Oil Painting Vocabulary

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1.  Balance - Establishes a sense of equilibrium. Two types are symmetrical and asymmetrical.

2.  Gesso - A plaster-like material spread upon a surface to prepare it for painting.

3.  Glaze - Transparent painting over a light under-painting.

4.  Gloss - A shiny surface.

5.  Mat - The surrounding area between the frame and the picture.

6.  Matte - A dull surface

7.  Medium - Type of material in which a piece of art is expressed - oil, water color, pen and ink, and so on are media.  Also refers to the binder for the pigments, the vehicle.

8. Linseed Oil - The primary binding agent in oil painting and printing inks, made by pressing the seeds of the flax plant.

9.  Motif - The theme or source.

10.  Nocturne - A night scene

11.  Pigment - refers to color or hue.

12.  Palette - A rectangular or oval-shaped flat surface used for mixing colors.  Also refers to the selection of colors used by an artist.

13.  Prime - To make ready.  The preparatory coating.

14.  Saturation - The greatest possible intensity of the color.

15.  Scumbling - Dragging paint in a broken manner over a previously painted dry surface.

16.  Study - A comprehensive drawing or painting.  Also refers to a detail that can be incorporated into a finished painting.

17.  Stretcher - The wooden frame on which canvas or paper is stretched.

18.  Tacky - Sticky, partly dried.

19. Turpenoid - A lower-odor turpentine-substitute, used to thin oil paint.

20.  Wash - The application of color in a thin, fluid manner.  Also refers to diluted pigment.

21.  Harmony - A feeling of similarity between the elements involved. There may be harmony involving any of the elements of structure - line, color, value, structure, shape.

22. Contrast - Opposite of harmony, used to emphasize part of the design area

23. Dominance - The importance of certain design elements over others - may relate to any of the design elements.

24. Balance - Establishes as sense of equilibrium. Symmetrical balance, or formal balance, features identical design elements on each side of the work. Asymmetrical, or informal, balance produces a felt symmetry between parts of the design (for example a big purple circle balanced by three small yellow ones).

25. Underpainting - A monochromatic sketch put down on the canvas first, as an infrastructure, which will be completely covered up by the painting.

26. Movement - Directs the viewers attention to certain parts of the design area. Rhythm, value, perspective, vertical and horizontal lines, and repetition of shape or color or line can be used to create movement.

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