30 terms

Painting Vocabulary

Semester One Vocabulary
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Alla Prima
A painting technique used by the impressionists where a work was usually completed in one sitting with opaque layers of paint. Many impressionist works were painted directly from nature
Binder
An ingredient in paint that allows it to bind to a surface. A drying oil, such as linseed, is a binder for oil paint. In acrylic paints, the binder is acrylic polymer emulsion.
Chiaroscuro
An Italian term meaning, "light-dark", it refers to substantial changes of light in a painting that contribute to creating dramatic mood in a work.
Dabbing
A painting technique used by impressionist painters where short strokes of paint are applied to the surface. It was done in layers and contributed to the flickering effect of impressionist works.
Dominance
The importance of certain design elements over others - may relate to any of the design elements.
Fresco
A type of mural painting done on fresh lime plaster. Pigments are absorbed into the moist wall and become integrated into the surface
Gesso
Originally used in fresco painting, it referred to various mixtures of coarse and smooth plasters that were applied in layers in preparation for painting.
Glazing
Is the process of layering thin transparencies of paint. It creates luminous effects because light can pass through them and reflect back from the surface of the painting.
Impasto
A thick application of paint. Rembrandt used it for highlights in a painting. This technique added both spatial and expressive qualities to his work.
Imprimatura
An initial stain of color painted on a ground. It provides a painter with a transparent toned ground, which will allow light falling onto the painting to reflect through the paint layers. The term itself stems from the Italian and literally means "first paint layer".
Matte
A dull surface as opposed to a shiny surface
Pulling
A painting technique whereby paint is removed by a rag or brush to expose areas beneath the outermost layer of paint
Scumbling
A technique where paint is lightly dragged over a dry surface. It does not entirely cover the surface and allows underneath areas to show through.
Varnish
A mixture of solvent and a resin, such as damar or alkyd. They are used to create an even gloss or matte finish over a surface that restores the original appearance of wet paint.
Wet into Wet
A technique of painting when wet paint is applied onto a wet surface. This is essential for blending colors. Painting is often done by applying paint directly onto wet surfaces so blending and color mixing can be done directly on the canvas rather than on the palette.
Negative Space
In two and three-dimensional art, the space between and around shapes and forms
Point of view
The angle from which the object is seen.
Picture Plane
The surface of a painting or drawing itself.
Foreground
The part of a picture closest to the front of the picture plane.
Background
The part of a picture closest to the back of the picture plane.
Linear
Having to do with a line.
Contour
A type of line which shows the important interior ridges and edges, or contours of an object.
Edge
Where two things meet.
Vertical
Straight up and down, suggest strength and stability.
Horizontal
Side to side, suggests calmness.
Ground
The initial layer or surface of the painting which serves as a barrier between the canvas and the paint.
Opaque
An application of media that completely covers, for example, any underneath drawing or color. The opposite of transparent, light cannot pass through it.
Wash
A thinned paint made from a solvent (as in the case of oil paint) or water (as in the case of acrylics).
Blending
The process of mixing adjacent colors to eliminate abrupt divisions and create a smooth gradation from one color to the next.
Local color
The "actual" naturalistic color of an object -- as opposed to subjective color which is exaggerated or invented.