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Media and Tools

Words about and related to artistic media and artist tools


ACRYLICS: Paint with a synthetic base that dissolves in water. Colored pigments are added for an opaque finish.
ASSEMBLAGE: A three-dimensional composition in which a collection of objects is unified in a sculptural work.
BLOT: Using an absorbent materials (like a cloth) to soak up or dry excess paint or water is blotting.
BRUSHES: Tools used to apply paint and ink to a surface (paper or canvas).
CANVAS: Tightly stretched strong unbleached cloth, usually of hemp or flax, is fixed over a wooden framework.
GLOSSY: Having a smooth, shiny finish.
CARTOON ART: Cartoon art is reminiscent of cartoons strips in newspapers. It is playful, and often silly. Often seen in fractured tales.
CHALK: The term chalk, when applied to drawing, refers to various natural substances that are somewhat soft and crumbly, formed into sticks for the purpose of drawing.
CHARCOAL: Charcoal is made from wood that is bound together and carbonized in an airtight container to prevent it from turning to ash.
COLLAGE: Three-dimensional design created by gluing flat elements such as newspaper, wallpaper, fabric, wood, photographs, cloth, string, etc. to a flat surface.
CRAYON: Dry color mixed with oily, greasy, or waxy binding media for drawing on paper.
CUT PAPER: Two-dimensional images are achieved by strategically cutting and arranging cut paper.
EASEL: A stand that supports canvases or paper for artists.
FIXATIVE: A type of spray used on artwork created with charcoal, chalk, pencil, or crayons to prevent smudging.
GOUACHE: (pronounced gwash ) A French term used to describe a type of watercolor paint.
GRAPHITE: A form of carbon available in powder, stick, and other forms.
INK: A pigmented liquid used for writing, drawing, and printing.
LINOCUTS OR LINOLEUM CUTS: A substance made by humans which can be engraved and used to make prints.
MATTE: A dull, often rough finish.
MEDIA: Plural of medium.
MEDIUM: The material used to make the artwork. The plural is media.
MIXED MEDIA: A technique involving the use of two or more artistic media and combined in a single composition.
MONOTYPE: A form of printmaking in which no element of the print is repeatable.
OILS: Paint created from mixing colored pigments with an oil base.
PAINT: Colored pigments combined with liquid (called vehicles) which includes a binder that causes it to adhere to a surface.
PALETTE: A board an artist uses to mix paint. It also refers to the array or range of color an artist uses in a particular work or on a consistent basis.
PALLET KNIFE: A tool, the working end of which is flat and is used especially for mixing and/or applying paint.
PASTELS: Pastels consist of pigments that are formed into manageable sticks.
PEN AND INK: Pen and ink is a medium that can stand alone or be used with other mediums to create detail. Pen and ink is often mixed with water to create what is known as "wash" drawing.
PLASTICINEĀ®: A brand name for an oil based modeling clay.
RENDER: The way an artist uses his or her tools and medium to achieve the desired result.
SCRATCHBOARD: A process that includes scratching the illustration in the black paint covering a white board. Colors may be underneath the black paint.
SUPPORT: The material or surface upon which an artist applies the medium.
TEMPERA: Similar to watercolors, except pigments are mixed with a sticky base, such as egg yolk.
TOOLS: Items an artist or illustrator uses, such as brushes, pencils, paint, canvas, paper, and palette.
WASH: A very thin coat of paint, often with the appearance of transparency.
WATERCOLORS: Finely ground-up pigments of color with natural or chemical base that are mixed with water. WOODCUTS: Woodcuts are made from illustrations carved into wood with chisels and knives and then printed on a surface such as paper.

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