Technical Terms Used In Painting

Accessories. Any objects not belonging to .the main subject of a picture.

Accident. A special condition or aspect of an object or collection of objects as distinguished from a general condition or aspect of the same.

Aerial perspective. The art of giving due diminution to the strength of light, shade, and colors of objects according to their distances and the mediums through which they are seen.

Antique. A term applied to the remains of the works of ancient Greek and Roman artists.

Aquarelle. Transparent water-color painting without the use of any body color.

Body color. Opaque color, often produced by the mixture of Chinese white with transparent colors. It hides the texture of the paper. A term used in water-color painting.

Breadth. Effect resulting from the general treatment of a subject, in which details, light, shade, and harmonious colors are subordinated by grouping them in masses, thus producing simplicity.

Cartoon. A design upon paper, drawn by an artist, from which his work is to be executed.

Cast shadow. The shadow thrown on a surface by some object that is interposed between it and the light.

Chiaroscuro (ki-är’os-cu’ro). The art of distributing the lights and shades of a picture.

Classic. Conforming to the best art of Greece and Rome.

Composition. The arrangement of the various elements of a picture. The term also includes the invention, or the original thought of a picture.

Dead coloring. The preparatory painting, cold and pale, used by some artists, on which are placed the finishing colors that give life and beauty to the picture.

Design. The outline or main features — the flan of a picture.

Dragging. The process of drawing a brush charged or filled with thick, opaque color heavily and quickly over the painting. Finish. Expression of detail without sacrificing breadth. Foreshortening. The apparent diminution of the length of an object in proportion as the direction of its length coincides with the direction of the visual ray.

Glazing. Putting a transparent color over other colors, either to increase or decrease their brilliancy without changing the effect of light and shade.

Handling. The method of using the materials employed in painting. It sometimes refers to mere manipulation, sometimes to the composition, as the “handling of a subject.”

Harmony. The effect of the proper arrangement of forms, lights, and colors in a picture.

Hatching or Crosshatching. The use of the brush or pencil so as to make lines that cross each other at regular intervals and cover a part of the ground.

Impasto. The thickness of the layer or body of pigment applied to the canvas.

In keeping. The proper subserviency of tone and color in every part of the picture.

Lay-figure. A jointed wooden image on which the artist may put his costumes or draperies so as to study their effect.

Light. The illuminated portion of an object that gives direct reflection. High light is that small portion of the light surface which receives the illuminating rays at right angles and which, when moistened, glitters. Reflected light is the partial illumination of shade caused by reflection from some lighter object near it.

Local color. The true color, unaffected by light, shade, distance, or reflection.

Mannerism. Any peculiar method of work carried to excess.

Medium. The material with which an artist executes his work, —that which carries his color.

Monochrome. Of one color.

Motive (French matif). That which inspires the conception of a picture.

Perspective. The art of making such a representation of an object on a plane surface as shall present the same appearance that the object itself would present to the eye when seen from a particular point ; or, in other words, it is drawing things as they appear not as they are.

Relief. The apparent projection of an object from the plane surface. Romantic. Essentially opposed to the classic. Pertaining to the popular style of thought of the Middle Ages. That which portrays much feeling and is dramatic.

Scumbling. The process of passing a thin film of opaque color in a nearly dry condition over other color, so as not to cover it completely.

Shade. The opposite of Light.

Stippling. The process of making a series of small touches, strokes, or dots, so as to obtain evenness of surface, gradation of shade, or intensity of shadow. It is a method of handling that has been much used by some English water-colorists.

Style. The treatment of the subject of a composition; also its handling.

Technique. Method of execution.

Texture. Imitation of the surface of an object.

Tone. The agreement of lights and darks and color quantities. Values. The relationships of lights and darks and color intensities throughout a picture.

Vehicle. Any liquid used to dilute colors so as to render them of a proper consistence for use.