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Glossary of Art Terms
 
Welcome to USBlackart.Com Glossary of common Art Terms. Here we hope to give you a brief definition of various art terms which might be unfamiliar to you. If you have any questions, comments, or ideas please e-mail us.
 
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Back runs: When your, fresh brush stroke hits a still damp wash it will force the original wash out in a irregular, often fractal manner. This can totally screw up what you are intending to do, unless you do it intentionally. Practicing playing with paint and coping with "happy accidents." (known as back wash) Return to top
 
Background: The area of a painting farthest from the viewer. In a landscape this would include the sky and horizon. In a still life or portrait it could be a wall or room interior. Return to top
 

Balance - A principle of design, it refers to the way the elements of art are arranged to create a feeling of stability in a work. Balance can be symmetrical, or formal; or it can be asymmetrical, or informal. It can also be radial. Return to top
 
Batik:- Using wax resist designs on dyed fabrics. Colors are dyed lightest color to darkest color, with new design elements added before each color bath. Return to top
 
Beader - A punch with a hollow end used in chasing to leave dotted impressions on metal surfaces. Return to top
 
Beaux-Arts - The high arts. “French”. Return to top
 
Bevel - The meeting of a line or surface with another at any angle other than 90°, or the angle at which they meet. Carving or cutting to make a bevel; a chamfer. It may also be an instrument which is formed by joining two rules as adjustable arms in order to measure or draw angles of any size or to fix a surface at an angle; an instrument also known as a bevel square. Return to top
 
Bistre:-A brown, transparent pigment. Return to top
 
Bilateral - Refers to two sides. Return to top
 
Binary Colors - Colors made by the mixing of two hues. Examples are orange, green, and purple. Return to top
 
Binocular Vision - Seeing with two eyes simultaneously gives the viewer the ability to perceive depth. Stereoscopic images depend on the use of binocular vision. Return to top
 
Binder:- The nonvolatile adhesive liquid portion of a paint that attaches pigment particles and the paint film as a whole to the support. Return to top
 
Biomorphic Form: - An abstract form whose shapes are more organic than geometric, more curvaceous than linear. Much of the work of Hans [Jean] Arp (German-French, 1887-1966) was composed as biomorphic forms Return to top
 
Bio Art: - Bio-art is one of the most recent developments of contemporary art; it takes biotechnologies as a medium. Living tissues culture, genetic, morphologic modifications, biomechanics constructions are some of the many techniques those artists use, technological, ethical and social questions Return to top
 

Bird's-Eye View - As if seen from an altitude or from a distance; a comprehensive view; also called an aerial view. A variation on landscape, the horizon for a bird's-eye view is usually placed very high in the picture or outside of it completely. Sometimes, Called a bird's-eye survey. Return to top
 
Binder: That which holds the paint together, such as linseed oil for oil painting, polymers for acrylics, gum Arabic for watercolors and gouache. Return to top
 
Black Art: - Art work depicting, African people, their culture and values, also includes the people of African American heritage.
 

Blending: Fusing two color planes together so no discernable sharp divisions are apparent. Return to top
 
Blocking in: The simplifying and arranging of compositional elements using rough shapes, forms, or geometric equivalents when starting a painting Return to top
 
Blotting: using an absorbent material such as tissues or paper towels, or a squeezed out brush, to pick up and lighten a wet or damp wash. Can be used to lighten large areas or pick out fine details. Return to top
 
Blow Dryer: For rapid painting production, these electronic hair drying devices are a necessity at times. Overheating liquid frisket areas can "set" the frisket into the top layer of paper fibers. Return to top
 

Bleeding: -In artwork The effect of a dark color, seeping through a lighter color.Return to top Return to top
 
Blending: Smoothing the edges of two colors together so that they have a smooth gradation where they meet. Return to top
 
Bland: - Without impact or strength. Bland art is too mild. Return to top
 
Blanket: - The felt or foam rubber used between the paper and the roller on an intaglio press. Also, a rubber-surfaced fabric used on the cylinder of an offset printing press. Return to top
 
Bleach-Out : - A bromide print that is underdeveloped, so that it can be used as the foundation of a line drawing, and then bleached away. Return to top
 
Blend: - In artwork, to merge colors applied to a surface, whether with a brush, crayon, colored pencil, or other medium. Return to top
 
Blind Pressing: - In printmaking, making an embossed print with an inkless plate. This is also called blind printing. When using an intaglio plate this is more specifically called either an inkless intaglio or a gyps graphic Return to top
 
Bloom: -A dull, progressively opaque, white effect caused on varnished surfaces by damp conditions. Return to top
 
Block: - A body of material for carving. The term is also applied to a piece of material for block printing, or to wood used to beat and consolidate large masses of clay. Return to top
 
Blotto Painting: - A painting made by applying tempera paint onto one side of a sheet of paper, then folding the paper and pressing the two sides together. Return to top
 

Blue Pencil: - May refer to a pencil of a certain pale tone used to mark artwork and photographs because it does not reproduce on certain photographic films insensitive to blue. Such films are employed in preparations for some printing processes. Return to top
 
Body Color: - Opaque paint, such as gouache, which has the covering power to obliterate underlying color. Return to top
 
Body Color: The mixing of opaque white gouache with transparent watercolor; or gouache colors in general. Return to top
 
Bolognese school - A group of artists in and near Bologna, Italy from the twelfth to the seventeenth centuries Return to top
 
Brushwork: -The characteristic way each artist brushes paint onto a support.. Return to top Return to top
 
Bright: - A short flat brush, with a long handle, typically used with oil, acrylic and alkyd paints. Return to top
 

Bristol board: - A sturdy drawing surface used for many types of two-dimensional artwork, including lettering. It is available in several finishes, including a smooth plate finish, a medium, vellum. It can be used on both of its sides. Return to top
 
Broad Manner: - May refer to a bold manner of painting, or to a style of engraving in which the engraved lines are thick and bold. Return to top
 
Broadside: - In printing, a large sheet of paper in which is printed text with little or no graphic, often an advertisement or an announcement. Broadsides are often folded. Also called a broadsheet Return to top
 
Brushstroke: - The result of a brush loaded with paint or ink leaving some of that paint on a surface. Because brushstrokes can vary so greatly, their individual and cumulative effects are of great concern in the discussion of paintings Return to top
 

Buckeye: - Any kitsch which is painted in oil and produced for the mass market, characterized by sloppy yet facile rendition, and stereotyped, flamboyant, or sentimental treatment of subject matter, typically landscape. Although most commonly used to refer to such work produced during the second half of the nineteenth century, since the production of such painting has never ceased, the term might be applied to later examples as well. Return to top