Acrylic – A type of paint – water-based, fast-drying. It can be used thickly or thinly depending how much water is added to it
Avant-garde – A term used to describe art that is innovatory and explores new forms or subject matter
Dappled – Spots of a different shade, tone, or colour
Drybrush – A painting technique where the brush is mostly dry but still contains paint, resulting in a scratchy look. Mainly used but watercolour but can also be used with acrylics & oil
Foreshortening – The optical illusion that occurs when a subject is angled towards the viewer and causes it to appear shorter than it actually is
Gesso – A primer that prepares the surface for painting. Prevents paints sinking into the paper or canvas. Typically used with canvas or board
Gesture – To capture a movement or position of body or face that is expressive of an idea, opinion, emotion.
Glaze – A thin transparent layer that is applied to paint
Gouache – A type of paint – opaque watercolour, designed to be used with opaque methods of painting.
gsm – This refers to how thick a paper is, the higher the gsm the thicker the paper
Gum Arabic – Also known as acacia gum – binding agent used with watercolour, prevents lightening of colours and slows evaporation time
Impasto – A term used to describe thickly applied paint
Medium – The type of art (e.g. painting, print) or the material the art was made in (e.g acrylic, oil). Also known as Media (when referring to materials)
Perspective – Term given to representing three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface
Plein air – French term meaning out of doors, meaning to draw or paint out of doors
Primary Colour – Red, Yellow and Blue – colours that can be mixed to make secondary and tertiary colours
Putty Rubber – A type of rubber that resembles gum or putty, it absorbs graphite or charcoal and does not damage the surface of paper or leave residue
Rule of Thirds – A rule of composition where the page is divided into nine parts and the subject is placed in the outer squares leading to a more interesting composition
Still Life – A term used for a genre of painting where the subject matter doesn’t move, typically thought of as objects and fabrics
Tonal Value – How light or dark something is
Viewfinder – A device to help find an engaging composition, allows you to “crop” a scene within a rectangular area.
Viscosity – A term referring to the thickness of the paint
Washes – A term used when paint is diluted with a large amount of water
Watercolour – A type of paint, water-based and typically used in Washes diluted with water