squirrels. Used for signwriter, lacquering br
Camera Lucida: An optical device which, by the use of a prism, makes it possible to copy an object. The rays of lig
Camera Obscura: Another optical copying device which is much larger than the lucida. It relies on the principle that
Canvas Board: A heavy cardboard with a cotton or linen canvas glued to one side, with the edges folded over to the
Caricature: Art that exaggerates the qualities, defects, or peculiarities of a person or idea, usually in a humo
Carnation: An obsolete term which described the rosy pink, flesh colour of a female portrait.
Carpenters Pencil: A graphite pencil that features a flat ovoid wooden grip surrounding a wide graphite core capable of
Cartoon: A preparatory sketch or design that is then transferred to the final work surface.
Casein: A milk protein used as a binder for casein colours. It is prepared by drying the curd from sour milk
Cassone: An Italian word for the marriage coffer. In the Renaissance period it was the fashion to have painte
Cast Shadow: The dark area that results when the source of light has been intercepted by an object.
Catalyst: An ingredient that speeds up a chemical reaction; sometimes used in two component paint systems.
Caulking: A semi or slow drying plastic material used to seal joints or fill crevices around windows, chimneys
Caulking Compound: A semidrying or slow drying plastic material used to seal joints or fill crevices around windows, ch
Ceramics: Small ceramic platters, round, oval, square and rectangular have been used by some painters, either
Chalking: The formation of a loose powder or the surface of paint after exposure to the elements.
Chalks: Sticks of prepared calcium carbonate left white and either used as a drawing material on a dark-tint
Charcoal: One of the oldest drawing materials, charred sticks were used with the early cave-paintings. The Rom
Checking: A kind of paint failure in which many small cracks appear in the surface of the paint.
Chiaroscuro: 1) The rendering of light and shade in painting; the subtle gradations and marked variations of ligh
Chroma: The purity or degree of saturation of a color; relative absence of white or gray in a color.
Classical: Established ideals of perfection.
Claude Glass: A small convex mirror that instead of being silvered was blackened at the back. The idea was that be
Clear Coating: A transparent protective and/or decorative film.
Cleavage: It implies that the adhesion of paint layers in a picture has failed.
Coalescing: The settling or drying of an emulsion paint as the water evaporates.
Coat: A layer of paint.
Coating: A paint, stain, varnish, lacquer, or other finish that both protects and provides decoration to the
Cohesion: Attraction of molecules within a coating (how it holds together).
Cold Pressed: Watercolour paper that is Cold Pressed (CP) or 'Not' Pressed (NP) has mildly rough texture. It takes
Collage: A method of picture-making which incorporates a wide variety of materials and often a certain degree
Color Retention: The ability of paint to resist fading.
Color Uniformity: Ability of a coating to maintain a uniform or consistent color across its entire surface, particular
Colorant: Concentrated color that can be added to paints to make a specific color.
Colorfast: Fade resistant.
Colour Temperature: Colours are warm, hot or cold in appearance; orange, red, blue. This is true within each category of
Colour Wheel: For details of the colour wheel and other theoretical aspects, see: Colour Theory in Painting.
Complimentary Colours: Red and green; blue and orange; yellow and purple... Colours that are opposite one another. When pla
Composition: The arrangement of elements of form and colour within an artwork.
Contact Cement: Completely non-staining cement. Ideal for applying wall paneling and for covering counters, cabinets
Conte Crayon: Introduced by Nicholas Jacques Conte, they are sticks of compressed compound of binder and pigments;
Copper Staining: Usually caused by corrosion of copper screens, gutters or downspouts washing down on painted surface
Coquille Board: An illustration board intended for the commercial artist. The working face has a shallow dotted, sti
Corrosion Inhibitor: Any material applied in order to prevent the rusting of metals.
Coverage: The area over which a given amount of paint will spread and hide the previous surface. (Usually expr
Cracking: The type of paint failure characterized by breaks in irregular lines wide enough to expose the under
Crawling: Varnish defect in which poor adhesion of varnish to surface in some spots causes it to gather up in
Crazing: Small, interlacing cracks on surface of finish.
Creosote: A type of liquid coating made from coal tar that is used as a wood preservative. It should not be us
Crocodiling: A pattern that appears on paint due to the inability of the paint to bond to the surface below.
Cross-Hatching: A technique for making depths of tone in pen and ink and pencil drawings, also in etching and engrav
Cubism: Said to have evolved through a chance remark of Cezanne that all nature consisted of the cone, the c
Curing: Final conversion or drying or a coating material.
Custom Color: Special colors made by adding colorant to paint or by intermixing colors, which permits the retailer
Cutting In: Painting a surface next to another surface that must not be painted. For example, painting the frame
Deckle: The tapered rough edges of watercolor and drawing papers, also referred to as 'barbs'.
Degreaser: Any material used for removing oils or grease from a substrate.
Design: The planned composition of a work of art.
Diluent: Any liquid that will dilute or thin a substance, as opposed to dissolving it.
Distressing: Treatment of furniture, usually in the process of being antiqued, in order to make it appear older t
Drawing: The act of marking lines on a surface, and the product of such action. Includes pencil, charcoal, pe
Drawing-Frame: A rectangular frame crossed with wires or threads to form squares, which the artist sets up between
Driers: Substances that are added to oil-paints to hasten the drying. The idea is, if possible, to make all
Dry Brush: Any textured application of paint where your brush is fairly dry (thin or thick paint) and you rely
Dry Dust Free: That stage of drying when particles of dust that settle upon the surface do not stick to the paint f
Dry Tack Free: That stage of drying when the paint no longer feels sticky or tacky when lightly touched.
Dry To Handle: That stage of drying when a paint film has hardened sufficiently so the object or surface painted ma
Dry To Recoat: That stage of drying when the next coat can be applied.
Dry To Sand: That stage of drying when a paint film can be sanded without the sandpaper sticking or clogging.
Durability: The ability of paint to last or hold up well against the destructive agents such as weather, sunligh
Dye: A colored material used just to dye or change color with little or no hiding of the underlying surfa
Ear-Wax: An occasional additive to some lake colours to improve their flow, an idea of the the late 17th cent
Easel: A wooden or metal stand for holding a canvas, a panel or a drawing-board. It may range from a small,
Ebauche: In oil-painting it signifies the first underpainting. It should be low in oil content to enable subs
Ebony Pencil: A drawing pencil that features a thick core of graphite formulated to be very black and smooth. Capa
Echoppe: A needle that has had its point bevelled to an oval facet that can be used in etching and engraving.
Efflorescence: A deposit of salts that remain on the surface of masonry, brick or plaster when water has evaporated
Eggshell: An interior paint that has a silk-like appearance.
Eggshell Finish: The degree of gloss between a flat and gloss finish.
Elasticity: The ability of paint or sealant to expand and contract with the substrate without suffering damage o
Emulsion Paint: Paint in which particles are suspended in water or oil with the aid of an emulsifier as in latex pai
Enamel: A colored varnish or high gloss paint that is dirt resistant. Often used in kitchens and bathrooms.
Encaustic: One of the oldest methods of painting, being practised from at least 3000 BC. Some of the finest exi
Epoxy: Clear finish having excellent adhesion qualities; extremely abrasion and chemical resistant. Epoxies
Erosion: The wearing away of a paint film caused by exposure to the weather.
Etch: Surface preparation by chemical means to improve the adhesion of coating.
Extender: Inexpensive and inert pigment added to paint for bulk and to lower costs.
Exterior: The outside surfaces of a structure.
Fading: A lightening of paint or stain due to exposure to light, heat or weather.
Fashion Board: A heavy laminated card with a white quality paper face that may be finished rough, 'not' or hot pres
Fat: Rich in oil content.
Feather Sanding: Tapering the edge of dried paint film with sandpaper.
Feathering: Blending a small area into the surrounding paint or stain.
Ferrule: The metal cylinder that surrounds and encloses the hairs on a brush. Customarily made of nickel or n
Figure: A human or animal form.
Filler: Any compound used to fill large cracks in walls that can be sanded when dried.
Filler Strips: Strips made from specially treated wood, metal. Fiber or plastic in the center of a paintbrush, crea
Film: Layer or coat of paint or other finish.
Finish Coat: Last coat of paint or other finish.
Fixatif: (also spelt 'fixative' ) A thin varnish of watery consistency, used to keep drawings from smudging.
Fixative: A liquid, that may be shellac in methylated spirits or synthetic cellulose solution, that is intende
Flaking: A form of paint failure characterized by the detachment of small pieces of the film from the surface
Flash Point: The temperature at which a coating or solvent will ignite.
Flat: A paint surface that scatters or absorbs the light falling on it so as to be substantially free from
Flat Applicator: A rectangular shaped flat pad with an attached handle that is used to paint shingles, shakes and oth
Flat Color: Any area of a painting that has an unbroken single hue and value.
Flat Wash: Any area of a painting where a wash of single colour and value is painted in a series of multiple, o
Flexibility: Ability of a coating to expand and contract during temperature changes.
Floating: Separation of pigment colors on the surface of applied paint.
Flow: The ability of a coating to level out and spread into a smooth film, paints that have a good flow us
Foreground: The area of a painting closest to the viewer. In a landscape this would include the area from the vi
Foreshortening: The technique of representing a three dimensional image in two dimensions using the laws of perspect
Form: Broadly speaking, the way a picture welds together; in a narrow sense, it is the way a shape has bee
Foxing: The development of patterns of brown or yellow splotches (stains) on old paper. Caused by a type of
Fresco: An art started by Minoan and other early civilizations. In antiquity they had the idea of painting f
Frottage: The process of making rubbings rhrough paper of objects or textures underneath. Brass-rubbing is fro
Frottis: Thin transparent or semi-transparent glazes rubbed into the ground in the intitial phases of an oil
Fugitive Colors: The pigments in the 'fugitive' class of paints have the unfortunate characteristic of looking beauti
Fungicide: An agent the helps prevent mold or mildew growth on paint.
Futurism: A now defunct movement associated with Italian Fascism. A term often erroneously applied to anything
Galvanized: A thin coating of zinc that covers iron or steel to prevent rust.
Genre: A category of artistic work marked by a particular specified form, technique, or content.
Gesso: In the broad sense it is a mixture of a plaster or like substance and a glue. Its purpose was to pre
Gestalt: Gestalt theory states that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Creating effective design
Giclees: Editioned prints made with high resolution ink jet printers using pigmented inks and archival, artis
Glass: The support for back painting. It is important that it should be reasonably stout; plate glass is be
Glaze: Applied to painting media, the term glazing means the laying of a transparent colour over previously
Glazed Wash: Any transparent wash of color laid over a dry, previously painted area. Used to adjust color, value,
Glazing Compound: Putty used to set glass in window frames and to fill nail holes and cracks.
Gloss: The luster or shininess of paints and coatings are generally classified as flat, semi-gloss, or glos
Gloss Meter: A standard scale for measuring the shininess or light reflectance of paint. Different brands with th
Gold Ground: Many of the painters of the 15th and 16th centuries used grounds either covered or partially covered
Gouache: In a broad sense it is a water-colour carried out with opaque or body colours instead of just transp
Graded Wash: A wash that smoothly changes in value from dark to light. Most noted in landscape painting for open
Grading: The handling of a water-colour wash to give it a lightening or darkening effect as the colour flows
Graduated Color: The range of color from light to dark or from warm to cool that results in a gradually changing effe
Grain: The basic structure of the surface of paper, as in fine, medium and rough grain.
Grain Raising: Swelling and standing up of the wood grain caused by absorbed water and solvents.
Graining: Simulating the grain of wood by means of specially prepared colors or stains and the use of graining
Granulation: An effect that can be achieved with wash work when using colours with heavy pigment particles. Frenc
Graphite: A type of carbon used for pencils, transfer sheets and as a dry lubricant. Synthetic graphite is mad
Graver: (also termed: Burin) A hard steel instrument for metal- or wood-engraving. The section of the cuttin
Grisaille: A type of monochrome painting execured in greys. The results often resemble sculpture. Excellent exa
Ground: The name that is applied to the coating of the surface on which the painting is to be carried out. T
Ground Coat: The base coat in an antiquing system that is applied before the graining colors, glazing or other fi
Gum Arabic: Gum arabic is produced from the sap of the African acacia tree and is available in crystalline form
Gums: The principal binder for water-colour is gum arabic, it comes from certain acacia trees growing in A
Hardboard: (also termed: Beaverboard, Masonite, Upson board) These boards are made from wood-pulp and/or waste
Hardness: The level of pressure a material will withstand without becoming deformed or scratched.
Hardwood: Term for trees that have broad leaves (like oak, maple, ash, beech and walnut). Does not correlate t
Heraldry: An art that dates back to the ancient custom of distinguishing nations, such as the Greeks and the R
Hiding Power: The ability of a paint to hide the previous surface or color.
Highlight: A point of intense brightness, such as the reflection in an eye.
Holdout: The ability of a paint film to dry to its normal finish on a somewhat absorptive surface.
Holidays: Voids in the dried paint film.
Hot Pressed: Hot pressed (HP) watercolour paper is pressed for an extremely smooth work surface. Excellent for mi
Hot Spots: Lime spots, which are not completely cured and bleed through the coating on a plastered wall.
Hue: This is the name of a colour within a spectrum colour. For example, Prussian Blue, Ultramarine Blue
Impasto: 1. Thick application of pigment. 2. The pigment so applied. 3. The surface of the paint; any thick o
Impressionism: Loosely applied to a group of artists who purported to break up their color into pure dots of pigmen
Imprimatura: A coat of colour that is applied over the priming. Many painters dislike working directly on white s
India Ink: 1. A black pigment made of lampblack and glue or size and shaped into cakes or sticks. 2. An ink mad
Inert Pigment: A powdered paint additive that does not change the shade or hue, but extends or otherwise imparts a
Inhibitor: Material such as primer used to retard rusting or corrosion.
Intercoat Adhesion: The adhesion between two coats of paint.
Interior: The inside surfaces of a structure.
Intermediate Coat: The coating between the primer and finish often called a barrier coat.
Ivory: Sheets of ivory about 1/16 in (1.5 mm) thick or less are considered the standard support for the min
Joint: Any place where two building materials come together and leave a gap or space.
Joint Cement: Cement used for drywall construction; also used as a bedding compound for joint tape and as a filler
Joint Tape: Special paper or paper-faced cotton tape used over joints between wallboard to conceal the joint and
Juxtaposition: Colors place side by side.
Kalsomine: See Calcimine.
Key: The lighness (high key) or darkness (low key) of a painting.
Knotting Compound: A clear finish or sealant for floors, for sealing knots.
Lacquer: A fast-drying clear pigmented coating that dries by solvent evaporation.
Landscape: A painting in which the subject matter is natural scenery.
Lap: To lay or place one coat so its edge extends over and covers the edge of a previous coat, causing an
Latex: A water-thinned paint, such as a polyvinyl acetate, styrene butadiene or acrylic.
Latex Paint: Water-based paint made with a latex binder.
Lay Figure: Ajointed wooden figure, either quite small or life-size, that may be used as a substitute for the si
Laying-In: The first painting on a canvas; the under-painting.
Lead: A soft, malleable heavy metal used in the past in paint. Lead based paints are toxic in nature. Espe
Leather: Not a happy support for oils as it is a substance that is open to deterioration from a number of sou
Leveling: Ability of a film to flow out free from ripples, pockmarks and brush marks after application.
Lifting: The softening and penetration of a previous film by solvents in the paint being applied over it, res
Lightfast: A pigments resistance to fading on long exposure to sunlight. Watercolors are rated lightfast on a s
Lightfastness: No loss of color due to exposure to light, heat or weathering.
Limning: An obsolete term for drawing or painting.
Linseed Oil: A darker and slower drying oil that can be added to paint. Once prevalent in paint and stains, it no
Local Color: The actual color of an object being painted, unmodified by light or shadow. (An orange is orange)
Mahlstick: A long wooden rod with a pad at one end that is used by the painter to steady his hand when working
Marbling: A decorative painting technique that imitates the color and figure of marble.
Marine Varnish: Varnish specially designed for immersion in water and exposure to marine atmosphere.
Masking: Temporary covering of areas not to be painted.
Masking Fluid: A latex gum product that is used to cover a surface you wish to protect from receiving paint. Miskit
Masking Tape: A strip of paper or cloth similar to adhesive tape, which can be easily removed, used to temporarily
Mastic: A heavy-bodied paste like coating of high build often applied with a trowel.
Mat: The surrounding area between the frame and the picture.
Matte: A dull surface.
Medium: The method in which an artist works; oil-painting, gouache, pastel, pen and ink, etching, collage, s
Megilp: (also termed: mcguilp, magilp) An 18th-century oil-painting medium, a mixture of linseed oil, mastic
Metal: Copper sheets have been used primarily, although works have been painted on aluminium, iron, steel a
Metallics: A class of paints that include metal flakes in their composition.
Middle Ground: The area of a painting between the foreground and the background. In a landscape this usually where
Mildew Resistance: The ability of a coating to resist the growth of molds and mildew. Mildew is particularly prevalent
Mildewcide: An agent that helps prevent molds or mildew growth on paint.
Mineral Spirits: An effective paint thinner, especially when using oil based paints.
Miniature: A small picture not normally larger than 6 in in anyone direction. The greatest schools of miniature
Mixed Media: One or more medium used in the same picture. Thus pastel and ink, pastel and water-colour, tempera a
Modeling: Representing color and lighting effects to make an image appear three-dimensional.
Moisture Resistance: The ability of a paint or stain to resis swelling, blistering or other damage caused by moisture.
Monochromatic: A single color in all it's values.
Monochrome: A method of decorating floors, walls and ceilings with tiny fragments (tesserae) set into mastic pla
Motif: A term meaning 'subject'. Flowers or roses can be a motif.
Multiple Tint Tool: A tool used particularly in wood-engraving with a thick rectangular rod which is so made that it wil
Murals: Paintings that are executed directly on to a wall. Media can include fresco (buon and secco), oils,
Muted: Suppressing the full color value of a particular color.
Muted Color: Restricted or suppressed rather than the full range of color.
N.W.S.: Abbreviation of the National Watercolor Society, established in 1920.
Nailhead Rusting: Rust from iron nails that penetrates or bleeds through the coating and stains the surrounding areas.
Nap: The length of fibers in a paint roller cover.
Negative Space: The areas of an artwork that are NOT the primary subject or object. Negative Space defines the subje
Neutral Color: A color without definite identification.
Nocturne: A night scene.
Non-Staining Colors: Pigments that can be lifted cleanly (wet or re-wet) with little or no discoloration of the underlyin
Nonvolatile: The portion of paint left after the solvent evaporates; sometimes called the solids content.
Notan: A Japanese art/compositional term meaning 'Dark-Light'. It's the interplay of dark and light, positi
Oil Stains: There are two types of oil stains, penetrating and non-penetrating. Penetrating oil stains contain d
Oil-Based Paint: Any paint made with a drying oil, such as linseed, soya or tung oil. With oil based paints you must
Oil-Painting: This technique was not suddenly invented; the story that accredits its invention to the Van Eyck bro
Oils: Painters have used an extraordinary variety of oils in their efforts to attain the perfect personal
Opacity: The ability of a paint to hide the previous surface or color.
Opacity: The ability to block out light.
Opaque: A paint that is not transparent by nature or intentionally. A dense paint that obscures or totally h
Opaque Coating: A coating that hides the previous surface coating.
Opaque Stain: An exterior stain that obscures the natural color and grain of wood, but still allows the texture to
Orange Peel: Film having the roughness of an orange due to poor roller or spray application.
Ox Gall: Derived from the bile of domestic cows or other bovines, ox gall is added to paint as a surfactant o
Paint Brushes: The first known examples are probably those used in Egypt which were simple bundles of thin reeds bo
Paint Gauge: Instrument for measuring the thickness of paint film.
Paint Remover: A compound that softens old paint or varnish and permits scraping off the loosened material.
Painting Knives: Both of these are made of fine tempered steel that is flexible. The palette-knife has a straight han
Palette: Essential for colour-painting, an artist's palette refers to (1) The instrument the artist mixes his
Pantograph: An instrument for reducing or enlarging designs or sketches, that uses a simple system of levers; kn
Paper: A substance produced from wood-pulp, rags or other material with fibres. It is thought that the art
Papyrus: A form of paper made by the early Egyptians. It was made from the reed Cyperus papyrus; strips of th
Parchment: Animal skins that have been treated by scraping, use of lime to remove hair, and rubbing. Skins of s
Pastels: A method of painting or drawing with sticks of dry colour which have the minimum of binder; a reason
Patching Plaster: A special plaster made for repairing plaster walls.
Peeling: Detachment of a dried paint film in relatively large pieces, usually caused by moisture or grease un
Pen: The English word, the French equivalent, plume, and the German, Peder, originally meant a wing-feath
Pencil: Graphite wooden jacketed pencils as are known today date from the end of the 17th century when there
Pentimento: A reappearance of a design, a drawing or a picture that has been painted over; It is a phenomenon pa
Permeable: Allows another material to pass through without effecting the existing material.
Perspective: Representing three-dimensional volumes and space in two dimensions in a manner that imitates depth,
Perspective: Representing three-dimensional volumes and space in two dimensions in a manner that imitates depth,
Pigment In Paint: For details of lakes, glazes and other artist-colourants, see: Colour Pigments, History, Types.
Pigments: Paint ingredients mainly used to impart color and hiding power.
Pihnole: Very small holes in paint film, usually not deep enough to show undercoat.
Plaster Of Paris: A quick setting, pure white powder, used to set bathroom wall fixtures such as towel racks or used b
Pochade: A rapid rough sketch of a landscape executed out-of-doors from nature; generally it is the intention
Polychrome: Poly=many, chrome or chroma=colours. Can refer to artwork made with bright, multi-coloured paint.
Polyptych: A single work comprised of multiple sections, panels, or canvas. Diptych= two, triptych=three.
Polyurethane: Wide range of coatings, ranging from hard gloss enamels to soft flexible coatings. Good to very good
Polyurethane Varnish: A clear, alkyd coating.
Polyvinyl Acetate: A synthetic resin largely used as a vehicle for many latex paints. Often referred to as PVA.
Positive Space: The areas of an artwork that IS the primary subject or object. Positive Space defines the subjects o
Pot Life: Amount of time after mixing a two-part paint system during which it can be applied.
Pounce Bag: Used to dust pounced drawings. To make a pounce bag place a small wad of cotton balls in the middle
Pounce Wheel: A metal pencil-like tool that has a toothed wheel that freely rotates on the drawing end. The teeth
Primary Colors: Red, yellow, and blue, the mixture of which will yield all other colors in the spectrum but which th
Prime: To make ready. The preparatory coating.
Primer: A first coat of paint applied in order to inhibit corrosion and provide adhesion between the substra
Propellant: The gas used to expel materials from aerosol containers.
Putty: Doughlike mixture of pigment and oil used to set glass in window frames and to fill nail holes and c
Rabbet: The recess or groove of a frame for holding the picture.
Realism: A loosely applied term used to describe a painting that looks 'real' or has a strong or unpleasant s
Receding Colours: Pale or cool colours tend to recede into the background, thus they give us the impression of distanc
Reflected Light: The shadowed part of an object which is lightened by the reflection from an adjacent object.
Relief: The apparent or actual (impasto, collage) projection of three-dimensional forms.
Relief: The apparent or actual (impasto, collage) projection of three-dimensional forms.
Removers: Substances used to soften old varnish or paint so they may be removed easily.
Renaissance: The term applied to the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries in Italy. It was called so because of the 'reb
Resin: A natural or synthetic material that is the main ingredient of paint and that binds ingredients toge
Resist: Any material, usually wax or grease crayons, that repel paint or dyes. Lithography is a grease (ink)
Rice Paper: A generic term for Japanese and other asian forms of paper made for artist's use. Used for sumi-e, b
Rocker: A broad-ended tool with a sharp-toothed curved base which is used to ground a mezzotint plate. It is
Roller: A paint application tool having a revolving cylinder covered with lambs-wool, fabric, foamed plastic
Ropiness: Paint dries with a stringy look because it did not flow evenly onto the surface.
Rough: Rough watercolor paper has a coarse rough texture. This surface allows for maximum graining of washe
Roulette: A small-toothed wheel set in a handle that can be used for working on a metal plate. A second use is
Runs: A blemish caused by excessive flow of the coating. Usually caused by applying too much paint or stai
Rust Preventative Paint: The first coat of paint applied directly to iron or steel structures to slow down or prevent rust.
Sag: A downward movement of a paint or varnish caused by the application of too much coating, or the gath
Sal Soda: Crystallized sodium carbonate. It is used for making cleaning solutions to remove grease and grime f
Sand Finish: Rough finish plaster wall.
Sand-Painting: (also termed: sand mosaic, sand altar, earth picture, ground-painting) A rather odd method of pictor
Sanding Surfaces: A heavily pigmented finishing material used for building the surface to a smooth condition. It is sa
Satin Finish: See Semi-Gloss
Saturation: The greatest possible intensity of the color.
Scorper: A solid metal tool with a square or rounded end used for clearing out non-printing areas on a wood-b
Scraper: An etching and engraving tool, triangular in section, which is used to remove burrs or unwanted roug
Scraperboard: A cardboard that is covered with plaster, white clay or chalk mixed with glue. It may be left white
Scrubbability: The ability of a paint film to withstand scrubbing and cleaning with water, soap and other household
Scumble: A Scumble is a semi opaque or opaque colour applied thinly over a darker colour. Like glazing, Scumb
Sealer: A thin liquid applied to seal a surface, to prevent previous paint from bleeding through from the su
Secondary Colors: Colors obtained by mixing two primary colors green, violet, and orange.
Seeds: Small, undesirable particles or granules other than dust found in paint, varnish or lacquer.
Self-Cleaning: An exterior paint designed to chalk quickly to maintain a clean appearance.
Semi-Gloss: Having a luster between full and flat.
Semi-Transparent: A degree of hiding greater than transparent but less than opaque.
Semi-Transparent Stain: A stain that alters the natural color of the wood while allowing the grain and texture to show throu
Set Up: A film that has dried so that it is firm is said to have 'set up'.
Settling: The accumulation of material (usually pigment) at the bottom of a container containing paint or stai
Sfumato: Derived from the Italian word for smoked. It is a well-controlled and subtle method for graduation o
Sgraffito: Scratching or cutting through a layer of colour to expose the ground or support, or to bring up a se
Shake Painter: A rectangular-shaped flat pad with an attached handle that is used to paint shingles, shakes and oth
Sheen: A paint that appears to be matt when viewed near to perpendicular, but appears to be glossy when vie
Sheen Uniformity: The even distribution of luster over the entire surface of an applied finish.
Shellac: Derived from a resinous substance called Lac. Used as a sealer and finish for floors, for sealing kn
Siccative: A substance added to oil-colours to considerably hasten their speed of drying. Faster than driers, i
Silhouette: A small picture, often a profile of a head, a whole figure or some simple scene. The name was in mem
Silicone: See Resin.
Sinopia: A red-brown chalk employed for marking-out frescos.
Sketch: 1. A brief statement of the subject. 2. A drawing complete in itself.
Skin: Tough covering that forms on paints if container is not tightly sealed.
Softwood: Evergreen trees (spruce, fir and pine). The term does not refer to the hardness of the wood.
Solids: See Nonvolatile.
Solvent: The volatile part of paint composition that evaporates during drying.
Spackling: A filler, often used for filling cracks and holes, that prepares surfaces before painting.
Spackling Compound: A material used as crack filler for preparing surfaces before painting.
Spar Varnish: A very durable varnish designed for service on exterior surfaces.
Spatter: Small particles or drips of liquid paint thrown or expelled when applying paint.
Spiders Web: Some painters have chosen strange materials to paint on, often regardless of permanency and suitabil
Sponge Painting (Sponging): An interior painting technique in which sponges are used to apply or partially remove a coat of pain
Spot Prime: The process of applying a primer to areas where paint has been removed or stripped to the original s
Spot Priming: A method of protecting localized spots. The only areas primed are those that require additional prot
Spraying: A method of application in which the coating material is broken up into a fine mist that is directed
Spreading Rate: The area to which paint can be spread; usually expressed as square feet per gallon.
Stain: A solution or suspension of coloring matter in a vehicle designed primarily to be applied to create
Staining Colors: Colors that cannot be fully removed from your paper. Staining colors permeate the fiber of the paper
Stenciling: The method of applying a design by brushing or sponging paint through a cutout overlay placed on the
Stereochromy: (also termed: water-glass painting and mineral painting) A method introduced by Von Fuchs in 1825. W
Still Life: Any work whose subject matter is inanimate objects.
Stipple: Applying small dots of colour with the point of a brush, which is often held at right angles to the
Stippling: A finish made by using a stippling brush or roller stippler or a newly painted surface before the pa
Streaking: The irregular occurrence of lines or streaks of various lengths and colors in an applied film; usual
Stretcher: The wooden frame on which canvas or paper is stretched.
Stretcher: The wooden frame that is used to strain a canvas when preparing it for painting on. The four corners
Stretching Pliers: Heavy pliers with a wide mouth for gripping the canvas when it is being stretched, and so assisting
Strip: Removal of old finishes with paint removers.
Stripping: The process of removing old paint varnishes or stains by using paint remover, sandpaper, or other to
Study: 1. A comprehensive drawing or painting. 2. A detail that can be incorporate into a finished painting
Styrene-Butadiene: See Resin.
Substrate: Any surface to which a paint, stain or sealant is applied.
Support: The surface on which a painting is made canvas, paper, wood, parchment, metal, etc.
Surface Tension: The property of a coating that makes it tend to shrink when applied.
Surrealism: A movement in painting popular in the 1930s, concerned with the world of dreams. It was vaguely fund
Tachisme: Art up-to-date, you merely let the paint do all the work. Splashing, sprinkling and riding over it w
Tack Rag: A piece of loosely woven cloth that has been dipped into varnish oil and wrung out. When it becomes
Tacky: The stage in the drying process when the cover material is sticky and leaves prints when touched.
Tapa: A Polynesian word meaning bark-cloth. It is made by taking the barks of various trees, including bre
Tempera: Broadly put this term implies using pigments which are mixed with substances such as; egg white, the
Tertiary Colors: This is a mixture of a primary and secondary colour. Red and Orange makes Red-Orange.
Textiles: Woven fabrics that have been and are used for painting on include: linen and cotton canvas, cambric,
Texture: The actual or virtual representation of different surfaces, paint applied in a manner that breaks up
Texture Paint: Paint that can be manipulated by brush, roller, trowel or other tool to produce various effects.
Thinner: Any liquid used to thin the primary coating. Water and oil are the most common thinners in paint and
Thixotropy: The property of a material that causes it to change from a thick, pasty consistency to a fluid consi
Thumbnail Sketch: Small (credit card size or so) tonal and compositional sketches to try out design or subject ideas.
Tint: A light hue of color.
Tint Base: The basic paint in a custom color system to which colorants are added.
Tondo: A circular panel, plaque, relief or stretched canvas (from Latin rotundus: round).
Tone: The changes of color achieved by lightening with white or darkening with black.
Toner: Pigmented lacquer sealer that is applied by spray. Toners provide color and make the surface appear
Tooth: The textural surface quality of the white canvas, varying from rough to smooth.
Topcoat: The final coat applied.
Tortillon: A paper stump made of rolled-up blotting-paper or soft thick paper, which is used with pastel, chalk
Touch Up: The ability of a coating film to be spot repaired (usually within a few months of initial painting)
Tragacanth: A binding agent made from Astragalus plants, used in watercolour paints and pastels.
Trompe Loeil: A term meaning 'Fool the eye' in French. It involves rendering a subject with such detail and attent
Tung Oil: The Oil of the nut of the tung tree. Generally used in fine wood finishing.
Turpentine: A colorless liquid, which is used as a thinner for oil paints and varnishes, distilled from the prod
Undercoat: A coating that provides improved adhesion and/or more gloss and uniformity to a topcoat.
Underpainting: The first, thin transparent laying in of colour in a painting.
Underwater Painting: A technique has been evolved by Antonio de Havo in 1977 for working submerged. He mixes his colours
Values: The relative lightness or darkness of colors or of grays.
Variegated Wash: A wet wash created by blending a variety of discrete colours so that each colour retains it's charac
Varnish: Transparent liquid that dries on exposure to air to give a decorative and protective and protective
Varnish Stain: Varnishes colored with a dye and without the same power of penetrations as the true stains, leaving
Varnishes: Protective coatings for oil-paintings, tempera, acrylic, alkyd, gouache and water-colour. Varnishes
Vehicle: The liquid portion of paint composed mainly of solvents, resins or oils.
Vignette: A painting which is shaded off around the edges leaving a pleasing shape within a border of white or
Vinyl: A resin with poor adhesion but good hardness, flexibility and resistance. Used for swimming pools, t
Viscosity: The thickness of a coating as related to its ability to flow as a liquid.
Vision: The innate quality of a true artist. One who sees with an inward and outward eye.
Walls: A painting made directly on a wall or a ceiling is termed a mural. The surface of the wall has to be
Wash: The application of dilute water-colour to a support. The paper on the board should be at a slope of
Washability: The ability of a paint to be easily cleaned without wearing away during cleaning.
Water Based Paint: Any paint made with acrylic, vinyl or latex resins, and thinned with water. It dries more quickly th
Water Emulsions: Mixture of pigment and synthetic resin in water with low solvent emission, low fire hazard and toxic
Water Repellant: Any finish that prevents penetration of water into the substrate.
Water Spotting: A paint appearance defect caused by water droplets.
Watercolour: In the purist sense this implies working only with transparent colours on white paper; attaining man
Weather Resistance: The ability of a coating to retain its appearance and integrity in the face of various weather condi
Weathering: The effect of exposure to weather on paint films.
Wet Edge: Length of time a wall paint can stand and be brushed back in to the next stretch without showing a l
Wet-In-Wet: A technique used in painting in which the colours flow together. There's a risk of creating a muddy
Wet-On-Dry: Painting over a dry layer of paint. It's much easier to control than wet-in-wet. Most acrylic painte
Wet-On-Wet: The technique of painting wet color into a wet surface .(paper saturated
Wetting Agent: A liquid to be added in small amounts to water-colour to reduce the surface tension and thus increas
Wire Brushing: Cleaning a surface with a wire brush, or wire power brush.
Withering: Withering a loss of gloss is sometimes caused by varnishing open-pore woods without filling pores, u
Wood Filler: There are two kinds of fillers-paste and liquid. Paste fillers are something like a very thick paint
Wooden Panels: Up till the 15th century and the coming of canvas nearly all the portable paintings in Europe were e
Wove Paper: A paper showing even texture and thickness when held to light. Created with a very fine netting, a u
Wrinkling: Development of ridges and furrows in a paint film when the paint dries.
Yellowing: Development of a yellow color or cast in white, a pastel, colored or clear finishes.
Zinc Chromate: Rust-inhibiting pigment, greenish-yellow in color that is used with a high-hiding pigment.
Zinc Oxide: Substance used as a white pigment for high-hiding power hardness and gloss. Reduces yellowing, incre

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