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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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Dabber: - A soft pad holding the wax ground used in etching. Return to top
Dammar :- A resin from conifer trees, used in making oil mediums and varnishes. . Return to top
Dead Color :-A term for colors used in under painting. . Return to top
Deckle Edge:-The ragged edge found on handmade papers. Also tapered rough edges of watercolor and drawing paper, referred to as "barbs. Return to top
Decoupage: -The act of cutting out paper designs and applying them to a surface to make an all over collage. . Return to top
Decagon: - A closed two-dimensional figure bounded by ten line segments. The formula with which to find an equilateral decagon's area is 7.6942 times the length of one side squared. . Return to top
Decollage: - The tearing away of parts of posters or other images which were adhered to each other in layers, so that portions of the under layers contribute to the final image. Return to top
Deconstruction: - A method of analysis proceeding by re-reading the received art-historical picture and showing where and how it is false to the realities of the cultures it attempts to explain and to the meanings of particular works of art. . Return to top
Decoupage: - A technique of decoration in which letters or images are cut out of paper or some such material and then pasted onto a surface. Return to top
Deduction: - Reaching a conclusion only when it follows necessarily from stated facts or proposals; reasoning from the general to the specific. One cannot contradict such a conclusion without questioning one or more of the premises from which it followed. . Return to top
Degenerate: - Being in decline; having fallen to an inferior or undesirable state, especially in mental or moral qualities, A depraved, corrupt, or vicious person. Because modernism was so counter to the fascist aesthetic, Adolf Hitler (German, 1889-1945) branded modernist art entartete-- degenerate or degenerative. The fascists favored a strongly classical style in contrast to the prevailing art world styles of Cubism, Surrealism, Expressionism, Dadaism, and modernism in general. Rather than censor modernist art, the Nazis confiscated it, and mounted exhibits of what they called "degenerate art." They expected Germans to recognize these works as presenting "negativity and the incomprehensibility of the world," which pitted modernist aesthetics against what fascists characterized as their own positivism, progressive goals, and noble ideals -- an ostensibly hopeful Weltanschauung (world-view) that led to their ruthlessly forcing their "solutions" on the world. . Return to top
Delineate: - To depict by drawing with a tool which leaves a linear trail behind the drawer's gesture. Also means, to describe. . Return to top
Density - May refer to the variations perceived in the sight of things near and far due to atmospheric variations. . Return to top
Depth - The apparent distance from front to back or near to far in an artwork. Techniques of perspective are used to create the illusion of depth in paintings or drawings. Examples of these techniques are: controlling variation between sizes of depicted subject, overlapping them, and placing those that are on the depicted ground as lower when nearer and higher when deeper . Return to top
Designer Colors:-Best quality Gouache paints, often used in commercial art. . Return to top
Descriptive Approach to Representation: - In artistic terms represents that which is known about an object is represented. To represent a human profile "descriptively" would require the artist to depict both eyes rather than just one. Return to top
Deviant Art: - deviantART is a popular online artistic community. It was first launched on August 7, 2000 through the work of Angelo Sotira (CEO), Scott Jarkoff, and Matthew Stephens. deviantART aims to provide a place for any artist, photographer, or writer to exhibit and discuss his or her works. It also provides a community of like-minded individuals and receives 2 million hits per day. The site consists of over 2 million users and over 25 million submissions as of September, 2006. Return to top
Deviant ART now displays multiple forms of art and creative expression laid out in an extensive category structure. The artwork on display includes photography, digital art, traditional art, literature and skins for applications. The site also has extensive downloadable resources for use within artworks such as tutorials and stock photography. Return to top
Digital Art: - digital art, contemporary art in which computer technology is used in a wide variety of ways to make distinctive works. Digital art was pioneered in the 1970s but only came into its own as a viable art form with the widespread availability of computers, appropriate software, video equipment, sound mixers, and digital cameras toward the end of the 20th cent. and the subsequent development of increasingly sophisticated digital tools. A boundary-shattering style, digital art can combine and transform such elements as painting, filmmaking, photography, digital design, video, installation art, sculpture, animation, and sound. Return to top
Diluents::- Liquids, such as turpentine, used to dilute oil paint, the diluents for water based media is water. Return to top
Dispersion :- Applied to paint, a smooth, homogeneous mixture of ingredients; the process of dispersal, in which pigment particles are evenly distributed throughout the vehicle. Return to top
Distemper :- A blend of glue, chalk and water-based paint, used mostly for murals and posters. Return to top
Dog Prints: Dog posters are art work prints and posters depicting dogs of various breeds and in various postures.
Drawing: -The act of marking lines on a surface, and the product of such action. Also using pencil, charcoal, pen and ink. , conte crayon, markers, silverpoint, and other graphic media on paper. Return to top
Diagonal: - Having a slanted direction. Return to top
Diptych - A picture or bas-relief made of two panels hinged together, often an altarpiece. Any picture containing two surfaces. An ancient Roman or Early Christian two-hinged writing tablet. Return to top
Directrix - The fixed curve traversed by a generatrix in generating either a cone or a cylinder. Return to top

Disegno Interno :- "Inner design," a reference to the Platonic Idea which underlay the visible world. Return to top
Di Sotto In Su :- A technique of representing perspective in ceiling painting. Return to top

Distort - To change the way something looks-- sometimes deforming or stretching an object or figure out of its normal shape to exaggerate its features-- making it more interesting or meaningful. El Greco's (Greek-Spanish, 1541-1614) elongated figures are examples of moderate distortion. Return to top
Douanier- In French : "customs collector," a term that came to be applied to Henri Rousseau, the French "primitive" painter. Return to top
Double Loading :- Loading a brush with two colors side by side. This is a technique typical of tole and decorative painting. In order to double load, use a paint of creamy consistency, and drag one edge of the brush through the lighter color as many times as needed to fill that edge with color; then stroke the clean edge of the brush through the darker color in the same manner. Once the brush is loaded this way, blend the colors at the center of the brush by stroking on the palette. Using this technique, each brushstroke (application of color) deposits a gradation of the two blended colors. Return to top
Drier :-A material that accelerates or initiates the drying of an oil paint or oil by promoting oxidation. Return to top
Dry Brush: Any textured application of paint where your brush is fairly dry (thin or thick paint) and you rely the hairs of your brush, the angle of attack of your stroke, and the paper's surface texture to create broken areas of paint. Study the range of technique in Andrew Wyeth's dry brush watercolors. Used for rendering a variety of textured surfaces: stone, weathered wood, foliage, lakes and rivers, bark, clouds. Also, Applying relatively dry inks or water paints lightly over a surface, creating an area of broken color-- the new color having attached to the high spots but not to the low, so that traces of the paper or under color remain exposed. This may be done by holding the brush so that the sides of its bristles lie flat against the paper, or by pulling it rapidly across the surface. In oil painting, dragging stroke or scuffing is the name given to this effect. Return to top
Dragging - Applying relatively dry oil paints lightly over a surface, creating an area of broken color-- the new color having attached to the high spots but not to the low, so that irregular portions of the under color remain exposed. Also known as scuffing Return to top
Dry Mount : - A framing method in which a print is glued to a stiff backboard such as foam core, with a heat activated dry adhesive. This method is not recommended for a limited edition print of any value, however if exposed to constant extreme temperature change and humidity such as in a bathroom or at the beach, it can be a way of keeping the artwork from buckling. Return to top
Drying Oil :- An oil that, when spread into a thin layer and exposed to air, absorbs oxygen and converts into a tough film. Return to top