CLOISONNISM - A style in the post-impressionism era in which black outlines surround areas of bright color. French for partition.
PENTIMENTI - An
underlying image in a painting, as an earlier painting, part of a painting, or
original draft, that shows through, usually when the top layer of paint has
become transparent with age (from thefreedictionary.com).
CRAQUELURE - Formed as
the painting and paint ages, it's the pattern of relatively fine lines and
cracks that appear on the surface; depending on the age, the paint, and the
brushstroke, it can appear in different patterns, such as a grid or
ROMAN OCHRE - A deep,
rich reddish yellow ochre.
SMALT - Powdered
glass, colored to a deep powder blue hue using cobalt ions derived from cobalt
oxide; used as a pigment in painting; cobalt aluminate can be used in a similar
way, and is often known as cobalt blue (from Wikipedia).
CONTRE-JOUR - French
for 'against daylight,' it refers to the effect of backlighting in a painting
(or other media, such as photography) when the contrast between light and dark
is much stronger causing silhouettes of certain objects.
RABBET - The recess on
the back inside edge of a picture frame that holds the artwork in
(Pronounced shuh-RET) French for cart or chariot; an intense period of
design activity; may have come from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts when a cart was
pulled among students to collect their art work (from
DRYPOINT - An etching
technique for making a print, much like intaglio engraving; a metal pointed
needle (the dry point) is used to etch the image in a plate (copper, zinc,
CREPONS - Prints on
RAISONNE - (from
Wikipedia) A monograph giving a comprehensive catalogue of artworks by the
artist so that the artworks may be reliably identified by third
PAINTERLY - Of,
relating to, or typical of a painter or painting; marked by an openness of form
in which sharp outlines are lacking (from
STATION POINT - The
artist's distance and position in relation to a subject or
NABIS - (from Wikipedia) a group of French Post-Impressionist,
avant garde Academie Julian student artists in the 1890s; best known were Pierre
Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard, Maurice Denis; Nabi means 'prophet' in
Arabic; probably influenced the later Fauves and Cubists.
SINTRA(tm) - Trade
name from Alcan Composites for closed-cell PVC foamboard, a light-weight, rigid
material used in the manufacture of signs and displays (from
MAECENASES - A
generous patron or philanthropist, especially of art or literature; from Gaius
Maecenases, 8th century b.c. Roman statesman and patron (from
INSTALLATION ART - An
artistic genre of site-specific, three-dimensional works designed to transform
the perception of space (from Wikipedia).
PASTICHE - A work of
art that is obviously derived from and imitates a previous artwork or
- An odorless wetting agent/medium used to improve the flow of
watercolor washes; made from the gall bladder of an ox.
JAPONISME - French
term for art from Japan, a popular genre in the late 19th century--especially
wood-cut engravings; according to Wikipedia, it was first used by Jules Claretie
in his 1872 book, L'Art Francais, and influenced the Impressionists and later
Art Noveau and Cubism.
TONDO - Shortened from
the Italian word rotondo, meaning round, it refers to circular, that is round,
paintings usually two or more feet in diameter, painted during the Renaissance
by notables, such as Botticelli and Michaelangelo.
TRONIE - Dutch for
face, this is a type of painting "invented" by Rembrandt von Rijn; a kind of
portraiture combined with a historical figure featuring either heads or
half-torsos wearing exotic period costume, such as turbans, furs, etc.
- (Pronounced deh-grah-DAY) French for the process of
gradually lightening the value of a color by adding white.
ECORCHE - French for
flayed; a drawing or statue of humans or animals with skin removed to show
muscles; used to teach art in the 16th/17th centuries.
BODEGON - (Pronounced
bo-dthay-gon) Spanish for pantry, tavern, or wine cellar; in art, it's
a small still life painting in which the subject is food (game or fowl) and
drink displayed on a table or stone slab and set in a kitchen scene; it may or
may not include people.
REPRESENTATIONAL ART -
It simply means that the work depicts something easily recognizable by most
people; it's not abstract (from about.com/art history).
PUCE - (from
Wikipedia) A deep rose or brownish-purple color from the French word for flea;
some say the name comes from the color of a squashed flea or one filled with
blood; others say it's the color of flea droppings of digested blood that spread
out in a deep brownish-purple color in water.
YUPO - A durable,
synthetic (polypropylene), recyclable paper used in a variety of graphic arts
applications, such as labels, for its smooth, non-tearable, and waterproof
features; also used as a support for watercolor due to its super
bright-whiteness and ability to retain sharp edges of paint or ink.
- (Pronounced puh-SHOD) French for 'pocket;' a sketch
used in painting to capture the light and atmosphere usually in a small format,
such as a pocket-size piece of wood; later, the pochade box became popular,
which is essentially an art studio in a box that turns into an easel for
painting en plein air (from Wikipedia).
DADA - An art (aka an
anti-art) movement, started in
Zurich, Switzerland, in the 1920s as a reaction to World War I; without a
unifying theme, and sometimes non-sensical or cryptic, it did bring together
skeptical artists against traditional expectations; the name means 'hobby horse'
or 'father,' but was chosen because of its sound.
ROCOCO - A design
style in art and architecture first popular in Paris in the 1700s that was
elegant and ornate with curving or flowing lines and natural motifs; from the
French word rocaille, which is the rockwork covered in shells used in
POUNCING - Technique
of tranferring patterns or designs by using a pounce (punch tool) and forcing
powder through small perforations in cloth.
VERNISSAGE - French
for the preview or opening of an art exhibit.
FAUVISM - A
Post-Impressionist art movement by a group of painters in Paris around 1905 that
emphasized modernism and exceptionally bright colors; from the French word
'fauve,' which means wild beast.
MANGA - A genre and
style of Japanese art popularized in comics and printed cartoons dating from
post World War II.
DISEGNO - (Pronounced
dee-ZANE-yo) Italian for fine art drawing, but the word's meaning is
much more than that; it is that element that takes art from a learned craft or
skill to a higher visionary level of creativity.
POINTILLISM - A
painting technique popularized by Georges Seurat and other neo-Impressionists in
which a painting is rendered entirely in a mass of points (or dots) that, taken
as a whole, comprise the image by optical mixing (similar to modern pixels on a
STEAMPUNK - In art and
design, a style popularized in the 1980s and 1990s in which various modern
utilitarian objects have been modified into a Victorian-era look when steam
power was cutting edge and may include elements, such as brass, iron, and wood.
- (Pronounced ma-KET) French (of course) for small or
scale model of a sculpture or architectural work done as a rough draft before
incurring the cost and effort for the actual piece; also known as plastico or
modello in Italian (from Wikipedia).
(Pronounced gri-ZAY) from the French word for gray/grey; a term meaning
to render a painting entirely in monochrome shades of gray or brown often to
represent objects in relief (from
LUMINOSITY - I like this
definition: When objects or paintings appear to have an inner glow, they are
said to have luminosity. Light appears to come from within. To create luminosity
in paintings, surround rich, pure hues with dark values or their opposite on the
color wheel (thanks to http://www.tpub.com/ , Integrated
ALIZARIN - (Pronounced
a-LIZ-a-rin) Alizarin is an organic compound that is historically important as a prominent
dye. It is an anthraquinone originally derived from the root of the
madder plant. In 1869, it became the first natural
pigment to be duplicated synthetically-from Wikipedia; (you probably have
Alizarin Crimson in your palatte.)
A pigment or coloring agent in paint making; specifically, from Britannica
Online Encyclopedia: "a second group of pigments developed in the 20th century
were the quinacidrone compounds; introduced in 1958, its crystalline forms range
in color from yellowish-red to violet; the violet and red forms are classified
on the Color Index as Pigment Violet 19."
- (Pronounced gam-BOZH with a hard "g" as in game) the resin of a
tree found in Thailand, although the word gamboge actually means "Cambodia;"
it's a deep mustard yellow color and used in
TENEBRISM - From Wikipedia: a style
of painting using violent contrasts of light and dark; a heightened form of
chiaroscuro, it creates the look of figures emerging from the dark; also called
dramatic illumination; from the Italian tenebroso for
TACHES - (Pronounced tah-jiz)
From the French word for 'spot.' A style of painting in Paris popular in the
1950s, but also the broad, brilliant, visible brushstrokes used by the
Impressionists as described by Emile Zola.
A technique in oil painting to remove too much paint on a support using
absorbent paper, such as a paper towel or newspaper, to soak up or blot the
excess; named after Henry Tonks (1862-1937), a professor at Slade School of Art,
London (from about.com).
ATELIER - (Pronounced
at-tell-YAY), French for artist's studio (and a brand of
PHYSIOGNOMY - While not strictly an art
term, it is: the art of discovering temperament and character from outward
appearance (from Merriam-Webster) especially the face; as his son practiced
painting like Hans Holbein's portraits, Camille Pissarro encouraged him to
strive for simplicity and essential lines, which give the
SFUMATO - (from Wikipedia and
about.com) a painting technique which overlays translucent layers of color to
create perceptions of depth, volume and form; the blending of colors so subtly
that there is no perceptible transition or hard lines (sfumato means 'shaded
off' in Italian and is derived from the word fumo meaning
MAROUFLAGE - Adhering canvas, or
similar, to a rigid surface, such as a wall or board, masonite, MDF, etc. using
either acrylic medium or more traditionally white lead mixed with
DIPTYCH/TRIPTYCH - Merriam-Webster
definition: a picture or series of pictures painted or carved on two hinged
tablets; an art definition from Wikipedia: generally refers to a
painting (usually panel painting) which is divided into four or more sections,
or panels--diptych describes a 2-part painting and triptych 3-part painting;
following on: tetraptych (4), pentaptych (5), hexaptych (6), heptaptych (7), and
GOUACHE - (Pronounced
gwash), it's opaque watercolor, also known as poster paint; it differs
from transparent watercolors in that the pigments are bound by liquid glue,
which is used as a thinner; the addition of white pigment lightens the tone and
lends opacity. (From Britannica Concise
NOTAN - A Japanese design
concept involving the play and placement of light and dark next to the other in
art. This use of light and dark translates shape and form into flat shapes on a
two-dimensional surface. Traditionally presented in paint, ink, cut paper, but
it is relevant to a modern day image-making techniques, such as lithography in
printmaking. (from Wikipedia).
(Wikipedia) Also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated beeswax to
which colored pigments are added. The liquid/paste is then applied to a surface
— usually wood, though it can be canvas or other supports.
MOTIF - Here's a definition from the
glossary of European Art to 1850 that is to the point: the main idea in
an artistic composition. As one artist described it simply, "it's what you're
CHIAROSCURO - from Wikipedia:
Italian for light-dark; in art, a contrast between light and dark;
usually applied to bold contrasts affecting a whole composition, but is also
used for effects representing contrasts of light to achieve a sense of volume in
modeling three-dimensional objects.
(Pronounced zhee-clay), from gicleeprint.net (thanks): a French word
that means a spray or a spurt of liquid; the word may have been derived from the
French verb "gicler" meaning "to squirt;" the term "giclee print"--images are
generated from high resolution digital scans and printed with archival quality
inks; pronounced zhee-klay.
- Literally all at once in Italian; refers to starting and completing a
painting all in one session.
(Pronounced jeh-so, as in Jesse), a primer/sizer used to prepare a
canvas; although originally a mix of calcium carbonate, today it's usually mixed
with acrylic latex; from the Italian word for 'board chalk' and the Greek for
MI-TIENTES (tm) - A
trade-marked brand from Canson for a rough textured paper used for pastel and
OEUVRE - (Pronounced
aah-vrah), the sum of a lifework of an artist. (It's French, in case
you couldn't tell.
SCUMBLE - Drawing or
painting usually associated with pastels (but can be acrylic or oil), overlay
one color on top of another by lightly dragging over--not mixing, not blending--