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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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Odalisque - A female slave or concubine in the harems of the Middle East The odalisque was a favorite subject of nineteenth century. European artists, sometimes called orientalists, and was depicted as a reclining nude or semi-nude in typically Turkish surroundings. Return to top
ontbijt - A type of still life painting, Dutch for "breakfast piece. Return to top
Oil paint: a type of paint made from color particles (pigment) and linseed oil. Oil paint dries slowly, can be used thick or thin, and with glazes. Because it dries slowly, oil paint is easier to blend from dark to light creating the illusion of three-dimensions. Used by most artists since the Renaissance. Return to top
Opaque: A paint that is not transparent by nature or intentionally. A dense paint, that obscures, or totally hides the under painting in any given artwork. Return to top
Open Shape - In an artwork, space that is not completely enclosed by a line. A mass penetrated or treated in such a way that space acts as its environment rather than as its limit. Return to top
Ox Gall: Derived from the bile of domestic cows or other bovines, ox gall is added to paint as a surfactant or wetting agent to allow paint to flow more freely. Return to top
Oppression: - The act of oppressing; unjust and arbitrary use of power. The State of being oppressed,. In art, oppression may be observed in any representation of any one people as inferior to others. Return to top
Open Edition:- The print produced has an unlimited size. The print may or may not be signed by the artist. An unsigned, unnumbered print is basically just a poster Return to top
Orientalism Or Orientalism - Usually refers to western art whose subject or style is drawn from eastern influences. Most often this work was produced during the nineteenth century. Return to top
Originality - The quality of being original. Is used to describe works which were not derived from other works. Return to top
Original: the term 'original' can imply exclusivity or the idea that the work is 'one of a kind' rather than a copy by any method including offset-lithography, digital printing or by forgery. Not all paintings can be considered original since the term also refers to the image being newly created, so a painted copy of another work is not an original. Return to top

Original Art: - Any work of art that does not copy or imitate another’s style or design is considered original art. Return to top
Orignal:- Buying an original means you have the only one. It is the actual painting or work of art done by the artist. Most times, no reproductions are made of a painting. When a print has been made, the original painting is what was photographed for the reproduction. This makes the original to a limited edition print more valuable in that the piece becomes well known and more appreciated. Usually the original is larger than the print. Please be aware that purchasing an original does not give you a right to reproduce that work. The copyright is usually retained by the artist. Return to top
Orphism :- A style of painting related to Cubism, sometimes called Orphic Cubism, that employed overlapping planes of bright, contrasting colors. It was generally both more abstract and more colorful than other forms of Cubism. Return to top
Orthogonal - A line imagined to be behind and perpendicular to the picture plane. The orthogonal in a painting appear to recede toward a vanishing point on the horizon Return to top
Outline Drawing:- A diagram or silhouette, made with one line describing the perimeter of a form, flat and two-dimensional. Return to top
Outsider Art:- refers to works by those outside of mainstream society. Outsider art broadly includes folk art and ethnic art as well as by prisoners, the mentally ill and others neither trained in art nor making their works to sell them. Return to top
Overlap - When one thing lies over, partly covering something else. Depicting this is one of the most important means of conveying an illusion of depth. Return to top
Overlay - Perhaps a layer of paint or some other material, such as wood veneer or gold leaf-- that is laid over or covers another surface. Return to top
Overpainting - A finishing layer of paint applied over another layer of paint, or under layer, once it has dried. The final layer of paint that is applied over the under painting or under layer after it has dried. The idea behind layers of painting is that the under painting is used to define the basic shapes and design so that the overprinting can be used to fill in the details of the piece. Return to top