Glossary

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
DappledSpots of a different shade, tone, or colour
DrybrushA 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
ForeshorteningThe 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
GestureTo capture a movement or position of body or face that is expressive of an idea, opinion, emotion.
GlazeA thin transparent layer that is applied to paint
Gouache  – A type of paint – opaque watercolour, designed to be used with opaque methods of painting.
gsmThis refers to how thick a paper is, the higher the gsm the thicker the paper
Gum ArabicAlso known as acacia gum –  binding agent used with watercolour, prevents lightening of colours and slows evaporation time
ImpastoA term used to describe thickly applied paint
MediumThe 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)
PerspectiveTerm given to representing three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface
Plein airFrench term meaning out of doors, meaning to draw or paint out of doors
Primary ColourRed, 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 ThirdsA 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 LifeA term used for a genre of painting where the subject matter doesn’t move, typically thought of as objects and fabrics
Tonal ValueHow 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
WashesA term used when paint is diluted with a large amount of water
WatercolourA type of paint, water-based and typically used in Washes diluted with water
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