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Glossary

  • A
  • One layer painting completed in wet on wet
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  • B
  • Acrylic gesso is a common binder for homemade paint. What is paint binder? Binder refers to substances that hold the particles of pigment together in a paint substance. All paint includes a binder of some sort, as the binder is what keeps the pigment
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  • The Three Trees by Rembrandt, 1643, etching with burin drypoint in black ink on cream laid paper, 8 x 11. What is a burin? A burin is a short steel rod cut to a diamond point that is used as a tool in etching and engraving. The tool is usually used to
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  • C
  • Milk based, water soluble paint.
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  • Darrell Brown used oil paints in this still life to produce core and cast shadows as well as highlights and reflected light. What is a cast shadow? An object’s cast shadow is the object’s adjacent shadow in which its outline is distorted.
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  • Here we see two different hues of violet with different levels of chroma. What is chroma? In color theory , chroma refers to the degree of vividness of a color, or how pure it is compared to its representative on the color wheel. It can also be called
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  • Draw a line across this wheel to find complementary colors. What are complementary colors? Two colors that reside directly opposite each other on the color wheel are complementary. When mixed, these colors will produce a neutral gray. When placed next
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  • A drawing medium made of compressed graphite or charcoal mixed with a wax or clay base.
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  • D
  • Where the light source hits the object is HL (hard light), or direct light. What is direct light? When painting light , direct light refers to light that shines directly on the subject from the light source, producing strong highlights and deep shadows
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  • Lee Phillips won the February 2011 Watercolor Artist Creativity Workshop challenge with this watercolor landscape. “This is a painting done with drybrush with the exception of the sky, which was built up with three washes," he said. "After
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  • E
  • La Mia Gioia, Fred Wessel , 1996, egg tempera, 25 x 19. What is egg tempera? Egg tempera was a common painting medium during the 14th and 15th centuries, but has since fallen out of popularity. It is traditionally made from egg yolks and pigments, with
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  • A paint or painting technique that uses heated wax
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  • F
  • A transparent coating that protects the surface
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  • This piece by Richard McKinley, Minnesota Morning, 9 x 12, has three focal points as marked. What is a focal point? The focal point of a painting is the area in the composition to which the viewer’s eye is naturally drawn. It is essential to classic
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  • G
  • A tub of acrylic gesso What is gesso? Gesso is a mixture of chalk, glue, and white pigment that serves as a ground for paintings. Its most common variety is white, but it also comes in clear and tinted versions. If you intend to create an oil piece that
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  • It's important to know the different effects of glazing vs scumbling paint . What is glazing paint? A thin layer of paint applied over a ground or another paint layer of a different color. Oil painting artists use transparent glazes to make colors
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  • Sacred Stones by Carla O'Connor 2006, gouache, 30 x 22 . What is gouache? Gouache is an opaque water-based medium that drives to a matte finish and can be rewetted. How to paint with gouache Gouache pairs well with watercolor, since they’re
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  • This painting en grisaille demonstrates how an understanding of light value is just as important as color for a successful result . What is grisaille painting ? Grisaille (pronounced like Versailles) is an oil painting technique in which a composition
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  • H
  • The highlight of this drawing is marked HL, in the brightest part of the image . How to paint highlights In painting light theory, highlights are the brightest part of the artwork. They are usually added toward the end of the artwork’s completion
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  • The horizon line of this painting is marked in blue . What is a horizon line? The horizon line is a horizontal line that runs across the paper or canvas to represent the viewer’s eye level, or delineate where the sky meets the ground. It should
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  • Hue vs value is demonstrated in this illustration, which shows hues next to their corresponding values . What is hue? Also called a spectral color, the hue is the traditional color name given to a specific wavelength of light in the light spectrum. In
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  • I
  • Impasto can be seen in this close-up of an oil painting . What is impasto? Impasto refers to the texture produced by the thickness of pigment in a painting. Impasto is created when paint is thickly laid onto the surface so heavily that it leaves a visible
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  • Imprimatura underpainting is evident in this self-portrait by Leonardo Da Vinci, red chalk drawing, 1510-1515 . What is imprimatura? With its roots in the great Italian artists, the term derives from an Italian phrase meaning 'first layer of paint'
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  • L
  • Because J M W Turner used non-lightfast red pigments , the reds in this painting have faded significantly. By 1859, staff at the National Gallery of London had already noted that the vivid scarlets in this sunset had were dulled. We will never know what
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  • Understanding linear perspective begins with one-point, two-point and finally three-point perspective. What is linear perspective? Linear perspective is a method of representing a three-dimensional object or volume of space on a flat surface using real
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  • M
  • Stick used to keep hand steady while painting detai
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  • O
  • The creation of lighter tones by adding white, as opposed to thinning the paint.
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  • P
  • En plein air painting is simply creating your painting outdoors. What is a plein air painting? En plein air is a French phrase that simply means "in the open air" - and it succinctly sums up the technique. Many artists paint exclusively this
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  • Vertical line used as a drawing or painting reference
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  • Blue, yellow and red.
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  • R
  • A change of hue caused when one color is reflected onto another.
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  • A lighting technique taken from Rembrandt’s practices
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  • Hard organic or synthetic material used in paints and varnishes
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  • S
  • Brushing technique
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  • Colors created by mixing two primary colors.
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  • Darkening an area of a drawing or painting.
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  • Partial darkness or obscurity within an area of space.
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  • Organic material used as a varnish, in inks or sealing surfaces for paint.
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  • Drawing medium using metal wire in a holder
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  • T
  • Colors created by mixing a primary color with a secondary color.
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  • Adding white pigment to a color to lighten it.
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  • Surface of the painting ground
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  • Illusionary painting type or technique
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  • U
  • Initial paint layer to block in shapes for subsequent layers
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  • V
  • A term used to describe the degree of lightness and darkness of a color
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  • In perspective, the point at which a set of lines appear to converge.
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  • W
  • A hue or tint applied in a thin transparent layer.
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  • A painting technique in which wet color is applied into or on top of paint that is still wet.
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