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Any art in which the depiction of real objects in nature has been subordinated or entirely discarded, and whose aesthetic content is expressed in a formal pattern or structure of shapes, lines and colors. Sometimes, the subject is real but so stylized, blurred, repeated or broken down into basic forms as to be unrecognizable. Sculpture that is partly broken down in this way is called semiabstract. When the representation of real objects is completely absent, as opposed to realistic or figurative sculpture, such art may also be called nonrepresentational or nonobjective, a term first used by Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944). An abstract element or intention appears in works of art and decoration throughout the history of art, from Neolithic stone carvings onward. But abstraction as an aesthetic principle began in the early 20th century with Braque (1882-1963).

Black, white and grays. Artwork that is executed without color.

Thicker and stronger than tempera or watercolor paint, Acrylic is a water-based "plastic" paint.

Albumen Print
This printing process is used in photography printing processes. Egg whites are used in the emulsion.

Alternative Process
This photography term covers approximately 35 different processes for the final unconventional effect.

A print produced by the same technique as an etching, except that the areas between the etched lines are covered with a powdered resin that protects the surface from the biting process of the acid bath. The granular appearance that results in the print aims at approximating the effects and gray tonalities of a watercolor drawing.

With relation to sculpture, architectural means any component of a building or structure which has been modeled, carved or welded by a sculptor and integrated into the whole in some manner so as to embellish or enhance it, as distinguished from work created for display independently. A caryatid is an example of this. And so is an ornate fireplace surround or mantel. The two subjects or art forms of sculpture and architecture have been closely related through the ages.

A structure used beneath something else for support. For example, a sculptor might create a clay sculpture with a wood or wire armature beneath it as support. Think about the frame of a house being constructed before all of the brick or siding is built on top.

A construction made of wood, light or heavy metal wire, bars or piping to support the wet clay, wet plaster or other soft and pliable mixed media materials used by a sculptor to model a sculpture.

1. The making or doing (hence the terms maker, creator, and artist) by people of things that have form and beauty - see note immediately following this entry. Sculpture, painting, architecture, music, literature, poetry, drama, dance, and cinema are some of the forms of art. 2. The actual sculptures, drawings, paintings, films made by artists. 3. Any of certain areas of learning as philosophy, sculpture, music, etc. usually plural: arts. 4. The ability to make or do things; skill (the art of cooking). 5. Any craft or special knowledge (the art of healing). 6. A sly or cunning trick; wile (the arts of a successful politician). Synonym study for the word Art: Art is the ability to make or do something, especially something beautiful, in an original way. Skill is the ability of an expert at doing something, especially something that is useful or practical. Craft is the ability to do something takes skill, but has been traditionally viewed as requiring less imagination than art. (Sculpting a portrait is an art. Making a mould is a skill. Making a body cast or moulage could be considered to be a craft).

Artists Proof (1)
A small group of outstanding prints for the artists use which have been set aside from the edition prints.

Artists Proof (2)
An Artist's Proof is one outside the regular edition, but printed at the same time or after the regular edition from the same plates without changes. By custom, the artist retains the A/Ps for his personal use or sale. Typically, 10% of the edition total is designated as A/P, or in the case of a small edition, five graphics are usually so designated.

Artist's proof (3)
One of the first proofs in a limited edition of original sculptures. Must bear the artist's signature or mark, and, since the early 20th century, is usually numbered.

One of the 4 main methods a sculptor may use to achieve a desired overall form. Basically constructing or adding existing shapes, objects or materials to one another in a method other than welding to create a whole sculpture. See the other 3 main ones: carving, modeling and welding. Note: say main with a tongue in your cheek as artists are by definition always creating - not least the methods by which to create with!!!

French term for "printer's workshop."

A group active in the invention and application of new ideas and techniques in an original or experimental way. A group of practitioners and/or advocates of a new art form may also be called avant-garde. Some avant-garde works are intended to shock those who are accustomed to traditional, established styles.




Bas relief
French for low relief. Basso-rilievo in Italian. In a bas relief, the figures project only slightly and no part is entirely detached from the background (as in medals and coins, in which the chief effect is produced by the play of light and shadow). See Relief and Haut relief.

Also called plinth. The base is what the sculpture is attached, fixed or mounted on. A block (of any shape or dimension and material placed between a sculpture and its pedestal). These terms can all be confused as a pedestal is also defined as a base or foundation!

Basic color principles
All color theory is based on the principle that 'color is light'.
An object that we see as red contains pigmentation which absorbs all of the colored rays of white light except the red color, which it reflects. White pigment absorbs none of the colored rays, and black absorbs all of the colors of the spectrum.

An art and design "Arial" principle concerned with the arrangement of one or more elements in a work of art so that they appear symmetrical (even) or asymmetrical (uneven) in design and proportion.

Paraffin or beeswax is used to resist paint or dye on fabric or paper. Designs and patterns are produced on the unwaxed areas.

When clay has its first firing in a kiln, it is called bisque ware. At this point, the clay has changed composition and can no longer have water added to it and turned back into a useable material.

The complete absence of light. Because of impurities, you can not create black with pigments. In most black pigments, the is a slight blue trace. A black surface absorbs all light.

Bon a Tirer
When the artist is satisfied with the graphic from the finished plate, he works with his printer to pull one perfect graphic and it is marked "Bon a Tirer," meaning "good to pull." The printer then compares each graphic in the edition with the BAT before submitting the graphic to the artist for approval and signature. There is standardly one BAT and usually it becomes the property of the printer or workshop printing the edition.

Bronze (1)
An alloy of copper and tin, sometimes containing small proportions of other elements such as zinc or phosphorus. It is stronger, harder, and more durable than brass, and has been used most extensively since antiquity for cast sculpture. Bronze alloys vary in color from a silvery hue to a rich, coppery red. U.S. standard bronze is composed of 90% copper, 7% tin, and 3% zinc.

Bronze (2)
An alloy of copper and tin, sometimes containing small amounts of other elements in varying proportions such as zinc and phosphorus. Harder and more durable than brass and used extensively since antiquity for casting sculpture. Bronze alloys vary in color from silvery hues to rich, coppery red. Different countries have different standards for the mix - and mixes also may vary from one foundry to another. In its molten form, bronze is poured into the main channel or sprue of an investment casing surrounding a sculpture to produce the final cast piece of artwork.

In printmaking, a Brayer is a roller which is used to apply ink to printing surfaces.

Brush styles are designated by a letter following a series number. Some basic brushes to meet your needs:
F- Flats, square edge, long bristle
B- Bright, flat, square-edged, long sable
R - Rounds, pointed bristle
L- Longs, flat, square-edge, long sable
Filberts- Flat, oval edge, long fiber

In sculpture, a portrait of a person that includes the head, neck, and part of the shoulders and breast, usually (but not always) mounted on a base or column. It is by definition figurative. It can be realistic or not. Compare with Portrait.




A device with two moveable jaws used by sculptors to take measurements in the round while working. Also used when making copies of original work. Come in different sizes. Sculptor's calipers were originally only made of wood with brass fittings - but can now also be found in metal.

Fabrics that are prepared for painting. Available in panels, stretched on frames, or obtained by the yard.

The process (rather "unforgiving") of taking away material from a given volume. Used on wood, stone, marble, plaster, ice or other "hard" materials. In sculpture, it is the act of cutting or incising the material into the desired form using knives, chisels, gouges, points, saws, adzes and hammers. Usually a chisel is held in one hand and driven into the material by a mallet held in the other. Modern sculptors often "rough out" their sculptures using electricity powered tools. Deemed "unforgiving" because you cannot afford to make the mistake of taking too much material away!

1. See previous entry. 2. The sculpture resulting from being carved (see above carving). A carved work may be called a carving, but the word sculpture is often used in preference for work of serious artistic and aesthetic value.

In architectural sculpture, the female figure that serves as a column supporting an entablature. Usually a graceful figure dressed in long robes. From the Greek. Male counterparts are Atlantes or Telamones.

1. To reproduce an object, such as piece of clay sculpture, by means of a mould (or mold). Also an artist may choose to cast from life real objects, or parts of a body or the entire body. This is often referred to as moulage or life casting. 2. A copy produced by this means. The original piece is usually of a less durable material than the cast. See foundry and mould.

1. The process of making a mould (plaster, or rubber, polymer and plaster, etc.) from an original. Also, loosely, the activities that take place in the foundry. See Cast.

1. A building material made of lime, silica and alumina. Can be surface colored or loaded with pigments for an all-through color. Used to create some outdoor sculptures. The sculptor will either cast his sculpture by pouring the cement into a mould cast from an original piece in a softer material, or work the cement onto a metal armature using a variety of tools. 2. Any strong adhesive used to join or repair materials such as rubber cement or cellulose cement.

Ceramics (1)
Used to describe the shaping, finishing and firing of clay.

Ceramics (2)
The art of making objects of clay and firing them in a kiln. Wares of earthenware and porcelain, as well as sculpture are made by ceramists. Enamel is also a ceramic technique. Ceramic materials may be decorated with slip, engobe, or glaze, applied by a number of techniques, including resist, mishima, and sanggam. Pots made be made by the coil, slab, or some other manual technique, or on a potter's wheel.

Certificate of Authenticity
Certifies the authenticity of an individual piece in an edition.

Charcoal and Conte Crayon
In stick form, both give you a very strong, dark line. A disadvantage to these crayons is that they break easily and tend to smudge. Can be found is stick form as well.

In drawing, painting, and the graphic arts, chiaroscuro (ke-ära-skooro) refers to the rendering of forms through a balanced contrast between light and dark areas. The technique which was introduced during the Renaissance, is effective in creating an illusion of depth and space around the principal figures in a composition. Leonardo Da Vinci and Rembrandt were painters who excelled in the use of this technique.

An impression made by the artist, or by the printer seal.

This is the intensity, or strength, or purity of a color. Squeezing paint directly from the tube to the palette is 'full chroma'.

A process where a photographic print can be made directly from a color transparency.

1. A native earth consisting mainly of decomposed feldspathic rock (feldspathic: grouping of crystalline minerals that consist of aluminum silicates with either potassium, sodium, calcium or barium) containing kaolin and other hydrous aluminous minerals. Becomes hard when baked or fired. See Terra cotta. Used wet by the sculptor to build or model the form, often over an armature of wood or metal: it is then called wet clay - as compared with what is often called modeling clay 2. Sold under various names such as Plasticine and Plastilina, originally made in Italy with tallow, sulphur and high-quality clay. Also made less expensively with clay, an inert filler and various petroleum oils and greases heated and thoroughly mixed - can be variously colored, i.e. made with graphite oil it is blackish and yellow/green if made with normal car oil.

Coil method in clay
As one of the oldest methods used in the formation of pottery, long strands of clay are laid on top of one another, joined by blending the coils together.

Collage is from the French meaning "paste up". The combination of pieces of cloth, magazines and other found objects to create artwork.

This name is derived from the word 'collage'. It is an image built up with glue and other materials.

When light is reflected off an object, color is what the eye sees. The primary colors are red, yellow and blue. The secondary colors are orange, purple and green.

Complementary colors
Complementary colors are those which appear opposite to one another on a color wheel. The complimentary colors are red and green, blue and orange, and yellow and purple.

The arrangement of lines, colors and form.

The modern pencil lead invented by Nicolas Conte. It is a black, red or brown chalk.

Contour Drawing
Contour drawing shows the outline of the subject, and not the volume or mass of an object. Blind contour drawings are those created by looking only at the subject, and not the paper while drawing.

Contrast is created by using opposites near or beside one another, such as a light object next to a dark object or a rough texture next to a smooth texture.

In sculpture, the core is the solid internal portion of an investment mould for casting a hollow piece of sculpture (such as a portrait). The amount of space left between the core and the mould (occupied by wax before it is "lost), determines the thickness of the cast metal. The core is made of foundry sand (can also be same as investment material) in sand casting and in the lost-wax process.

Crackle glaze
Tiny cracks in the glaze to decorate. Often rubbed in with coloring material.

Crazing is the fine cracks that occur on the glaze.




This painting technique involves the use of powdered colors that are mixed with glue size, or such things as egg yolk.

Dominance is an object or color that stands out in relation to the rest of the painting.

Dry Brushing
Technique used in paintings using more pigment then water.

Dye Transfer
This is one of the most permanent color processes. This method gives maximum control of color, balance and contrast for color prints or transparencies.




This type of clay needs to be glazed, it is porous and not waterproof. Earthenware is a low-fire clay.

An easel is used to support your canvas while painting. Can be a collapsible tripod, studio types and as a combination sketch box unit. Some sketch boxes contain lids that serve as easels.

Edition (1)
A group of identical prints that can be numbered and signed by the artist.
Open Edition: An unlimited number of prints
Limited Edition: Prints that have a known number of impressions, and are usually signed and numbered by the artist.

Edition (2)
The making of replicas or copies of a sculptor's work. See Limited edition.

Egg Tempera
A water-base paint made with an egg yoke binder.

Elements of Art
Elements of art are the basic visual symbols found in the work such as lines, shape, form, space, point, light, motion, direction, scale, dimension, texture and color.

This ancient art uses colored wax for painting. This technique involves painting images onto walls with pigments that are blended with wax. When used with heat, such as an iron, the permanent color is burned into the wall, for good.

The technique of reproducing a design by coating a metal plate with wax and drawing with a sharp instrument called a stylus through the wax down down to the metal. The plate is put in an acid bath, which eats away the incised lines; it is then heated to dissolve the wax and finally inked and printed on paper. The resulting print is called the etching.




Of or portraying the (human or animal) figure. Figurative sculpture can be either realistic (in varying degrees...) or stylized.

Firing (1)
To harden clay, you have to heat it at high temperatures which fuses the clay particles.

Firing (2)
Exposing to heat in a kiln a clay body to harden it (see Terra cotta) or an investment casing containing wax so as to "lose it" which is an integral part of the lost-wax process . See Foundry.

Fixative Spray
For fixing charcoal drawing on canvas before painting. Fixative spray is available in spray cans, or for use with mouth atomizer.

The diminishing of certain dimensions of an object or figure in order to depict it in a correct spatial relationship. In realistic depiction, foreshortening is necessary because although lines and planes that are perpendicular to the observer's line of vision (central visual ray), and the extremities of which are equidistant from the eye, will be seen at their full size, when they are revolved away from the observer they will seem increasingly shorter. Thus for example, a figure's arm outstretched toward the observer must be foreshortened--the dimension of lines, contours and angles adjusted--in order that it not appear hugely out of proportion. The term foreshortening is applied to the depiction of a single object, figure or part of an object or figure, whereas the term perspective refers to the depiction of an entire scene.

An element of art, such as you would see in a sculpture that has three dimensions.

The building or place where the casting of bronze takes place by the lost-wax, sand casting or ceramic shell processes. Typically a foundry will have subdivisions of activities taking place. Most often these breaks down to mould making or the making of a negative container, then the pouring of wax into the moulds, cleaning up the seams from the wax, then making a core, spruing and gating the wax cast of the sculpture with wax strips or rods (sprues and gates) which will ensure the smooth arrival of the molten metal into the negative space formed when the wax is "lost", encasing the entire piece into an investment, then "losing" the wax out of the invested piece by firing it, finally pouring the molten bronze into the main sprue, hacking away the investment material, cutting off the bronze sprues and gates, chasing away any other unwanted bronze (or filling in any holes), chiseling, and then either polishing, or applying a patina and or wax to the sculpture. Mounting the final piece on a base is sometimes also an intricate part of the foundry's work. Foundries will often assist a sculptor with the installation and securing of large pieces.

Pigment is applied directly to damp plaster making this wall painting medium one of the most permanent form of wall decoration.




In casting, any of the several channels or ducts through which molten material is carried from the main channel or sprue, to the hollow part of the investment mould or casing. The waste piece of material formed by such a duct is also called a gate, and is removed from the cast metal along with the sprue as the first stage of cleaning up the sculpture. A gate is also sometimes called a runner.

Gesture Drawing
This quick drawing captures the energy and movement of the subject. It does not necessarily have to be realistic.

color that is thinned to a transparent state and applied over previously painted areas to modify the original color. (see also Under painting)

Green ware
When clay is hard, but not yet fired it is referred to as green ware. The clay can be made wet and turned back into a useable material.

Gold Leaf
Used for gilding, gold or silver (for silver leafing) is beaten to extremely thin sheets.

Gouache (1)
Opaque watercolors and the technique of painting with such colors using white to make tints.

Gouache (2)
A medium of opaque watercolor applied to paper; also a work of art so produced. The usual gouache painting displays a light-reflecting brilliance quite different from the luminosity of transparent watercolors.




Haut relief
French for high or deep relief. Alto-rilievo in Italian. In a haut relief sculpture the figures project at least half of their natural circumference from the background. See Relief and Bas relief.

Small areas on a painting or drawing on which reflected light is the brightest.

Hors Commerce
Hors Commerce (Not for Trade) traditionally were the graphics pulled with the regular edition, but were marked by the artist for business use only. These graphics were used for entering exhibitions and competitions, but today, these graphics generally are allowed into distribution through regular channels.

Hue is another word for color. The attribute which describes colors by name, i.e. red, blue, yellow etc.




Impasto (1)
A manner of painting where the paint is laid on thickly so texture stands out in relief.

Impasto (2)
Paint applied in outstanding heavy layers or strokes; also, any thickness or roughness of paint or deep brush marks, as distinguished from a flat, smooth surface.

Impressionism is referred to as the most important art movement of the 19th century. The term impressionism came from a painting by Claude Monet. His painting was titled titled Impression Sunrise. Impressionism is about capturing fast fleeting moments with color, light, and surface.

This term is used to describe the brightness, or the dullness of a color.

Intermediate colors
Obtained by mixing adjoining Primary and Secondary colors.

A containing negative mould, used in sculpture for casting metals. It consists of either earth clay and sand or plaster of Paris mixed with clay, pulverized plaster, asbestos fibers and glue size when mixed up for the lost-wax process. Also sometimes called casing.




Kilns can be electric, of natural gas, wood, coal, fuel oil or propane. The kiln is the furnace used to fire ceramics or metal.




A line is an identifiable path of a point moving in space. It can vary in width, direction and length.

Horizontal lines run parallel such as ===

Vertical lines run up and down such as |||||

Diagonal lines are slanting lines such as \\\\\

Angled lines are a combination of diagonal lines such as /\/\/\/\/ ><<>

Curved lines are curly and express movement such as ~~~~~

Linseed Oil
Used as a medium. The traditional "binder" for oil colors.

This is a printing process. A small stone, or metal plate is used. The printer, usually with the artists supervision covers the plate with a sheet of paper which are then run through the printer.

Limited edition
The set number of replicas or copies a sculptor plans to make or has had made from an original, after which the mould is destroyed. The practice of limiting editions and numbering proofs originated with etching and dry point, in which the quality of the proofs declines as the copper plate begins to show signs of wear. By thus limiting the size of an edition to first-rate examples of a sculptor's work, the sculptor protects his or her artistic integrity and the value of the works to the collector. There is no technical reason for limiting or numbering editions of works of art that are made by processes capable of turning out an indefinite number of uniformly good copies, such as lithography or casting methods that employ durable moulds - and in any case a new mould can be taken from the original to extend an edition (if not limited). Editions are frequently limited however for financial reasons; by ensuring the relative rarity of the sculptor's work, he or she increases its value.




In art, a public declaration or exposition in print of the theories and directions of a movement. The manifestos issued by various individual artists or groups of artists, in the first half of the twentieth century served to reveal their motivations and raisons dâetre and stimulated support for or reactions against them.

In sculpture, a small model in wax or clay, made as a preliminary sketch, presented to a client for his approval of the proposed work, or entered in a competition for a prize or scholarship. The Italian equivalent of the term is bozzetto, meaning small sketch.

In its entire form, one of the hardest stones to carve; in fact a hard type of limestone (more or less crystallized by metamorphism), often with streaks. Takes a high polish if desired. Also one of the most expensive stones and therefore prized. In its powdered form, can be used to create bonded marble casts or "faux" marble as an alternative to plaster as a casting material. Resin can be loaded with marble powder, as can a cement mix.

The art material that is used in a work of art such as clay, paint or pencil. Describing more then one art medium is referred to as media. Any substance added to color to facilitate application or to achieve a desired effect.

1. A chemical element that is more or less shiny, can be hammered, welded or stretched, as iron, gold, aluminum, lead and magnesium. Distinguished from an alloy. In wire or wire mesh form (of varying dimensions) can also be used to create sculpture. Metalwork is the term used to describe the making of things from metal. 2. Glass in its molten state.

Mixed Media
The term is generally used when two or more media are used in a single work of art, e.g. metal and wood, or metal, wood and stone.

Referred to as the material used for a given sculpture. Bronze, terra cotta, plaster and wire are all examples of media.

Three dimensional shapes which are suspended and free moving.

Model - Modeling
The (very "forgiving", highly satisfying physically and emotionally) process whereby a sculptor adds (bit by bit) wet clay or other soft media such as wet plaster or cement to build up or construct his or her form - often using an armature. It is essentially an additive, not a subtractive process as contrasted with carving, though subtraction can also be and is often used in the process of achieving the desired shapes. Thus "forgiving"...

Modeling Material
Material that is formed into a shape. Most modeling materials harden when the moisture in them evaporates, such as clay. Some do not harden, such as plastecine and can be used again.

A print that has the same underlying common image, but different design, color or texture.

A picture made up of various proportions of existing pictures, such as photographs or prints, arranged so they join, overlap, or blend with one another.

Monotype (1)
A one of a kind print made by painting on smooth metal, creating a texture that is not possible to paint directly on paper.

Monotype (2)
A one-of-a-kind print made by painting on a sheet or slab of glass and transferring the still-wet painting to a sheet of paper held firmly on the glass by rubbing the back of the paper with a smooth implement, such as a large hardwood spoon. The painting may also be done on a polished plate, in which case it may be either printed by hand or transferred to paper by running the plate and paper through an etching press.

A hollow, or negative container used in the process of casting to give its form to a substance placed within (wax for the bronze lost-wax process, or plaster, cement, resin loaded or not with slate, marble or bronze powder, etc.) and allowed to harden. Moulds can be made of plaster entirely, or in rubber with an outer plaster jacket (also called mother mould or casing). A one piece mould that must be destroyed to get the cast out is called a waste mould. A mould consisting of two or more separable pieces is called a piece mould. Often a sculptor will see his finished bronze sculpture through the making of two such negative moulds either himself or at the foundry. A first one to produce the mould in which the wax positive is poured. A second one built in (core) and around the wax positive and its sprue and gates, from which the wax is lost by firing in a kiln, and which is hacked off to reveal the rough cast bronze from which the sprue and gates will have to be removed. Metal casting is done by sand casting in which the negative, containing a mould and a positive core - allowing the final piece to be hollow - are made of foundry sand.

A building, place or institution devoted to the acquisition, conservation, study, exhibition and educational interpretation of objects having scientific, historical or artistic value. The word Museum is derived from the Latin muses, meaning "a source of inspiration," or "to be absorbed in one's thoughts."




This paper comes in large sheets, and is inexpensive. Newsprint will eventually yellow, and is not a good choice for preserving artwork. Pen and market will bleed through newsprint.




Oil Cup
A container that can be clipped to your oil palette. One cup for the medium, the other cup for the brush cleaner.

Oil Paint
A definition by Winsor & Newton states: "Oils are one of the great classic media, and have dominated painting for five hundred years. They remain popular for many reasons: their great versatility, offering the possibility of transparency and opacity in the same painting; the lack of color change when the painting dries; and ease of manipulation."

Shapes that are not regular or even, using a combination of edges that are curved or angular.

The firing atmosphere containing lots of oxygen.

Applying metal oxides to the clay, mixing with water, you can create an effect of stained wood.




Paint Box
A piece of equipment used for storing brushes, paint, palette, and accessories when painting outdoors.

Painting Knife
Knives come in a variety of shapes and sizes. A trowel-type flexible knife.

Paper Maché
Papier maché is an ancient art consisting of paper and a binder, such as wallpaper paste or glue.

Pastel (1)
colors go from soft to brilliant in a stick form. When the paper is covered completely, it is known as a pastel painting. When the paper is exposed through the pastel, it is known as a pastel sketch.

Pastel (2)
A colored crayon that consists of pigment mixed with just enough of a aqueous binder to hold it together; a work of art produced by pastel crayons; the technique itself. Pastels vary according to the volume of chalk contained...the deepest in tone are pure pigment. Pastel is the simplest and purest method of painting, since pure color is used without a fluid medium and the crayons are applied directly to the pastel paper. Pastels are called paintings rather than drawings, for although no paint is used, the colors are applied in masses rather than in lines.

Patina (1)
A film or an incrustation, usually green, that forms on copper and bronze after a certain amount of weathering and as a result of the oxidation of the copper. Special chemical treatments will also induce different colored patinas on new bronzes. Bronzes may be painted with acrylic and lacquer.

Patina (2)
The layman can relate to patina when it is defined as a mellowing of tone or texture acquired by aging and use in furniture, leather, or paintings. In sculpture, it is a film or incrustation that forms on copper or bronze after a certain amount of weathering and as the result of the oxidation of the copper contained within bronze. When green, it is known as aerugo or verdigris. Patinas are often made to occur in the foundry upon the sculptor's request by special treatments that duplicate the green copper carbonates and hydrated oxides of natural bronze patinas. Rarer bluish and reddish patinas can also be effected. A patina is normally a kind of protection, which tends to retard further corrosion considerably. However sometimes a malignant type of corrosion known as bronze disease occurs. The process whereby a patina is either naturally acquired or artificially induced is known as patination. Some sculptors imitate the patination process on non-metallic sculpture with the use of oils, waxes and pigments: i.e., shoe polish on plaster.

1a. The support or foot of a late classic or neoclassic column. b. The base of an upright structure. 2. Base, foundation.

Technical drawing pens produce a sharp line that never varies in width. They come in a range of colors, and widths which create different effects.

Pencils are categorized according to the hardness of the lead. The hardest lead is found in the 9-B, which gives you a sharp thin line. The opposite being a 9-B which creates a soft line which is thicker and darker.

Perspective (1)
Perspective creates the feeling of depth through the use of lines that make your image appear to be three dimensional. The closer the image is, the more detailed it will appear, and the larger it will be.

Perspective (2)
The representation of three-dimensional objects on a flat surface so as to produce the same impression of distance and relative size as that received by the human eye. In one-point linear perspective, developed during the fifteenth century, all parallel lines in a given visual field converge at a single vanishing point on the horizon. In aerial or atmospheric perspective, the relative distance of objects is indicated by gradations of tone and color and by variations in the clarity of outlines. Pigment
Pigment is the material used to create the effect of color on any surface.

Pinch Pots
Beginning with a ball of clay, the artist can form a pot by pinching the clay to form the center opening.

When mixed with water, this powder will harden into a chalk-like solid used to create sculptures, and other forms of artwork.

A stencil and stencil-brush process for making multicolored prints, and for tinting black-and-white prints, and for coloring reproductions and book illustrations, especially fine and limited editions. Pochoir, which is the French word for stencil, is sometimes called hand-coloring or hand-illustration. Pochoir, as distinguished from ordinary stencil work, is a highly refined technique, skillfully executed in a specialized workshop.

A branch of French Impressionism in which the principle of optical mixture or broken color was carried to the extreme of applying color in tiny dots or small, isolated strokes. Forms are visible in a pointillist painting only from a distance, when the viewer's eye blends the colors to create visual masses and outlines. The inventor and chief exponent of pointillism was George Seurat (1859-1891); the other leading figure was Paul Signac (1863-1935).

Porcelain is a combination of kaolin, silica and feldspar. You can work with porcelain as you would clay, but when you fire it correctly, the result will be similar to that of glass.

A portrait in sculpture comprises of the head only or head and neck. Compare with Bust.

Primary colors
Red, yellow, blue.




This method of firing pottery results in irregular surfaces and colors. The pottery is removed when it is red hot. It is then placed in a bed of combustible materials and covered.

Sculpture is dubbed realistic when it portrays real life objects or people or recognizable, identifiable shapes. In general, the term used for the depiction of human figures, real objects or scenes as they appear, without (and this differentiates its definition from that of figurative), distortion or stylization. Can also be used to mean representational or objective sculpture as distinguished from abstract sculpture.

Firing clay with an inadequate amount of oxygen.

In sculpture, any work that projects from the background. Relief's are classified by degree of projection. Relief sculpture is distinguished from sculpture in the round. In a bas relief (low relief or basso-relievo in Italian), the figures project only slightly and no part is entirely detached from the background (as in medals, coins, or areas of large relief's in which the chief effect is produced by the play of light and shadow). In a haut relief sculpture (high relief or alto-rilievo), the figures project at least half of their natural circumference from the background. Between these two is the demi relief (half-relief or mezzo-relievo). The lowest degree of relief in which the projection barely exceeds the thickness of a sheet of paper is called a crushed relief (relievo sticciato or schiacciato). There is also a relief in reverse, called hollow relief, in which all the carving lies within a hollowed-out area below the surface plane, and which, through an illusion of depth and roundness, looks like raised relief. Hollow relief, also called sunk or concave relief (cavo-relievo), incised relief (intaglio-rilievato) are the kind of carving done on gems by the Greeks and Romans. Relief's may be carved from hard materials or modeled in wet clay, softened wax, or plaster. Relief's are often elements of architectural sculpture.

A current practice of some artists is the addition of a small personalized drawing or symbol near his pencil signature in the lower margin. The practice is borrowed from Whister's famous "butterfly" which was added to personalize many of his graphics.

Repetition is created when objects, shapes, space, light, direction, lines etc. are repeated in artwork.

From the French verb meaning to push back. A means of achieving perspective or spatial contrasts by the use of illusionist devices such as the placement of a large figure or object i the immediate foreground of a painting to increase the illusion of depth in the rest of the picture.

When the regular repetition of particular forms or elements occurs in a work of art, that work is said to have rhythm. It suggests motion.




The process of creating what is described in the next entry... Also see the links there as all 4 main methods apply when defining the verb "to sculpt"!

Art form, 3-D or three dimensional - created in the round which can be seen from all perspectives except the bottom or back (when it is resting or placed down or against a surface, unless hanging from a ceiling or other means) - or created as a relief by a sculptor. See assembly, carving, modeling and welding.

Secondary colors
Orange, Violet, Green. Each color is midway between the Primaries from which it can be mixed.

Serigraphy is a color stencil printing process in which a special paint is forced through a fine screen onto the paper beneath. Areas which do not print are blocked with photo sensitive emulsion that has been exposed with high intensity arc lights. A squeegee is pulled from back to front, producing a direct transfer of the image from screen to paper. A separate stencil is required for each color and one hundred colors or more may be necessary to achieve the desired effect. A serigraph, also referred to as a screen-print, differs from other graphics in that its color is made up of paint films rather than printing ink stains. This technique is extremely versatile, and can create effects similar to oil color, transparent washes as well as gouache and pastel.

Using a mixture of black mixed with a color to make it darker. The opposite of shade is tint.

Silver print
This generic term covers all prints made on paper that is coated with silver salts. Black and white photographs are usually silver prints.

Shapes can be in the form of squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, and ovals.

Slab built
Clay slabs are cut into shape, and joined together with scoring and wet clay called slip.

A liquid form of clay. Slip is used to fill in pores, and even out the color. Slip is used to join clay.

In casting, the entrance hole and main channel in the wall of a mould through which the liquid material (bronze or other metal) is poured; it is joined to the model by smaller channels called gates. The waste material formed by the channel is also called sprue and is cut away after the investment material is removed, as the first step of cleaning up a cast metal sculpture.

In painting, to apply small dots of color with the point of the brush; also to apply paint in a uniform layer by tapping a vertically held brush on the surface in repeated staccato touches.

1. Cut rock, suitable for carving and building. One of the traditional materials of the sculptor, it has been carved, drilled, and polished since prehistoric times. The most commonly used stones are alabaster, marble, sandstone and limestone. 2. In the commercial world, any stone except marble.

Sturdier then earthenware, stoneware is waterproof even without being glazed.

The colors that are the result of a beam of white light that is broken by a form of prism into its hues.

The process in which an area is cut out of paper, or material such as cardboard to enable paint or ink to be applied to a piece of paper, or canvas through the cutout.

A symbol is a picture or image that tells a story of what it is without using words.

Symmetry is when one side of something balances out the other side.




Terra Cotta (1)
Commonly used for ceramic sculpture, it is a brownish-orange earthenware clay.

Terra Cotta (2)
1. Italian for fired or baked clay (literally cooked earth). Terre cuite in French. The end product of a fired sculpture. 2. The term terra cotta clay is often used for any clay suitable for shaping and firing, except for the very fine porcelain clays.

Tempera is a word used to describe any type of binder such as oil, water or egg that makes a pigment workable as a paint form.

Tertiary colors
colors that represent a mixture of secondary colors.

Texture creates the feeling of an object.

Three dimensional. Sculpture can be referred to as a 3-D art form as opposed to painting which is 2-D or two dimensional.

Tint is the opposite of shade. Tinting is combining white with a color to make it lighter.

Document that provides background information on the graphic edition such as edition size, printer, technique, year of execution.

Trompe L´oeil
A French term meaning "deception of the eye." It is applied to painting so photographically realistic that it may fool the viewer into thinking that the objects or scene represented are real rather than painted.

Turpentine (or Grumtine)
Used for cleaning equipment and to thin mediums.




Under painting
Preliminary painting used as a base for textures or for subsequent painting or glazing.

A feeling of completeness is created by the use of elements in the artwork.




Shadows, darkness, contrasts and light are all values in artwork.

A photograph printed within a few years of the negative being made.




A highly fluid application of color.

Used in watercolor painting, brush drawing, and occasionally in oil painting to describe a broad thin layer of diluted pigment or ink. Also refers to a drawing made in this technique.

A translucent, water-based paint that comes in cake or tube form.

Wax Crayon
These crayons are ideal to use to loosen up your drawing style. Crayons are cost effective, and it is difficult to create really detailed drawings.

The process of joining together two pieces of metal by fusion. Intense heat is applied by an oxyacetylene torch in gas or oxyacetylene welding, and by electrical means in arc welding. Sometimes a filler rod is melted along the joint, in the process known as brazing. The direct welding of two pieces by combining the molten edges is called fusion welding. It is done at much higher temperatures than soldering and results in stronger, more durable joints. It is used in making direct metal sculpture and comes under the general term of assembly - as opposed to carving and modeling.

Wheel Thrown
Comes from an English term meaning 'spin'. The clay is placed on the potters wheel and the piece is formed while the clay spins on the wheel.