An Artist’s Glossary

AcrylicA fast-drying paint containing pigment suspension in acrylic polymer emulsion. Acrylic paints are water-soluble, but become water-resistant when dry.

Adobe After Effects A digital visual effects, motion graphics, and compositing application developed by Adobe Systems and used in the post-production process of film making and television production.

Adobe Color An internet application (formerly known as Adobe Kuler) from Adobe Systems that lets individuals try out, create and save various colour schemes, each of which consists of a set of five colors.

Adobe Dreamweaver A web development tool developed by Adobe Systems. Dreamweaver was created by Macromedia in 1997, and was maintained by them until Macromedia was acquired by Adobe Systems in 2005.

Adobe Edge is a suite of web development tools developed by Adobe Systems that enhances the capabilities of their other applications, such as Dreamweaver.

Adobe Illustrator A vector graphics editor developed and marketed by Adobe Systems.

Adobe InDesign A desktop publishing software application produced by Adobe Systems. It can be used to create works such as posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, and books.

Adobe Muse A product by Adobe Systems. The software is focused on allowing designers to create websites without having to write any code.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom A photo processor and image organizer developed by Adobe Systems for Windows and OS X.

Adobe Photoshop A raster graphics editor developed and published by Adobe Systems for Windows and OS X.

Adobe Premiere Pro is a timeline-based video editing software application.

Airbrush A small, air-operated tool that sprays various media including ink and dye, but most often paint by a process of nebulization.

Arnolfini Portrait An oil painting on oak panel dated 1434 by the Early Netherlandish painter Jan van Eyck. It is also known as The Arnolfini Wedding, The Arnolfini Marriage, The Arnolfini Double Portrait or the Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife, among other titles. The painting is a small full-length double portrait, which is believed to represent the Italian merchant Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini and possibly his wife, presumably in their home in the Flemish city of Bruges.

Bas-Relief A projecting image with a shallow overall depth, for example used on coins, on which all images are in low relief. In the lowest reliefs the relative depth of the elements shown is completely distorted, and if seen from the side the image makes no sense, but from the front the small variations in depth register as a three-dimensional image.

Canvas An extremely durable plain-woven fabric used for making sails, tents, marquees, backpacks, and other items for which sturdiness is required. It is also popularly used by artists as a painting surface, typically stretched across a wooden frame.

Caravaggio Michelangelo Merisi (Michael Angelo Merigi or Amerighi) da Caravaggio; 29 September 1571 in Milan – 18 July? 1610) was an Italian painter active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily between 1592 and 1610. His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on Baroque painting.

Cloisonné An ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects, in recent centuries using vitreous enamel, and in older periods also inlays of cut gemstones, glass, and other materials.

Colored Pencil An art medium constructed of a narrow, pigmented core encased in a wooden cylindrical case.

Consular Diptych In Late Antiquity, a consular diptych was a type of diptych intended as a de-luxe commemorative object. A diptych is a pair of linked panels, generally in ivory, wood or metal and decorated with rich relief sculpture. A consular diptych was commissioned by a consul ordinarius to mark his entry to that post, and was distributed as a commemorative reward to those who had supported his candidature or might support him in future.

Donatello Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi (c. 1386 – December 13, 1466), better known as Donatello, was the most important early Renaissance sculptor from Florence. He studied classical sculpture, and used this to develop a fully Renaissance style in sculpture, which his periods in Rome, Padua and Siena introduced to other parts of Italy over his long and productive career.

Favrile Glass A type of iridescent art glass designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. It was patented in 1894 and first produced in 1896. It differs from most iridescent glasses because the color is ingrained in the glass itself, as well as having distinctive coloring.

Fresco A technique of mural painting executed upon freshly-laid, or wet lime plaster. Water is used as the vehicle for the pigment to merge with the plaster, and with the setting of the plaster, the painting becomes an integral part of the wall.

Fresco-secco A fresco painting technique in which pigments ground in water are tempered using egg yolk or whole egg mixed with water which are applied to plaster that has been moistened (using this temper) to simulate fresh plaster. No white is used.

Gesso A white paint mixture consisting of a binder mixed with chalk, gypsum, pigment, or any combination of these. Used in artwork as a preparation for any number of substrates such as wood panels, canvas and sculpture as a base for paint and other materials that are applied over it.

Giotto di Bondone (1266/7 – January 8, 1337), known as Giotto , was an Italian painter and architect from Florence in the late Middle Ages. He is generally considered the first in a line of great artists who contributed to the Renaissance.

Gouache A type of paint consisting of pigment, a binding agent (usually gum arabic), and sometimes added inert material, designed to be used in an opaque method.

High Relief Where in general more than half the mass of the sculpted figure projects from the background, indeed the most prominent elements of the composition, especially heads and limbs, are often completely undercut, detaching them from the field.

Jan van Eyck Early Netherlandish painter active in Bruges and one of the most significant Northern Renaissance artists of the 15th century. Outside of the Ghent Altarpiece completed with his brother Hubert van Eyck, and the illuminated miniatures ascribed to Hand G—believed to be Jan—of the Turin-Milan Hours, only about 25 surviving works are confidently attributed to him, all dated between 1432 and 1439.

Kiln A thermally insulated chamber, a type of oven, that produces temperatures sufficient to complete some process, such as hardening, drying, or chemical changes.

The Louvre One of the world’s largest museums and a historic monument in Paris, France. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement. Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres (652,300 square feet).

Marker A pen which has its own ink-source, and a tip made of porous, pressed fibers such as felt. A permanent marker consists of a container (glass, aluminum or plastic) and a core of an absorbent material. This filling serves as a carrier for the ink.

Mokomokai Preserved heads of Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, where the faces have been decorated by tā moko tattooing. They became valuable trade items during the Musket Wars of the early 18th century.

The Musée du quai Branly In Paris, France, features the indigenous art and cultures of Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. The museum collection has 450,000 objects, of which 3,500 are on display at any given time, in both permanent and temporary thematic exhibits.

The National Gallery An art museum in Trafalgar Square in Central London. Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900.

Objet d’art Literally “art object”, or work of art, in French, but in practice the term has long been reserved in English to describe works of art that are not paintings, large or medium-sized sculptures, prints or drawings.

Oil Paint A slow-drying paint that consists of particles of pigment suspended in a drying oil, commonly linseed oil. The viscosity of the paint may be modified by the addition of a solvent such as turpentine, and varnish may be added to increase the glossiness of the dried oil paint film.

Oil Sketch An artwork made primarily in oil paints that is more abbreviated in handling than a fully finished painting. Originally these were created as preparatory studies or modelli, especially so as to gain approval for the design of a larger commissioned painting. They were also used as designs for specialists in other media, such as printmaking or tapestry, to follow. Later they were produced as independent works, often with no thought of being expanded into a full-size painting.

The Paris Salon Beginning in 1667 was the official art exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Between 1748 and 1890 it was the greatest annual or biennial art event in the Western world.

Pastel An art medium in the form of a stick, consisting of pure powdered pigment and a binder. The pigments used in pastels are the same as those used to produce all colored art media, including oil paints; the binder is of a neutral hue and low saturation.

Silverpoint Drawing made by dragging a silver rod or wire across a surface, often prepared with gesso or primer.

Sketch A rapidly executed freehand drawing that is not usually intended as a finished work.

The Renaissance A period in Europe, from the 14th to the 17th century, considered the bridge between the Middle Ages and modern history. It started as a cultural movement in Italy in the Late Medieval period and later spread to the rest of Europe.

The Salon d’Automne (Autumn Salon) or Société du Salon d’automne, is an annual art exhibition held in Paris, France since 1903.

Stained Glass Colored glass as a material or to works created from it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches, mosques and other significant buildings.

Tempera A permanent, fast-drying painting medium consisting of colored pigments mixed with a water-soluble binder medium (usually a glutinous material such as egg yolk or some other size). Tempera also refers to the paintings done in this medium.

Louis Comfort Tiffany (February 18, 1848 – January 17, 1933) was an American artist and designer who worked in the decorative arts and is best known for his work in stained glass. He is the American artist most associated with the Art Nouveau and Aesthetic movements.

Tiffany Lamp A type of lamp with a glass shade made with glass designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany and his design studio. The most famous was the stained leaded glass lamp. Tiffany lamps are considered part of the Art Nouveau movement.

Titian (c. 1488/1490 – 27 August 1576), was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near Belluno (in Veneto, Republic of Venice).

Tony Robert-Fleury (1 September 1837 – 8 December 1911) Was a French painter born just outside Paris. He studied under his father Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury and under Paul Delaroche and Léon Cogniet at the École des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts) in Paris.

Turpentine A fluid obtained by the distillation of resin obtained from live trees, mainly pines. It is mainly used as a solvent and as a source of materials for organic synthesis.

Vellum A parchment usually made from calf skin, as opposed to that from other animals

Venus of Willendorf A 4.4 inch high statuette of a female figure made between 28,000 and 25,000 BC. It is carved from an oolitic limestone not local to the area, and tinted with red ochre. The figurine is now in the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.

Vitreous enamel Also called porcelain enamel, is a material made by fusing powdered glass to a substrate by firing, usually between 750 and 850 °C (1,380 and 1,560 °F). The powder melts, flows, and then hardens to a smooth, durable vitreous coating on metal, or on glass or ceramics.

Water miscible oil paint A modern variety of oil paint engineered to be thinned and cleaned up with water, rather than having to use chemicals such as turpentine.

Source: Wikipedia.