This is an alphabetic list of terms and phrases with definitions as to how they are commonly used in various art disciplines. In cases where terms have multiple meanings when used in different fields of art, the fields are noted in parentheses.

Several useful references and websites have been used to compile these lists.  Some sites provide lists that are too long to present in this document.  Some of these sites are cited in the References section ArtLex: definitions for more than 3,600 terms used in discussing art / visual culture, along with thousands of supporting images, pronunciation notes, great quotations and cross-references.

Some very useful comments regarding definitions of the elements of art and design can be found at:

Wikipedia gives many very useful and extensive definitions for specific art terms. Many links to these entries are provided under specific terms in this glossary.

Much of the basic vocabulary is taken from the website which is intended to provide an English Vocabulary for international students to study Art in Canada or USA during an exchange program.

– A –

Abstract art: a very general category of art that achieves its effect by simplifying or altering the visual elements (e.g., line, shape, color), rather than by representing recognizable things or people. Artists often “abstract” objects by changing, simplifying, or exaggerating what they see.

Abstract Expressionism: art that rejects true visual representation. It has few recognizable images with great emphasis on line, color, shape, texture, value; putting the expression of the feelings or emotions of the artist above all else.

Abstraction: verb: the process of an artist applying skills of observation, interpretation, rendering, etc. to produce an image that contains effective representation of the intended subject or concept in a form that a viewer can understand and use to recreate the artist’s intention.

Accent: to stress, single out as important. As applied to art it is the emphasis given to certain elements in a painting that allows them to attract more attention. Details that define an object or piece of art.

Accession: a process of increasing an art collection by addition; something added to what you already have (“the art collection grew through accession”).

Acrylic paint: a fast-drying synthetic paint made from acrylic resin. Acrylic is a fast-drying water-based “plastic” paint valued for its versatility and clean up with soap and water.

Aerial view: refers to viewing a subject from above, looking downward; commonly used to refer to landscape images made as if a view from high altitude such as from an aircraft or balloon. Also called “birds-eye view”.

Alla prima: a method of painting in which the desired effects of the final painting are achieved in the first application of paint as opposed to the technique of covering the canvas in layers with the final painting being achieved at the end.

Analogous colors: any set of three or five colors that are closely related in hue(s). They are usually adjacent (next) to each other on a color wheel.

Applied Art: the use of the principles and elements of design to create functional pieces of works of art.  As contrasted with Fine Art.

Approximate symmetry: the use of forms which are similar on either side of a central axis. They may give a feeling of the exactness or equal relationship but are sufficiently varied to prevent visual monotony.

Arabesque: a motif or form of two dimensional design consisting of rhythmic linear patterns of calligraphic scrolling and intertwining foliage vine and leaf patterns or plain lines,often combined with other elements. Originated as a major characteristic of Arab or Muslim art which is highly decorative because of the prohibition in the Koran of depicting the human figure. Arabesque decoration also arose independently in Roman art.

Art (more specifically, graphic art): that’s a good question – any process that causes one person to create a mental image impression or reaction based on information provided by another person could be called “art” – or maybe just simply communication. The border line where the term “art” is applied is a totally subjective call.

Art Brut: French for “raw art”, originally coined by French painter Jean Dubuffet as a term for outsider art – art by prisoners, loners, the mentally ill, and other marginalized people, and made without thought to imitation or presentation.

Art Deco: a style of design and decoration popular in the 1920’s and 1930’s characterized by designs that are geometric and use highly intense colors, to reflect the rise of commerce, industry and mass production.

Art Nouveau: a decorative art movement that emerged in the late nineteenth century; art characterized by dense asymmetrical ornamentation in sinuous forms, it is often symbolic and of an erotic nature.

Artist: a practitioner in the arts, generally recognized as a professional by critics and peers.

Asymmetrical balance: placement of non-identical forms to either side of a balancing point in such a way that the two sides seem to be of the same visual weight.

Asymmetry: A type of balance in which the parts are unequal in size, shape, etc., but still produce a balanced visual effect.

Atmospheric perspective: a technique used by painters for representing three-dimensional space on a flat two-dimensional surface by creating the illusion of depth, or recession within a painting or drawing. Atmospheric perspective suggests that objects closer to the viewer are sharper in detail, color intensity, and value contrast than those farther away. As objects move closer to the horizon they gradually fade to a gray, details blur and depending upon the atmosphere the colors will become cooler (clear air) or warmer (hot climate or dusty air), imitating the way distant objects appear to the human eye. Also called “aerial perspective”. This term is sometimes interchanged with Aerial Perspective.

– B –

Background: The part of a composition that appears to be farthest from the viewer; contrast with foreground and middle ground or mid-ground.

Balance: A principle of design: a means of accomplishing unity. A feeling of balance results when the elements of design are arranged to create the impression of equality in weight or importance across the space of the composition. Balance may be achieved by various means, some purely graphical while others are more emotional or psychological and require consideration of the gestalt of the piece.

Birds-eye view: seeing from a point of view from an altitude or from a distance; a comprehensive view in a downward direction; also called an “aerial view” or “aerial perspective”.

Bitmap image: A computer display related term. A pixel-based image with one bit of color information per pixel. The bitmap file format (suffix: “.bmp”) is one of the earliest graphic file formats. Because there is no information in the format describing the elements of the image, image quality decreases when the image is enlarged.

Bristol board: a high quality heavy weight drawing paper, sometimes made with cotton fiber prepared or glued together, usually with a caliper thickness of 0.006″ and up, used for many types of two-dimensional artwork, including lettering.

Bright brush: refers to a brush that has the same shape as a “flat” however the hairs are not as long as those on the flat brush. (See illustration.)

Brush: a tool used to apply paints and inks to a surface, consisting of hairs, or bristles held in place by a ferrule attached to a handle. The quality, selection and forming of the hair determines the brush’s quality and cost. Each type of brush has a specific purpose, and different fibers are used for different mediums.

Brushstroke: The mark left by a loaded (filled) brush on a surface. Brushstrokes can be distinguished by their direction, thickness, TEXTURE, and quality. Some artists purposefully obscure individual brushstrokes to achieve a smooth surface. Other artists make their brushstrokes obvious to reveal the process of painting or to express movement or emotion.

Brushwork: the distinctive technique in which an artist uses to apply paint with a brush onto a medium, such as canvas.

– C –

Calligraphy: a distinctive style of artistic handwriting created by using special pen nibs that allow a calligrapher to vary the thickness of a letter’s line elements; an elegant, decorative writing, developed to an art form itself, used to enhance the artistic appeal and visual beauty of handwritten papers and manuscripts.

Calligraphic lines or treatment: a term used to describe an artists use of line in a fashion that is reminiscent of writing or Arabesque decoration.

Canvas: a heavy, closely woven fabric; an oil painting on canvas fabric; the support used for an acrylic or oil painting that is typically made of linen or cotton, stretched very tightly and tacked onto a wooden frame. Linen is considered far superior to the heavy cotton for a canvas.

Center of interest: an emphasized area of the composition; sometimes referred to as the focal area or focal point.

Ceramics: the art of making objects of clay and firing them in a kiln. Wares of earthenware and porcelain, as well as sculpture are made by ceramists. Enamel is also a ceramic technique. Ceramic materials may be decorated with slip, engobe, or glaze, applied by a number of techniques, including resist, mishima, and sanggam. Pots made can be made by the coil, slab, some other manual technique, or on a potter’s wheel.

Charcoal: 1) materials: Compressed burned wood used for drawing. The main two categories of charcoal are vine and compressed. Charcoal may be in the form of sticks, pencils and chunks and vary considerably in texture and darkness. 2) color: a dark silvery gray.

Chiaroscuro: (Italian, meaning light and shadow) A style of drawing and painting that focuses on details and precision of relative values and transitions of values to achieve photorealistic effects in drawings and paintings. Originally developed to great precision by Renaissance artists such as Leonardo.

CMYK: the abbreviation for cyan (C), magenta (M), yellow (Y) and key (K). CMYK is a color model. These colors are used in a four color printing process and are thus referred to as printer’s colors. CMYK colors as used in printing are transparent and rely upon superpositioning to achieve color mixing rather than physically mixing the pigments. There is no white in the CMYK pigments so all of the light in a printed image comes from the light reflected from the surface (usually paper) on which the image is printed. Each color filters or “subtracts” certain frequencies of light, thus CMYK is a subtractive color model as opposed to an additive color model.

Collage: a style or technique developed by the Cubists, consisting of creating a work of art by gluing pieces of material (e.g., photographs, fabric) or objects to a surface to create an image that usually has little or no relationship to the material used.

Color: an Element of Design;a visual attribute of things that results from the light they emit or transmit or reflect; the visual response to the wavelengths of light, identified as red, blue, green, etc.; primary and secondary colors; warm, cool, and neutral colors, color value; hue; and intensity. To effectively describe a color one must consider the hue, value and saturation; these are the elements of the HSV model of color. The technology of color is also concerned with the electromagnetic frequencies that stimulate the retina of the observer and produce a mental reaction.

Color permanence: refers to a pigment’s stability over time. Commercially produced paints are typically tagged with a code indicating a color’s degree of permanence based on codes created by various standards bodies; the most common being the American Standard for TTesting and Materials (ASTM) which has become an international standard.

Color scheme: a plan or theme that describes the range of colors used in an image. A color scheme is usually described in terms of a color system.

Color separation: a process of separating artwork into component films of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black in preparation for printing to ultimately create a full-color printed product. Color separation was originally done by hand and later by photographic means. Computerized image processing and reproduction techniques  have taken the place of separated film negatives for most applications.

Color Systems: Since the philosophies of Aristotle, scientists have analyzed color and proposed various schemes or systems of concepts and associated terminology to describe and discuss the nature and use of color. See information for Isaac Newton, Albert Munsell Johannes Itten.

Color wheel (aka Color Circle): a tool for visualizing and organizing colors to represent relationships among colors. The original color wheel concept was developed by Sir Isaac Newton as a conclusion of his studies of the physics of light.Color wheels are used a visualization technique for several color models.

Commercial Art: refers to art that is made for the purposes of commerce. The term is somewhat obsolete and is currently being replaced in many colleges with the term “Visual Communication.” Many times the term Commercial Art is used pejoratively in contrast with “fine art” or “gallery art”; the fact is that most of the master artists from history were “commercial artists” and “illustrators” since they created their famous works on commission. It was not until the late nineteenth century that the concept of the “fine art” artist as a “free spirit” was born.

Commission: refers to the act of hiring someone to execute a certain work of art or set of artworks.

Complementary Colors: two colors directly opposite one another on the color wheel. When placed next to one another, complementary colors are intensified and often appear to vibrate. When mixed, brown or gray is created. Traditional examples of complementary colors (according to Itten) are: red and green, blue and orange, and yellow and violet. Some other pairs are suggested by other other theories or models such as the color wheel of the Munsell Color System

Composition: the arrangement of the design elements within the design area; the ordering of visual and emotional experience to give unity and consistency to a work of art and to allow the observer to comprehend its meaning.

Computer Graphics: refers to visual images made with the assistance of computers. Computer graphics are often made with software called drawing, painting, illustrating and photographic programs or applications (e.g. Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator; CorelPaint! The GIMP, .

Contemporary Art: art created in the current time period – usually referring to the late twentieth century.

Contrast: the difference between elements or the opposition to various elements.

Contre jore: (Fr: against the day) A compositional technique for increasing drama by creating an image that is primarily composed of silhouettes by creating a background that simulates a bright light or sky.

Cool Colors: Hues that suggest coolness (e.g., blues, greens, and most violets). Contrast with Warm Colors.

Cropping: the cutting out of extraneous parts of an image, usually a photograph; excluding part of a photo or illustration to show only the portion desired or to fit a given space requirement.

Cubism: art that uses two-dimensional geometric shapes to depict three-dimensional organic forms; a style of painting created by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in the early 20th century whereby the artist breaks down the natural forms of the subjects into geometric shapes and creates a new kind of pictorial space.

– D –

Decorative Arts: collective term for such art forms as ceramics, enamels, furniture, glass, ivory, metalwork and textiles, especially when they take forms used as interior decoration.

Decoupage: the Victorian craft of cutting out motifs from paper gluing them to a surface and covering with as many layers of varnish as is required to give a completely smooth finish.

Depth of Field: in photography, there is a plane in three dimensional space where objects in the image are in sharp focus; the depth of this space is referred to as the depth of field, the field being that space where objects are in sharp focus. A shallow depth of field is used in portraits to provide a soft backdrop, whilst a greater depth of field is useful for landscapes to ensure everything from the foreground to the background is in focus. Shorter (wider angle) lenses and smaller apertures increase depth of field. The concept of Depth of Field is also very useful in realistic graphic art because it mimics the function of the camera and thus the eye. A full discussion of Depth of Field and its uses would require a several pages.

Design: the arrangement of the design elements to create a single effect. The organization or composition of a work; the skilled arrangement of its parts. An effective design is one in which the Elements and Principles of Design have been used to achieve an overall sense of interest, variety and unity.

Designing: the process of relating the elements whether they are similar or contrasting and visually arranging an interesting unity with them using the Elements and Principles of Design.

Dimension: a term used to describe an object’s extent and position in space. A two-dimensional object is one that has only length and width. A three-dimensional object is one that has length, width, and depth. Dimensions are used to describe and analyze the location of a real object or geometric reference (such as a point, line or plane) in space as well as the size and form of an object. Sometimes (such as in animation or music), time is frequently considered to be a necessary fourth dimension.

Dominance: a Principle of Design: the emphasis placed on a particular area or characteristic of a work, with other areas or aspects given subordinate or supporting roles.

Double exposure: a technique used in film and photography to expose two images onto one negative, or sheet of photographic paper.

Double loading: refers to loading a brush with two colors side by side. This is a technique typical of tole and other kinds of decorative painting. Also known as “side loading”.

Drawing: the act of representing an image on a surface by means of adding lines and shades, as with a pencil, crayon, pen, chalk, pastels, etc. Also refers to an illustration that has been drawn by hand. See the primary FAS drawing topic where the nature of drawing is discussed.

– E –

Easel: an upright support (commonly a tripod) used for displaying something or holding a canvas or other surface for painting or drawing from a standing position.

Economy: the deletion of non-essential details to more effectively indicate the essence of a design or composition.

Edge: the boundary of a shape. Edges may be hard or soft based on how rapidly the contrast of the combined shapes transitions.

Egg tempera: a medium created by mixing pure, ground pigments with egg yolk. This was a very common medium before the invention of oil paints.

Elements of Design: fundamental aspects of graphic art works. Various sources list different elements but the list typically includes color, line, texture, shape, form, and space.  Contrast and use in conjunction with Principles of Design to constitute the Fundamentals of Design.

Emphasis: a Principle of Design. Emphasis may be defined as the special attention or importance given to one part or element in an art work. Emphasis can be achieved through placement, contrast, size, etc.

En plein air: French for “in open air,” used to describe paintings that have been executed outdoors, rather than in the studio.

Etching: an image making process consisting of making an impression from an plate with the reverse of the image scratched or etched into the plate. The intaglio process in which an image is scratched through an acid-resistant coating on a metal plate. The plate is then dipped in acid which eats into the exposed surface.

Exhibition: a public showing of a piece or a collection of objects. Also called an exhibit.

Expressionism: a post-World War I artistic movement, of German origin, that emphasized the expression of inner experience rather than solely realistic portrayal, seeking to depict not objective reality but the subjective emotions and responses that objects and events arouse in the artist.

Eye Level Line (ELL): a concept that is important to traditional perspective. Sometimes used interchangeably with “Horizon Line”.

– F –

Ferrule: the tubular metal or plastic part of a paintbrush that that aligns and anchors bristles or hairs in an adhesive. The ferrule is attached to the handle by crimping or by binding wires.

Filbert brush: a type of paintbrush whose bristles are formed with a rounded terminus like a flower petal or leaf.

Filigree: a technique used to produce fine intricate patterns in metal. Often used for metal beads, clasps, and bead caps.

Fine art: art created for purely aesthetic expression, communication, or contemplation. Painting and sculpture are the best known of the fine arts.

Fixative: a liquid, similar to varnish, which is usually sprayed over a finished piece of artwork to better preserve it and prevent smudging. Artwork media requiring fixative include drawings done in pencil, charcoal, and pastel.

Flat brush: a brush whose bristles are formed straight and flat, like chisel.

Foam core: a stiff lightweight board of polystyrene foam laminated between two sheets of paper that is commonly used as backing for art prints and constructing models. Sometimes referred to as “foam board”. Some types of foam core (such as GatorBoard) use harder materials and thus are much stronger.

Focal point: a specific area, element or principle that dominates a work of art; the area in a work which the eye is most compellingly drawn. The viewer’s eye is usually drawn there first.

Folk art: art created by people who have had no formal, academic training, but whose works are part of an established tradition of style and craftsmanship.

Font: a complete set of characters in a particular size and style of type. This includes the letter set, the number set, and all of the special character and diacritical marks you get by pressing the shift, option, or command/control keys.

Form: an Element of Design. Form is a sculptural or three-dimensional visual mass bounded by a surface or collection of adjoining surface segments (e.g., cube, pyramid, sphere are regular or geometric forms; other forms that appear more naturally in nature and typically cannot be named are referred to as organic forms).

Foreground: the area or objects in a picture that appears closest to the viewer. In traditional images (such as landscapes or still lifes) most of the foreground commonly appears at the lower part of the picture plane.  Combine and contrast with Background and Middle Ground. Objects in the foreground typically obscure parts of the image that are further from the viewer.

Foreshortening: an effect of perspective where the nearest parts of an object or form that are nearest to the viewer are enlarged in a drawing and overlap other parts of the object to produce an impression of depth. (verb:) To distort parts of the image of an object to make it appear to have depth.

Form: an Element of Design. Form is a sculptural or three-dimensional visual mass bounded by a surface or collection of adjoining surface segments (e.g., cube, pyramid, sphere are regular or geometric forms; other forms that appear more naturally in nature and typically cannot be named are referred to as organic forms).

Fractal: a mathematically generated pattern that is reproducible at any magnification or reduction. A geometric pattern that is repeated at ever smaller scales to produce irregular shapes and/or surfaces that cannot be represented by classical geometry. (See illustration.)


Fresco: from the Italian, meaning ‘fresh’: a technique of blending wet plaster with water based paint. As the plaster dries it becomes a lasting surface base. “fresco” may refer to the technique as well as the resulting painting. The art of fresco painting reached its zenith of popularity during the Renaissance.

Fugitive colors: pigments with low permanence that typically fade or change over time or with exposure to light. Such pigments are not desirable for mixing and most have been replaced with more stable pigment in modern paints. To see an example of a fugitive pigment, consider van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” which were a brilliant yellow when originally painted but the paint has oxidized to a dull ochre and will eventually become a sienna.

– G –

Gallery: a room or series of rooms or a virtual equivalent in online art sites where works of art are exhibited.

Geometric Shape: a shape (i.e. a two dimensional object) that is based on geometric figures (e.g., square, circle, triangle).

Gesso: a mixture of plaster, chalk, or gypsum bound together with a glue which is applied as a ground or coating to surfaces in order to give them the correct properties to receive paint. Gesso can also be built up or molded into relief designs, or carved.

Giclée: a printmaking process originally produced using an IRIS inkjet printer to make reproductions from a high quality photograph of a painting, drawing, print, etc. Various other techniques, such as over-painting are frequently combined with the giclee print.

GIF: an acronym for “Graphic Interchange Format”, an image format type generated specifically for computer use. Its resolution is usually very low (72 – 90 dpi), making it undesirable for printing purposes.

Gild the lily: a phrase meaning to add unnecessary ornamentation to something already beautiful.

Gilding: the application of a gold finish. It can be achieved by applying gold leaf, or by using metallic powders.

Glaze: a thin layer of translucent acrylic or oil paint applied to all or part of a painting, to modify the tone or color underneath. Glazing was developed by the old masters of the Renaissance to give more color vitality to their work and is still a popular technique used by painters today for the same purpose.

Gold leaf: an extremely thin tissue of gold used for gilding.

Gouache: a water based paint, made heavier and more opaque by the addition of a white pigment (chalk, Chinese white, etc.) in a gum arabic mixture. This results in a stronger color than ordinary watercolor.

Graphic art: two-dimensional art forms such as drawing, engraving, etching and illustration in their various forms.

Graphic design: the applied art of arranging image and text to communicate a message. It may be applied in any media, such as print, digital media, motion pictures, animation, product decoration, packaging, and signs. Graphic design as a practice can be traced back to the origin of the written word, but only in the late 19th century did it become identified as a separate entity.

Graphite: a soft, black, lustrous mineral made of carbon used in lead pencils, paints, crucibles, and as a lubricant. Since it is one of the the first mediums that most children encounter, many artists create their first drawings with graphite. Graphite pencils and drawing sticks are marked with a number and letter code indicating the darkness of the mark produced: from hard to soft (9H … 2H, HB, F, 2B … 9B). Despite its popularity and graphite and common experience, graphite is not a simple medium to use well.

Grayscale: the range of gray tones between black and white. Scales are usually divided into steps.

Grid: a series of reference lines that meet to form a rectangular pattern used in the predetermined placement of photographs and graphic elements on a page.

Grid based enlarging: the process of using a grid to enlarge an image; for copying very precisely, another image, on the same or a different scale, usually larger; used in scaling an image by drawing (see illustration).

Grisaille: Monochrome painting generally employing shades of gray executed in a greenish black pigment and an inert white pigment in oil, gouache or tempera; a stained glass window incorporating muted tones as opposed to bright colors.

– H –

Halftone: a print making technique that consists of breaking a continuous tone original, such as a photograph, into a pattern of closely spaced dots of pigment in which detail and tone value are represented by a series of evenly spaced dots of varying size and shape.

Harmony: the unity of all the visual elements of a composition achieved by the repetition of the same characteristics or those which are similar in nature.

Horizon Line (HL): The “line” or edge at which, to the viewer, the sky and the earth appear to meet in a hypothetically perfectly spherical earth. In linear perspective this term is frequently used interchangeably with the more correct term Eye Level Line (ELL)

Horizontal balance: the components that are balanced left and right of a central axis.

Hue: The attribute of color that is nameable (e.g., red, yellow green). A hue may be a single dominate frequency of electromagnetic radiation or a mixture of frequencies or an angular position on a standard color wheel.  Hue is usually combined with Saturation (sometimes called intensity or purity) and Value to fully define a color.

– I –

Icon: an artistic visual representation or symbol of anything considered holy and divine, such as God, saints or deities. An icon could be a painting (including relief painting), sculpture, or mosaic. Also refers to a little picture on a computer screen that represents the various functions of the computer. Generally the user clicks on an icon to start an application or function.

Illustrate: to create designs and pictures for books, magazines, or other print or electronic media to make clear or explain the text or show what happens in a story.

Illustration: a visualization such as drawing, painting, photograph or other work of art that stresses subject more than form. The aim of an Illustration is to elucidate or decorate a story, poem or piece of textual information (such as a newspaper article) by providing a visual representation of something described in the text.

Illustration board: heavy paper or card appropriate as a support for pencil, pen, watercolor, collage, etc.

Illustrator: a graphic artist who specializes in enhancing written text by providing a visual representation that corresponds to the content of the associated text. Also refers to a computer illustration program developed by Adobe Systems, Inc.

Image Frame (IF): the portion of the Picture Plane that contains an image. The IF is typically rectangular.

Implied line: a line in a work that is subtlety perceived by the viewer but has no physical form; the overall flow of one line into another in a work, with continuation from one area to the next suggested by their common direction and/or juxtaposition.

Impressionism: a loose spontaneous style of painting that originated in France about 1870. The impressionist style of painting is characterized chiefly by concentration on the general impression produced by a scene or object and the use of unmixed primary colors and small strokes to simulate actual reflected light.

Impressionistic Art: art in the Impressionist style, a characteristic of which is the depiction of the perception of reflected light effects.

Industrial design: the design of the mass-produced products of our everyday environment, from sinks and furniture to computers.

– J –

JPEG: an acronym for “Joint Photographic Experts Group”: a common standardized method of compressing photographic images used on the Web. JPEG graphics are capable of reproducing a full range of color while still remaining small enough for Web use.

Justified type: in typography, Text spaced out between words to create columns with both edges flush or evenly aligned. With narrow columns, justification can create awkward gaps. However, with wide columns, justification can add elegant symmetry.

Juxtaposition: the act of placing or positioning items in the image area side by side or next to one another to illustrate some comparison.

– K –

Kern: in typography, to reduce space between two or three characters so those characters appear better fitted together. Also referred to as kerning.

Kiln:  an oven in which pottery or ceramic ware is fired.

– L –

Lacquer: a clear or colored finish material that dries to a hard, glossy finish. Usually applied with a sprayer, lacquer dries too quickly for smooth application with a brush, unless it is specially formulated.

Landscape: a painting, drawing or photograph which depicts a outdoor scene. A traditional landscape is rural and bucolic, however, when this term is used as a category of work in a show oe competition, it may refer to outdoor scenes in a city (commonly called a “cityscape”), on the ocean (commonly called as “seascape”) or even, underwater.

Leading: (pronounced to rhyme with ‘heading’) in typography, the vertical spacing between lines of type, typically measured from the baseline of one line to the baseline of the next. Originated in early days of moveable metal type, when strips of lead were inserted between lines of type to adjust the line spacing.

Life drawing: observational drawing made from actual objects, not photographs. Sometimes refers to only drawing of human figures. Models  are commonly nude to provide practice drawing and understanding anatomy, rhythm,weight and how light and shadow describe the forms of the body.

Light table: refers to a table made especially for working with negatives, viewing transparencies and slides, and pasting up artwork, that has a translucent top with a light shining up through it.

Likeness: refers to the accuracy of the appearance, character or nature of an image to the subject.

Limited edition: a series of prints pulled from the same master, produced as an edition, in order to verify the original nature of the printing. Limited editions are signed and numbered by the artist. Once the prints in the edition have all been made, the printing plate or master is struck (intentionally damaged or destroyed) or the digital file is then destroyed to maintain the integrity of the limited edition. The image is not published again in the same form.

Line: an Element of Design; an actual or implied mark, path, shape, or edge, where length is the primary attribute. A line can be an extremely simple or complex object. As with most fundamental concept terms, ‘line’ becomes a general rather than specific concept and is only useful as a concept for generic classification. A ‘line drawing’ may consist of so many individual lines, with so many variations of style and combinations that the textures and patterns created become the primary features of the work.

Linear perspective: a systematic process for drawing the illusion of depth and forms of geometric objects on a two-dimensional surface using lines to define the objects. Linear perspective was rediscovered/reinvented (historically, Roman, Greek and Arabic artists had used the techniques) by Filippo Brunelleschi around 1410-15. In 1436 Leon Battista Alberti extended Brunelleschi’s  work and developed rigorous techniques for creating accurate drawing of architectural objects.

Linseed oil: the most popular oil used as paint medium and binder. Linseed oil hardens over several weeks as components of the oil polymerize to form an insoluble matrix. Driers can be added to accelerate this process.

Lithography: uses the principle that oil and water don’t mix as the basis of the printing process; a method of printing using plates whose image areas attract ink and whose non image areas repel ink. Non image areas may be coated with water to repel the oily ink or may have a surface, such as silicon, that repels ink.

Local color: an object’s inherent color; the actual color as distinguished from the apparent color which is significantly affected by ambient light, shadow or reflected light.

Logo: a symbolic form that identifies organizations, products, etc. Logos are usually designed to be reproduced easily and in black and white or very few colors.

Lowercase: in typography, small letters of a typeface, as opposed to the capital letters, or uppercase letters. Derived from the location of the type cases in which typographers used to store metal or wood letterforms.

– M –

Macramé: a craft form of textile or rope art using knotting rather than weaving or knitting. Its primary knots are the square knot and forms of hitching (full hitch and double half hitches). It has been used by sailors, especially in elaborate or ornamental knotting forms to decorate anything from knife handles to bottles to parts of ships.

Magenta: one of the four process colors, or CMYK, the M is for magenta. A color also known as fuchsia and hot pink; a moderate to vivid purplish red or pink.

Mannerism: a style that developed in the sixteenth century as a reaction to the classical rationality and balanced harmony of the High Renaissance; characterized by the dramatic use of space and light, exaggerated color, elongation of figures, and distortion of perspective, scale, and proportion.

Marbling: the art or process of producing certain patterns of a veined or mottled appearance in imitation of marble by means of colors so prepared as to float on a mucilaginous liquid which possesses antagonistic properties to the colors prepared for the purpose.

Masterpiece: a work done with extraordinary skill, especially a work of art, craft or intellect that is an exceptionally great achievement.

Medium: the materials or technique an artist works in; also, the component of paint in which the pigment is dispersed.

Middle Ground: area in the picture between the foreground and the background.

Mineral spirits: an inexpensive paint thinner which cleans brushes, thins paint, cleans furniture, and removes wax often used as a substitute for turpentine.

Miniature: a representational work of art made on a greatly reduced scale.

Minimal design: omitting all non-essential or un-important elements and details which don’t really contribute to the essence of the overall composition in order to emphasize what is important.

Minimalism: a movement and style of art from the 20th century which attempts to reduce art to the basic geometric shapes with the fewest colors, lines, and textures. Minimal art does not seek to be representational of any object. Also known as ABC art.

Mixed media: the art technique where an artist employs different types of physical materials such as ink and pastel or painting and collage etc. and combines them in a single work.

Model: a person or reference object who used as a primary reference for an image.

Monochromatic: a color scheme limited to variations of one hue, a hue with its tints and/or shades.

Monochrome: images created in a range of tones of a single color.

Montage: an artwork comprising of seemingly unrelated shots or scenes which, when combined of various existing images such as from photographs or prints and arranged so that they join, overlap or blend to create a new image which achieve meaning (as in, shot A and shot B together give rise to an third idea, which is then supported by shot C, and so on) (see illustration) .

Mosaic: an art medium in which small pieces of colored glass, stone, or ceramic tile called tessera are embedded in a background material such as plaster or mortar. Also, works made using this technique.

Movement: a Principle of Design. Movement is the way in which the elements of design are organized so that the viewer’s eye is led through the work of art in a systematic way. An art movement is a tendency or style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal, followed by a group of artists during a restricted period of time

Mural: a large wall painting, often executed in fresco.

– N –

Naïve art: art created by untrained artists. It is characterized by simplicity and a lack of the elements or qualities found in the art of formally trained artists.

Negative space: The void or open areas around a shape, object or form. Contrast with Positive Space. Analysis and use of negative space can produce very dramatic effects.

Neutral color: colors of very low saturation, approaching grays.

– O –

Oil paint: a type of paint made from color particles( pigment) and an oil binder. Oil paint dries slowly, can be used thick or thin, and with glazes. Because it dries slowly, oil paint is easier to blend from dark to light creating the illusion of three-dimensions.

Organic Shapes or Forms: Shapes or forms that are non-geometric or free-flowing or that are based on natural objects.

Original: the term ‘original’ can imply exclusivity or the idea that the work is ‘one of a kind’ rather than a copy by any method including offset-lithography, digital printing or by forgery. Not all paintings can be considered original since the term also refers to the image being newly created, so a painted copy of another work is not an original.

Outsider art: art work made by artists who are considered to be outside of mainstream society. Outsider art broadly includes folk art and ethnic art as well as by prisoners, the mentally ill and others neither trained in art nor making their works to sell them.

Overpainting: the final layer of paint that is applied over the under painting or under layer after it has dried. The idea behind layers of painting is that the under painting is used to define the basic shapes and design so that the overpainting can be used to fill in the details of the piece.

– P –

Painterly: painting style characterized by “looseness” of shapes and imprecision of edges created by loose brushwork in light and dark color areas rather than by outline or contour.

Palette: a panel of glass, wood or other material, or pad of paper, which is used to hold the paint to be used in painting; also, the basic selection of colors used by a particular painter.

Palette knife: a tool originally used by artists for scraping up and mixing the paint from the palette, this implement has been adopted for impasto painting where paint is spread thickly.

Pantone Matching System (PMS): an internationally recognized system of over 3000 pre-mixed colors representing shades on both coated or uncoated stock, along with the precise printing formulas to achieve each color. Each PANTONE color has a specified CMYK equivalent which is numbered and is listed in the swatch guide for quick reference when choosing colors for printing purposes. This system is highly accurate and produces consistent results.

Paper mâché: a technique for creating forms by mixing wet paper pulp with glue or paste. The form hardens as it dries, and becomes suitable for painting. Although paper mâché is a French word which literally means “chewed paper”, it was originated by the Chinese – the inventors of paper.

Papyrus: the predecessor of modern paper made from the pith of the papyrus plant used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans.

Parchment: an early paper material highly valued during the middle ages. Originally made from goat or sheep skin, parchment today is made from organic fibers and affords artists such as calligraphers a crisp, smooth, high quality surface on which to write.

Pastel: a crayon made from pigment mixed with gum and water and pressed into a stick-shaped form; a work of art created from pastels; a pale color.

Permanent pigment: refers to any pigment which is expected to last or remain without essential change and is not likely to deteriorate under certain atmospheric conditions, in normal light or in proximity to other colors.

Perspective: A technique for creating the illusion of depth on a two-dimensional surface. There are three types of perspective: – Basic (or ‘diminishing’ perspective), in which objects appear to diminish in size and appear closer to the Eye Level Line as their distance from the viewer increases; – Linear perspective, which involves the use of parallel lines that appear to converge as their distance from the viewer increases to help an artist accurately gauge the correct size, shapes and position of objects; – Atmospheric perspective, which is produced by the gradual lessening of the intensity of color and the reducing of detail as the distance between an object and the viewer increases.

Photorealism: a style of painting in which an image is created in such exact detail that it looks like a photograph; uses everyday subject matter, and often is larger than life.

Photoshop: the most popular professional grade image-editing and graphics creation software from Adobe. It provides a large library of effects, filters and layers.

Picture Plane (PP): a plane that is always perpendicular to the viewer’s line of sight and is the conceptual surface on which an image exists.

Pigment: any coloring agent, made from natural or synthetic substances, used in paints or drawing materials; the substance in paint or anything that absorbs light, producing (reflecting) the same color as the pigment.

Plane: a two dimensional space. As a theoretical concept, a plane extends forever in both dimensions, however, in application, only a portion of a plane is ever considered or viewed at anyone time. Examples of application of the plane concept are the Picture Plane and Image Frame.

Plein air: French for “open air”, referring to landscapes painted ala prima and in the out of doors with the intention of catching the impression of the open air.

Point of view (POV): the position from which something is seen or considered; for instance, head-on, from overhead, from ground level, etc. The artist’s and viewer’s viewpoing.

Pointillism: a painting technique in which dots of pure color (usually high saturation primary colors) are dabbed onto the canvas surface. The viewer’s eye, when at a distance, is then expected to see these dots merge as cohesive areas of different colors and color ranges. Pointillism may also be used to generate black and white images, in a fashion similar to a half-tone print.

Pop art: an art movement which seeks its inspiration from commercial art and items of mass culture (such as comic strips, popular foods and brand name packaging). Certain works of art created by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein are examples of pop art.

Portrait: a painting, photograph, or other artistic representation of a person.

Positive space:. The collection of shapes on a two-dimensional surface that represent a form or collection of connected forms. Sometimes used to refer the subject of a drawing or painting while ignoring the environment or background. Contrast with Negative Space.

Potter: a craftsman who shapes pottery on a potter’s wheel and bakes them it a kiln.

Potter’s wheel: a horizontal disk revolving on a spindle and carrying the clay being shaped by the potter.

Pottery: a form of ceramic art, where wet clays are shaped (usually as vessels or plates) and dried, then fired to harden them and make them waterproof.

Primary colors: colors that cannot be created by mixing other colors, but that can be mixed to produce all the other colors. Depending on the type of color (subtractive or additive) the primary colors are different. Different Color Systems have differing primary colors.

Primitive art: Art that has imagery of folk art , it places emphasis on form and expression and often looks child like.

Principles of Design: Principles or guidelines used by artists to organize the visual elements of an art work. Various sources list different principles but the list typically includes balance, emphasis, rhythm, unity, movement, variety, harmony, and proportion. This term is commonly used in conjunction with Elements of Design as a primary part of the Fundamentals of Design. Principles of Design are applied to elements of design to provide guidelines and methods to discuss 2D and 3D designs. Just as with the Elements of Design, there is not unanimous agreement as to a definitive set of Principles but they typically include balance, movement, emphasis, contrast, proportion, scale, space, and unity; sometimes the catch-all term “gestalt” is included.

Printmaking: the process by which a work of art can be recreated in great quantity from a single image usually prepared from a plate.

Proportion: a Principle of Design. Proportion may be described as the relationship between objects with respect to size, number, etc.

Pure symmetry: visual equilibrium created in an image by near identical parts that are equally distributed on either side of a real or imaginary central axis in mirror-like repetition.

– Q –

Quadrilateral: in geometry, a four-sided polygon; examples include squares, rectangles, parallelograms, trapezoids, etc.

Quill: a pen is made from a flight feather (preferably a primary) of a large bird, most often a goose. Quills were used as instruments for writing with ink before the metal dip pen, the fountain pen, and eventually the ball point pen came into use.

Quilting: the process of making a Quilt from beginning to end. Or the actual act of sewing the layers of a quilt together, either by hand or by machine. Also refers to the finished lines of sewn thread that make up the quilting design.

– R –

Rabbet: the “L” cutout all around the perimeter of the frame, against which glass, mat, or picture panels are installed.

Radial balance: the balance as the result of components that are distributed around a center point or spring out from a central line.

Realism: a style of painting which depicts subject matter (form, color, space) as it appears in actuality or ordinary visual experience without distortion or stylization.

Repetition: a series of repeated elements having similarity.

Representational Art: Graphic art whose subject matter contains recognizable images of objects found in real life, mythology, literature, science, etc.

Reproduction: a copy of an original print or fine art piece. A reproduction could be in the form of a print, like an offset-lithographic print, or even reproduced in the same medium as the original, as in an oil painting.

RGB: acronym: Red, Green, Blue. In web design and design for computer monitors, colors are defined in terms of a combination of these three basic additive colors.

Rhythm: a Principle of Design: a continuance, a flow, or a feeling of movement achieved by the repetition or regulated visual units.

Right brain:  a theory in which the right hemisphere of the brain is the creative side, responsible for art and spatial comprehension, while the left hemisphere is responsible for reading, verbal, and mathematical sorts of tasks. Contrast with Left Brain.

Rule of thirds: a composition guideline that divides the scene into three rows and three columns. The rule states that the picture is likely to be more interesting if the focal point is not in the center of the canvas but rather at approximately one of the intersection points.

– S –

Sable brush: an artist’s brush made of sable hairs, usually used for watercolor because of its suppleness and water load carrying capacity.

Sans serif: in typography, a typeface, such as Helvetica, that does not have a serif (crossline) decorating the main strokes of the characters. Sans is French for “without” (see illustration).

Saturation (sometimes called intensity or purity): the ‘S’ part of the HSV model of colors. The attribute of a color that indicates the dilution of the hue of the color. Dilution may be achieved by adding other pigments or frequencies to the basic hue of the color. Changing the saturation of a color may appear to change the value of a color because more or less light energy reaches the eye of the viewer after the change in saturation.

Scale: an Element of Design similar to Size, however, Scale is the relative size of objects in the image whereas Size is about the size of objects relative to the entire image.

Sculptor: an artist who creates sculptures.

Sculpture: a three-dimensional physical form created as an artistic expression. Sculpture is primarily concerned with space: occupying it, relating to it, and influencing the perception of it.

Seascape: a painting or work of pictorial art that depicts the sea or a scene that includes the sea; a painting representing an expansive view of the ocean or sea; picture or painting depicting life around the sea.

Secondary colors: (color theory): hues that are derived by mixing equal amounts of two primary hues colors. Secondary colors are placed between their constituent primary colors on a color wheel.

Self portrait: a portrait an artist makes using himself or herself as its subject, typically drawn or painted from a reflection in a mirror. Also a portrait taken by the photographer of himself, either in a mirror, by means of a remote release, or with a self timer. Self portraits are a traditional subject because of the ready availability of the model (and it’s free!). Self portraiture is an excellent form of practice because the repetition theme which allows the artist to dig deeper into the subtle  nuances that can be developed.

Sepia: a golden brown tint sometimes applied to black-and-white pictures. Can give the finished print an antique appearance.

Serif: in typography, serifs are the small features at the end of strokes within letters see also sans-serif.

Shade: a color produced by adding black to a pigment. Contrast with Tint.

Shading: showing change from light to dark or dark to light in an image of a form by in order to use the shadow shapes and edges to indicate the form. See also Chiaroscuro.

Shape: an Element of Design. A shape may be defined as a two dimensional contiguous area of an image space bounded by a continuous edge or series of edge segments. As the recognition of the ‘edges’ of shapes become more complicated because of gradation and irregularities, the concept of ‘shape’ becomes a generic term that is only useful to help simplify thinking about or critiquing work.

Sienna: a form of limonite clay most famous in the production of oil paint pigments. Its yellow-brown color comes from ferric oxides contained within. As a natural pigment, it (along with its chemical cousins ochre and umber) was one of the first pigments to be used by humans, and is found in many cave paintings.

Silhouette: a dark or light shape, usually defining a form, outlined against a contrasting background but having very little or no detail within the shape.

Simplicity: the understanding of what is and is not important in a design. Details that do not have a major impact to the design are omitted to keep it uncluttered.

Size: an Element of Design similar to Scale, however, Scale is the relative size of objects in the image whereas Size is about the size of objects relative to the entire image.

Sketch: a rough drawing used to capture the basic elements and structure of a situation often used as the basis for a more detailed work.

Space: an Element of Design. Space is the area around, within, or between images or elements. Space can be created on a two-dimensional surface by using such techniques as overlapping of objects, varying of object size or placement, varying of color intensity and value, and use of detail and diagonal lines. A similar concept and term applies to three dimensional art.

Stained glass: glass that has been colored or stained through different processes. This term is also used to refer to the art of cutting colored glass into different shapes and joining them together with lead strips to create a pictorial window design.

Statue: a sculpture representing a human or animal.

Stencil: Stiff paper (or other sheet material) with a design cut into it as a template for shapes meant to be copied. Also a method of applying a design by brushing ink or paint through a cut-out surface.

Still life: a painting or other two-dimensional work of art representing inanimate objects such as bottles, fruit, and flowers. Also, the arrangement of these objects from which a drawing, painting, or other art work is made.

Stippling: a drawing technique consisting of many small dots or flecks to construct the image; technique of using small dots to simulate varying degrees of solidity or shading; to paint, engrave, or draw by means of dots or small touches of the brush, pen, or other tool.

Stomp: A kind of pencil consisting of a tight roll of paper or soft leather, or of a cylindrical piece of rubber or other soft material used for rubbing down hard lines in pencil or crayon drawing, for blending the lines of shading so as to produce a uniform tint.

Stretcher: a wooden frame over which the canvas of a painting is stretched (see illustration).

Style: a particular artist or “school” of artists way of representing or presenting something. The choice and use of materials, methods of work, subject matter, etc., reflect the style of an individual, a culture, or a historical period.

Support: the material providing a surface upon which an artist applies color, collage, etc.

Surrealism: an art style developed in Europe in the 1920’s, characterized by using the subconscious as a source of creativity to liberate pictorial subjects and ideas. Surrealist paintings often depict unexpected or irrational objects in an atmosphere of fantasy, creating a dreamlike scenario; An art movement in which one’s dreams, nightmares, sub consciousness and fantasy inspired the final works.

Symmetry: A type of balance in which parts or elements are equal in size or shape distributed over space, or in some other attribute.

Symmetrical balance: the placing of identical forms to either side of the central axis of a work to stabilize it visually.

– T –

T square: a guide for drawing horizontal lines on a drafting table. It is also used to guide the triangle that draws vertical lines. Its name comes from the general shape of the instrument where the horizontal member of the T slides on the side of the drafting table (see illustration).

Tension: occasionally treated as an Element or Property of Design to indicate a non-harmonious relationship between two or elements of a design.

Texture: An element of design. Texture is the feel or appearance of an object or material that implies that the surface would be unique to the viewer’s touch. Contrast with Pattern.

Tertiary color: also called intermediate color, these colors are blends of equal parts of a pair primary and secondary colors that are normally adjacent in a color wheel.

Texture: an Element of Design. Texture is the feel or appearance of an object or material that implies that the surface would be unique to the viewer’s touch. Contrast with Pattern.

Three-dimensional: occupying or giving the illusion of three dimensions (height, width, depth).

Three-dimensional space: a sensation of volume or space which seems to have thickness or depth as well as height and width.

Three-quarter view: a view of a face or any other subject which is half-way between a full and a profile view.

Thumbnail sketch: crude, small drawings typically used to develop the initial concept for a design.

TIFF: acronym for Tagged Image File Format, a standard digital graphic image file format usually generated by scanners. Developed by Aldus and Microsoft.

Tint: a hue with a certain amount of white added. Pink is a tint of red.

Titanium: an oxide used as a white pigment of great permanence and covering power. Usually extended with other whites to improve its brushing and drying properties.

Tole: decorative painting on tin objects.

Transition: the change or passing from one condition, place, thing, or activity to another; the passage linking one subject, section, or other part of a composition with another.

Trompe l’oeil: French for “fool the eye.” A two-dimensional representation that is so naturalistic that it looks actual or real (three-dimensional.) This form of painting was first used by the Romans thousands of years ago in frescoes and murals.

Turpentine: a traditional solvent and thinner for oil paint (aka “turps”). Since the 1960s, several versions of refined turpentine have been developed, mainly to reduce its volatility and thus its harmful vapors and odor.

Two-dimensional: having two dimensions (height and width); referring to something that is absolutely flat.

Two-dimensional space: a measurable area on a two-dimensional surface which. Such a space usually considered either a positive or negative space in the composition.

Typography: the study and process of typefaces; how to select, size, arrange, and use them in general. In modern terms. typography includes computer display and output. Traditionally, typography was the use of metal types with raised letterforms that were inked and then pressed onto paper.

– U –

Ultramarine: a vivid blue to purple-blue pigment originally made from ground lapis lazuli. French ultramarine is an artificial substitute.

Underdrawing: preliminary drawing that lies under the final painted or inked image.

Underpainting: the preliminary coats of paint in a painting that render the basic outline before the final paint layers are added to complete the work.

Unity: and organization of parts so that all contributed to a coherent whole. It is the combined result of all principles of design.

Uppercase: in typography, capital letters, which gained this alternative name from the standard location in which typesetters stored them.

– V –

Value: The perceived lightness or darkness of a color. The “V” in the HSV model of color.

Vanishing point: in Perspective, the point in the picture plane where two lines that represent parallel lines in three dimensional spce seem to converge to a point.

Variety: a Principle of Design. Achieving variety involves the use of differences or contrasts. Simultaneous Unity and Variety is usually a desirable design attribute to produce interest.

Vector graphic: a digital graphic made up of mathematically defined curves and line segments called vectors. Vector graphics can be edited by moving and resizing either the entire graphic or the lines and segments that compose the graphic. Vector graphics can be reduced and enlarged (zoomed in and out) with no loss of resolution.

Vermilion: an intense red-orange color, a variable color that is vivid red but sometimes with an orange tinge.

Vertical balance: the distribution of visual weights in a piece in such a way that top and bottom seem to be in equilibrium.

Viewfinder: a tool used to look through to compose an image. This tool is helpful in selecting the most interesting composition to be found in a larger image by cropping out unwanted perimeters. In photography a viewfinder is what the photographer looks through to compose, and in many cases to focus, the picture (see illustration).

Vignette: an image or painting where the borders are undefined and seem to fade away gradually until it blends into the background.

Viridian: a blue-green pigment composed more of green than blue. Viridian takes its name from the Latin viridis meaning “green”.

Visual communication: the communication of ideas through the visual display of information. Primarily associated with two dimensional images, it includes: alphanumeric, art, signs, and electronic resources. Recent research in the field has focused on web design and graphically oriented usability.

Visual economy: as used in art, a paring down to only the essential elements required to achieve the desired effect; a.k.a. simplicity.

Volume: the mass of three-dimensional shapes in space.

– W –

Wash: used in watercolor painting, brush drawing, and occasionally in oil painting to describe a broad thin layer of diluted pigment or ink. Also refers to a drawing made in this technique.

Warm colors: Colors whose relative visual temperature makes them seem warm. Warm colors or hues include red-violet, red, red-orange, orange, yellow-orange, and yellow.

Watercolor: a water-based paint that is a translucent wash of pigment; a painting produced with watercolors.

Watermark: a watermark is a design embossed into a piece of paper during its production and used for identification of the paper and paper maker. Since the watermark has no pigment, it is not usually visible until the paper is viewed with a light behind it.

Waterscape: A painting of or including a body of water. It might otherwise be called a marine picture, a seascape, or a riverscape, etc.

Wet-on-wet (or “wet-in-wet”): a painting technique that is well-known as being the primary method of painting used by Bob Ross. Since lighter colors will usually mix with darker colors if laid over top of them while wet, the technique relies on painting from light colors up. This gives the painting a soft look, and allows the colors to be blended to the painter’s desire.

Woodcut: illustrations produced when the original printing plate was engraved on a block of wood. One of the oldest methods of printing, dating back to 8 th century China.

Worm’s-eye view: as if seen from the surface of the earth, or the floor Looking up from below.

WYSIWYG: (pronounced “wizzy-wig”) is an acronym for What You See Is What You Get, and is used in computing to describe a seamlessness between the appearance of edited content on the monitor and final product.

– X –

Xerography: photographic process which uses an electrically charged metal plate. On exposure to light the electrical charge is destroyed, leaving a latent image in which shadows are represented by charged areas. A powdered pigment dusted over the plate is attracted to the charged areas, producing a visible image.

Xylography: an early form of wood engraving, was first seen in China in the 1st century. It is the oldest known engraving technique.

– Y –

Yellowing: a discoloration that can occur over time in oil paintings due to excessive use of linseed oil medium; applying any of the varnishes that are prone to yellow with age; or most often – an accumulation of dirt embedded into the varnish.

– Z –

Zinc white: a common white pigment, zinc white is a brilliant white synthetically derived from the metal zinc. Zinc white is not as opaque as Titanium White or Flake White.

Zinnober green: another name for chrome green.


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