Art Terms

General Art Terms:

Acrylic – A plastic used as a medium for pigments in painting or as a casting material in sculpture.

Applique – A cut-out attached to a background.

Aquarelle – Transparent watercolor.

Assemblage – Sculpture formed by joining individual pieces, sometimes “found objects.”

Bas-Relief – Sculpture in which the figure projects only slightly from the background.

Diptych – A two-part painting, often of attached panels. A triptych is composed of three parts, a tetraptych four, etc.

Encaustic – is a beeswax-based paint mixed with pigment and kept molten while painting. The word encaustic comes from the Greek meaning to “burn in” which refers to the process of fusing the paint. This type of painting was used in the 5th century B.C. for weathering boats and coloring marble. Encaustic is the most durable of the artist’s paints because the beeswax is impervious to moisture. As a result, it will not deteriorate, yellow or darken and it can be polished to a high gloss for a brilliant surface. The beauty and the difficultly in the paint is found in its immediate drying time. Because it cools immediately, the gesture and brush strokes are captured

Gouache – Watercolor to which an opaque white has been added.

Graphic – Any work printed directly on paper from a plate or block.

Haute Relief – High sculptural relief in which figures project from a background at least half their real depth.

Impasto – Thick application of paint creating a textured surface.

Mixed Media – The use of different materials in the same work.

Pastel – A soft chalk made of pigments, water and a binder, blended into a stiff paste and dried.


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