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Home > Art Print Glossary



Art Print Glossary

Please feel free to browse these terms to get a better understanding of the terminology and different processes in creating fine art Giclée prints!

Aesthetic: The science of the "beautiful" in a work of art. The aesthetic appeal of a work of art is defined by the visual, social, ethical, moral, and contemporary standards of society.

Abstract/abstraction: Abstract means the modification of a natural form by simplification or distortion. Abstraction is the category of such modified images.

Accent: A sharp detail or color placed in a painting for emphasis.

Acid Free: This means materials that have a neutral pH or higher. Acid free papers and boards are recommended when storing or framing photoartworks as they reduce the possibility of staining over time. Acid free refers to papers without acid (pH) in the pulp when manufactured. High acidity papers degrade quickly (turn yellow, colors fade, becomes fragile); a paper made from pulp containing little or no acid is able to resist deterioration from age. Acid free paper maintains the integrity of its original state over time. These papers are fade-resistant and retain the original vibrancy of the artwork. Also called alkaline paper, archival paper, neutral pH paper, permanent paper and thesis paper.

Acid Resist: An acid-proof protective coating applied to metal plates prior to etching.

Acrylic: Paint made from pigments and a synthetic plastic binder, water-soluble when wet, insoluble when dry. Developed commercially in the 30s and 40s and perfected in the 50s through 70s, this popular alternative to oil paint can also duplicate many of watercolor's unique characteristics when used in a fluid manner.

Alla Prima: Italian term, meaning to paint on canvas or other ground directly, in full, opaque color, without any preliminary drawing done first.

Archival: The term archival suggests that a material or product is permanent, durable, or chemically stable, and that it can therefore safely be used for preservation purposes. Archival processing requires materials to be processed by strict standards to keep residual amounts of chemicals to a low level. A fine art print's susceptibility to fading over time varies with different types of art papers and other conditions in storage such as humidity, temperature and pollution levels.

Archival Inks: These are specialized inks that have been optimized for the printmaking process to achieve the desired vibrancy of color saturation and image longevity.

Archival Methods/Techniques: The handling, treating and storage of digital reproductions in a manner that lessens their deterioration from aging or from chemical reactions with other materials.

Archival Paper: Any pure 100% rag, cotton, or linen paper of neutral or slightly low pH, alkaline (base) vs. acidic, and pure ingredients. Some synthetic papers are archival in nature but have unique working properties. These acid free papers are fade-resistant and retain the original vibrancy of the artwork.

Archival Print: A broad term for four color (CMYK) printing in which very fine droplets of ionized ink are sprayed onto the receiving material. Magnetized plates in the ink's path direct the ink onto the receiving material in the desired shapes and patterns to make an image. Also known as a Giclée print (taken from the French world meaning "to spray"), these prints are digitally reproduced on fine art papers and canvas. This process of printing uses archival quality dye-based inks and others use pigment-based inks. This process enhances a print's lifespan. With the use of archival inks and framing materials your photoartwork can be expected to last in excess of 100 years.

Artwork: All original copy, including type, photos and illustrations, intended for printing. Also called art.

Batik: Using wax resist designs on dyed fabrics. Colors are dyed lightest color to darkest color, with new design elements added before each color bath.

Calligraphy/calligraphic: Calligraphy is beautiful personal handwriting, which has also been practiced in the Orient and Near East for many centuries. The term calligraphic is also applied to drawing or painting which contains brushstrokes reminiscent of calligraphy.

Camera Obscura: A system of lenses and mirrors developed from the 16th to the 17th centuries, which functioned as a primitive camera for artists. With the camera obscura, painters could project the scene in front of them onto their painting surface, as a preliminary drawing. Vermeer, among others, is thought to have used the camera obscura.

Canvas: Canvas is an extremely heavy-duty fabric used for making sails, tents, marquees, and other functions where sturdiness is required; heavy woven fabric made of flax or cotton used as a painting surface; a surface prepared to receive painting, usually oil painting, made of course closely woven cloth.

Canvas Print: A reproduction in which an image is printed directly onto canvas. These prints can be produced using offset lithography, digital printing or other methods. Sometimes artists will add brush strokes directly onto the canvas after the piece has been printed. Canvas offers a more permanent surface than other papers. Canvas is a fairly robust surface, which can be rolled without cracking and can be stretched for framing. Remember to allow a 2-inch border around the print if you plan to stretch it. Canvas prints are usually sealed with a solvent-based varnish to protect the print from wear, and especially water, as most printing inks are water-based and vulnerable to water damage. (See Archival Print and Giclée Prints).

Certificate of Authenticity: A warranty card or statement of authenticity of a limited edition print that records the title of the work, the artist’s name, the edition size and the print's number within the edition, the number of artist's proofs and the release date. It is a guarantee that the edition is limited and that the image will not be published again in the same form.

Chiaroscuro: Italian term for light and dark, referring to the modeling of form by the use of light and shade; the rendering of light and shade in painting; the subtle gradations and marked variations of light and shade for dramatic effect; the style of painting light within deep shadows. Carrivagio and Rembrandt were masters of chiaroscuro.

Chroma: The purity or degree of saturation of a color; relative absence of white or gray in a color.

Coated Paper: Paper with a coating of clay and other substances that improves reflectivity and ink holdout. Mills produce coated paper in the four major categories cast, gloss, dull and matte.

Collage: French word for cut and pasted scraps of materials, such as paper, cardboard, chair caning, playing cards, etc., to a painting or drawing surface; sometimes also combined with painting or drawing.

Color Balance: Refers to amounts of process colors that simulate the colors of the original scene or photograph.

Color Field Painting: A style of painting begun in the 1950's to '70's, characterized by small or large abstracted areas of color. Mark Rothko is one of the earliest and best known color field painters; Morris Louis and Helen Frankenthaler are two others.

Color Separation: Technique of using a camera, scanner or computer to divide continuous-tone color images into four halftone negatives; the product resulting from color separating and subsequent four-color process printing. Also called separation.

Commercial Printer: Printer producing a wide range of products such as announcements, brochures, posters, booklets, stationery, business forms, books and magazines. Also called job printer because each job is different.

Complementary Colors: Colors which are located opposite one another on the color wheel (e.g., red and green, yellow and purple, blue and orange); colors which when mixed together will (in color theory) produce a neutral color (a color which is neither warm nor cool). In the case of the three primary colors (red, yellow and blue), the complementary of one primary will be the mixture of the other two primaries (complementary of red will be a mixture of yellow and blue, or green). When placed next to one another, complementary colors will make one another appear much more intense, sometimes in an "eye-popping" sense, which was utilized by Op artists of the 1960's to create optical effects. Also in color theory, an object's primary color has its complementary color in its shadows.

Composition: The process of arranging the forms of two- and three-dimensional visual art into a unified whole, by means of elements and principles of design, such as line, shape, color, balance, contrast, space, etc., for purposes of formal clarity and artistic expression.

Conception/execution: Conception is the birth process of an artistic idea, from the initial creative impulse through aesthetic refinement, problem-solving, and visualization/realization. Execution is the second half of the creative process: the actual carrying out of the idea, in terms of method and materials.

Conceptual: Pertaining to the process involved in the initial stages of art-making. Also, the name of a contemporary art movement which is mainly concerned with this process of conceiving of and developing the initial idea, as opposed to the carrying-out of the idea into concrete form

Contemporary Art: The term contemporary describes the most recent art, in this case as distinguished from modern art, which is generally considered to have lost its dominance in the mid-1950's.

Content: As opposed to subject matter, content is the "meaning" of the artwork.

Contrast: The degree of tones in an image ranging from highlight to shadow.

Cyan: One of the four process colors. Also known as process blue.

Deckle Edge: Edge of paper left ragged as it comes from the papermaking machine instead of being cleanly cut. Also called feather edge.

Density: Regarding ink, the relative thickness of a layer of printed ink; regarding color, the relative ability of a color to absorb light reflected from it or block light passing through it; regarding paper, the relative tightness or looseness of fibers.

Die: Device for cutting, scoring, stamping, embossing and debossing.

Die Cut: To cut irregular shapes in paper or paperboard using a die.

DPI: Considered as "dots per square inch," a measure of output resolution in relationship to printers, imagesetters and monitors.

Drawing: Pencil, pen, ink, charcoal or other similar mediums on paper or other support, tending toward a linear quality rather than mass, and also with a tendency toward black-and-white, rather than color (one exception being pastel).

Dry Brush: Any textured application of paint where the brush is fairly dry (thin or thick paint) and the artist relies on the hairs of the brush and the paper's surface texture to create broken areas of paint.

Dull Finish: Flat (not glossy) finish on coated paper; slightly smoother than matte. Also called suede finish, velour finish and velvet finish.

Duotone: Black-and-white photograph reproduced using two halftone negatives, each shot to emphasize different tonal values in the original.

Edition: A limited number of impressions of a print. When the edition is complete, the plate or block is often cancelled by defacing it.

Edition Number: A fraction found on the bottom left hand corner of a print. The top number is the sequence in the edition; the bottom number is the total number of prints in the edition. The number appears as a fraction usually in the lower left of the print. For instance the edition number 25/50 means that it is print number 25 out of a total edition of 50.

Engraving: A type of intaglio printing in which the plate is cut with a tool called a "graver" or "burin," which cuts a V-shaped trough. Engraved lines are cut so they are sharp and clean, and can be distinguished from etched lines, which are slightly irregular since they are bitten unevenly by the acid; printing method using a plate, also called a die, with an image cut into its surface; general term used to describe traditional printing processes, such as etching, aquatint, drypoint, etc., where an image is made by the use of metal plates and engraving tools, and printed, usually through a printing press. The image can be incised into the plate, or drawn with fluid and then dipped in acid to etch the uncovered areas. These processes are still used by artists, but of course have been supplanted by more modern processes for general printing purposes.

Etch: To use chemicals to carve an image into metal, glass or film.

Expressionistic: A characteristic of some art, generally since the mid-19th century, leaning toward the expression of emotion over objective description. Vincent Van Gogh was one of the first expressionists, though there was not really a movement per se, but individual artists. At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, expressionism became widely espoused, particularly by German and Austrian artists, such as Emil Nolde, Kirchner, Gustav Klimt, and others. Though there is variation, certain characteristics predominate: bright, even garish, color; harsh contrasts of black and white (as in woodcuts); exaggeration of form; and distortion or elongation of figures. There are still many artists whose work has expressionistic tendencies; in the 1980's there was a period of art called Neo-Expressionist. (The word 'neo' before an art label means that there is a reprise of work similar to the original movement.)

Figurative: A term used to describe art which is based on the figure, usually in realistic or semi-realistic terms; also loosely used to describe an artist who paints or sculpts representationally, as opposed to painting or sculpting in an abstract or non-objective manner.

Figure: A human or animal form.

Finish: (1) Surface characteristics of paper. (2) General term for trimming, folding, binding and all other post press operations.

Finished Size: Size of product after production is completed, as compared to flat size. Also called trimmed size.

Fixative: A resinous or plastic spray used to affix charcoal, pencil, or pastel images to the paper. Used lightly it protects finished art (or underdrawing) against smearing, smudging, or flaking.

Format: Size, style, shape, layout or organization of a layout or printed product.

Fresco: Meaning "fresh" in Italian, fresco is the art of painting with pure pigments ground in water on uncured (wet) lime plaster. An ancient technique used world wide by artists of many ages and cultures. Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel is a famous example fresco painting. Durability is achieved as the pigments chemically bind with the plaster over time as it hardens to it's natural limestone state; wall painting in water-based paint on moist plaster, mostly from the 14th to the 16th centuries; used mostly before the Renaissance produced oil paint as a more easily handled medium.

Genre: A category of artistic work marked by a particular specified form, technique, or content; type of painting representing scenes of everyday life for its own sake, popular from the 17th century to the 19th century.

Genre painting: The depiction of common, everyday life in art, as opposed to religious or portrait painting for example.

Gesso: An undercoating medium used on the canvas or other painting surface before painting, to prime the canvas; usually a white, chalky, thick liquid. In the mid-20th century, gesso became available already commercially prepared; before this time, artists often mixed their own gesso mixture; ground plaster, chalk or marble mixed with glue or acrylic medium, generally white. It provides an absorbent ground for oil, acrylic, and tempera painting.

Gestalt: Gestalt theory states that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Creating effective designs depends on creating and balancing gestalt. Originally a therapeutic psychological theory (ink blots) artist's have adopted the concept for creating more balanced and dynamic art. See: Negative Space, Positive Space.

Giclée Prints: Editioned prints made on high resolution printers using pigmented inks and archival, artist-grade papers. Lightfast ratings close to original paintings. Giclée Canvas Prints on 100% pure cotton artist canvas are ideal for the reproduction of paintings and give added value to artwork. Giclées printed on canvas have an extra special protective coating over the canvas print to make sure it does not get damaged from scratches or splashes and for greater UV stability. (See Archival Print and Canvas Print).

Glaze/glazing: A glaze is a thin layer of translucent oil paint applied to all or part of a painting, to modify the tone or color underneath. Glazing is the process of using this technique.

Glazed Wash: Any transparent wash of color laid over a dry, previously painted area. Used to adjust color, value, or intensity of underlying painting. (Glaze)

Glossy: Consider the light reflecting on various objects in the printing industry (e.g., paper, ink, laminates, UV coating, varnish).

Gouache: (1) Watercolor painting technique using white and opaque colors. (2) A water-based paint, much like transparent watercolor but made in opaque form. Traditionally used in illustration.

Grade: General term used to distinguish between or among printing papers, but whose specific meaning depends on context. Grade can refer to the category, class, rating, finish or brand of paper.

Grain: The basic structure of the surface of paper, as in fine, medium and rough grain.

Graphic Arts: The crafts, industries and professions related to designing and printing on paper and other substrates.

Gravure: Method of printing using metal cylinders etched with millions of tiny wells that hold ink.

Hue: Referring to the actual color of a form or object, e.g., a red car.

Iconography: Knowledge of the meanings to be attached to pictorial representations; perhaps the visual equivalent of symbols or metaphors in literature. An artist may be aware of his/her iconography and use it consciously; probably just as often, the iconography is used in a semi-conscious way. An artist will intuitively choose images because of meanings they have for him/her, and over the course of time a pattern can often be found, as a logical progression or repeating images. An artist can be said to have a personal iconography, which is often noted and analyzed by others, including art historians, critics, writers and the public. Often, the meanings seen in an artist's work by others differs, somewhat or considerably, from what the artist has intended.

Ideal Art: Art which aims to be the true, eternal reality. In the 18th and 19th centuries, this included some Neoclassical art, which emulated the forms and ideas found in classical art (Greece and Rome). In modern times, this could include artists such as Mondrian and Malevich, who considered pure abstraction to be the manifestation of this pure reality. Perhaps the theoretical opposite of ideal art is realism, which tries to depict things not as some ideal, but as they 'really' are.

Image Area: The actual area on the printed matter that is not restricted to ink coverage,: Impasto: An Italian term for oil paint applied very thickly onto the canvas or other support, resulting in evident brushstrokes (visible).

Impression: (1) Referring to an ink color, one impression equals one press sheet passing once through a printing unit. (2) Referring to speed of a press, one impression equals one press sheet passing once through the press.

Impressionism: A style of painting that has naturalistic tendencies, because it analyzes tone and color in the play of light on surfaces. Naturalism can also have a sensual character (as against composition and drawing). The Impressionists were influenced by 19th century researches into the physics of color by Chevreul (a scientist) and others, which showed that an object casts a shadow which contains its complementary color (see complementary color). This theory eventually hardened into Neo-Impressionism, where Seurat and others sought the maximum optical truth about nature and the ideal composition and color relationships. This line of inquiry also led eventually to Post-Impressionism, where Gauguin and Van Gogh, among others, used color in a purely artistic and anti-naturalistic manner, which was non-intellectual. (Color used by Gauguin and Van Gogh is often deliberately independent of the local or light-influenced color of objects; and beyond that in the early 20th century, the Fauve painters used bright color and forms even more distant from their perceptual origins.)

Ink Balance: Relationship of the densities and dot gains of process inks to each other and to a standard density of neutral gray: Ink Jet Printing: Method of printing by spraying droplets of ink through computer-controlled nozzles. Also called jet printing.

Intaglio Printing: Printing method whose image carriers are surfaces with two levels, having inked areas lower than noninked areas. Gravure and engraving are the most common forms of intaglio. Also called recess printing.

Laminate: A thin transparent plastic sheet (coating) applied to usually a thick stock (covers, post cards, etc.) providing protection against liquid and heavy use, and usually accents existing color, providing a glossy (or lens) effect.

Landscape: A painting in which the subject matter is natural scenery.

Landscape: Artist style in which width is greater than height. (Portrait is opposite.)

Letterpress: Method of printing from raised surfaces, either metal type or plates whose surfaces have been etched away from image areas. Also called block printing.

Lightfast: A pigments resistance to fading on long exposure to sunlight. Watercolors are rated lightfast on a scale of I-IV. I and II ratings are the most permanent.

Limited Edition Print: A print from a predetermined number of impressions made from photomechanical separations and printed very carefully on an offset lithographic printing press or a digital printer. It is signed and numbered in pencil by the artist, and printed on fine art paper.

Magenta: One of the four process colors.

Mat: a decorative cardboard border fitted around a picture between the picture and a frame; can also serve as a frame.

Match Print: A form of a four-color-process proofing system.

Matte Finish: Flat (not glossy) finish on photographic paper or coated printing paper.

Medium: the material that is used to create an artwork, i.e. oil, acrylic, lithography, serigraphy, marble, bronze, etc.; the type of art material used: pencil, ink, watercolor, oil, acrylic, egg tempera, etc.; the liquid mixed with paint to thin, aid or slow drying, or alter the working qualities of the paint; material or technique an artist works in; also, the (usually liquid or semi-liquid) vehicle in which pigments are carried or mixed (e.g., oil, egg yolk, water, refined linseed oil).

Monochromatic: A single color in all it's values.

Modern Art: Generally considered to be the period from about 1905-6 to the mid-1950's, when Pop art ushered in what is referred to as the postmodern period in art. Modern art is generally characterized by formal experimentation and exploration, and mostly seriousness of purpose. (Dada and Surrealism may be the exceptions to this rule.)

Motif:: A French term which refers to: the subject matter or content of a work of art (e.g., a landscape motif); also refers to a visual element used in a work of art, as in a recurring motif (i.e., Warhol used the motif of soup cans in his early works; or Mondrian used rectangles as a visual motif.

Muted: Suppressing the full color value of a particular color.

Naturalism: A style of painting which uses an analysis of tone (value) and color of its subject, resulting in a representation of the appearance of forms or landscapes (see Impressionism).

Negative Space: The areas of an artwork that are not the primary subject or object. Negative Space defines the subject by implication. See Positive Space, Notan, Gestalt

Notan: A Japanese art/compositional term meaning "Dark-Light". It's the interplay of dark and light, positive and negative, and the implications of all opposites balancing harmoniously as one, in creating art. See: Negative Space, Positive Space, Gestalt

Offset Printing: Printing technique that transfers ink from a plate to a blanket to paper instead of directly from plate to paper.

Oil Paint: A powdered pigment which is held together with oil, usually linseed oil.

Original Print: A print made from the original plate, block, stone, screen, etc. which the artist has created and printed from himself.

Opacity: (1) Characteristic of paper or other substrate that prevents printing on one side from showing through the other side. (2) Characteristic of ink that prevents the substrate from showing through.

Opaque: (1) Not transparent. (2) To cover flaws in negative with tape or opaquing paint. Also called block out and spot; a paint that is not transparent by nature or intentionally. A dense paint that obscures or totally hides the underpainting in any given artwork. See Gouache, Acrylics.

Palette: (1) The paint mixing and storing surface of various shapes and being made of plastic, metal, glass, ceramic, or enameled trays for watercolor. Glass, palette paper, formica, and oiled wood are used for oil painting; and glass, metal, styrofoam, and palette paper are used for acrylic painting palettes. or, (2) The selection of colors an artist chooses to work with; a thin piece of glass, wood or other material, or pad of paper, which is used to hold the paint to be used in painting; also, the range of colors used by a particular painter.

Pastel: A drawing stick made of pigments ground with chalk and mixed with gum water; also, a drawing executed with these pastel sticks; also, a soft, subdued tint (light shade) of a color; ground pigments, chalk, and binder formed into sticks for colored drawing; any subdued, high key color (tint).

Pencil Signed: A signature that is written by the hand of the artist, in pencil. The signature is usually located in the lower right portion of the work, below the image in the white margin. A pencil-signed print bears original status.

Perspective: A formal method of creating a three dimensional effect on a two dimensional surface; representing three-dimensional volumes and space in two dimensions in a manner that imitates depth, height and width as seen with stereoscopic eyes; a semi-mathematical technique for representing spatial relationships and three-dimensional objects on a flat surface. (See also atmospheric perspective, one-point linear perspective, and two-point linear perspective.)

Photomontage: A two-dimensional combining of photographs or parts of photographs into an image on paper or other material.

Polychrome: Poly=many, chrome or chroma=colors. Can refer to artwork made with bright, multi-colored paint.

Polyptych: A single work comprised of multiple sections, panels, or canvas. Diptych= two, triptych=three.

Portrait: An art design in which the height is greater than the width. (Opposite of Landscape.).

Portrait: a drawing, sketch or painting with that attempts to portray an accurate likeness of its subject.

Positive Space: The areas of an artwork that IS the primary subject or object. Positive Space defines the subjects outline. see: Negative Space, Notan

Postmodern: A term used to describe the period of art which followed the modern period, i.e., from the 1950's until recently. The term implies a shift away from the formal rigors of the modernists, toward the less formally and emotionally stringent Pop artists, and other art movements which followed.

Printing: Any process that transfers to paper or another substrate an image from an original such as a film negative or positive, electronic memory, stencil, die or plate.

Printing Plate: Surface carrying an image to be printed. Quick printing uses paper or plastic plates; letterpress, engraving and commercial lithography use metal plates; flexography uses rubber or soft plastic plates. Gravure printing uses a cylinder. The screen printing is also called a plate.

Printmaking: The category of fine art printing processes, including etching, lithography, woodcut, and silkscreen, in which multiple images are made from the same metal plate, heavy stone, wood or linoleum block, or silkscreen, with black-and-white or color printing inks.

Proportion: The relation of one part to the whole, or to other parts (for example, of the human body). For example, the human body is approximately 7 to 7-1/2 times the height of the head; the vertical halfway point of the body is the groin; the legs are halved at the knees, etc. Proportion also refers to the relative sizes of the visual elements in a composition, and their optimum relationships for good design.

Primary Colors: Red, yellow, and blue, the mixture of which will yield all other colors in the spectrum but which themselves cannot be produced through a mixture of other colors.

Quality: Subjective term relating to expectations by the customer, printer and other professionals associated with a printing job and whether the job meets those expectations.

Realism: Representational painting which, unlike ideal art, desires to depict forms and images as they really are, without idealizing them. Courbet was one of the first realists, in opposition to the previous reigning Neoclassical art in France; 19th century realist artists wanted to depict life "as it is," warts and all.

Relief: The apparent or actual (impasto, collage) projection of three-dimensional forms.

Representational Art: Art which is based on images which can be found in the objective world, or at least in the artist's imagination; i.e., images which can perhaps be named or recognized. For instance, an objectively faithful depiction of a person is representational art; also, a depiction of an alien from outer space can also be considered a representational image. (See also non-representational.)

Resist: Any material, usually wax or grease crayons, that repel paint or dyes. Lithography is a grease (ink)and water (wet stone or plate) resist printing technique. Batik is a wax resist fabric artform.

Rice Paper: A generic term for Japanese and other Asian forms of paper made for artist's use. Used for sumi-e, brush calligraphy, and watercolor. Fibers from the inner bark of woody plants such as kozo (mulberry), mitsumata, and gampi, and the outer layer of herbaceous plants such as flax, hemp, and jute, are used in manufacturing wide varieties of rice paper.

Rotary Press: Printing press which passes the substrate between two rotating cylinders when making an impression.

Secondary Colors: Colors obtained by mixing two primary colors: green, violet, and orange.

Separations: Usually in the four-color process arena, separate film holding images of one specific color per piece of film. Black, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. Can also separate specific PMS colors through film.

Serigraph: Silkscreen print whose color areas are paint films rather than printing-ink stains. The direct technique is versatile enough to produce an unlimited range of colors and depths, which justifies to some extent the opinion that serigraphy is as much a painter's as a printmaker's medium.

Serigraphic Printing: Printing method whose image carriers are woven fabric, plastic or metal that allow ink to pass through some portions and block ink from passing through other portions. Serigraphic printing includes screen and mimeograph.

Shade: A dark value of a color, i.e., a dark blue; as opposed to a tint, which is a lighter shade of a color, i.e., light blue. Also, to shade a drawing means to add the lights and darks, usually to add a three-dimensional effect; shade: Hue made darker by the addition of black, as compared to tint.

Shadows: Darkest areas of a photograph or illustration, as compared to midtones and high-lights.

Sheetfed Press: Press that prints sheets of paper, as compared to a web press.

Sketch: A rough or loose visualization of a subject or composition..

Standard Print: A digital reproduction of artwork produced on common glossy paper stock, not canvas.

Still Life: Any work whose subject matter is inanimate objects.

Study: A comprehensive drawing of a subject or details of a subject that can be used for reference while painting; a preliminary drawing for a painting; also, a work done just to "study" nature in general.

Subject Matter: As opposed to content, the subject matter is the subject of the artwork, e.g., still life. The theme of Vanitas (popular a few centuries ago) of vanity, death, universal fate, etc., used in the still life, can be considered the content. The still life objects used in the image are the subject matter. (See also content.)

Substrate: Any surface or material on which printing is done.

Subtractive Color: Color produced by light reflected from a surface, as compared to additive color. Subtractive color includes hues in color photos and colors created by inks on paper.

Subtractive Primary Color: Yellow, magenta and cyan. In the graphic arts, these are known as process colors because, along with black, they are the inks colors used in color-process printing.

Tempera: Pigments mixed with egg yolk and water. Also, a student-grade liquid gouache.

Texture: The actual or virtual representation of different surfaces, paint applied in a manner that breaks up the continuous color or tone.

Thermography: Method of printing using colorless resin powder that takes on the color of underlying ink. Also called raised printing.

Tint: A light value of a color, i.e., a light red; as opposed to a shade, which is a dark value, i.e., dark red.

Tirage: Complete print documentation given to the buyer upon purchase of a print. The "who, what, where, when, and how many" of the print.

Tone: The lightness or darkness of an area in terms of black to white; also called value, i.e., a light or dark red, or light or dark gray; the light and dark values of a color.

Trompe l'oeil: A French term meaning "Fool the eye" in French. Rendering a subject with such detail and attention to lighting and perspective that the finished piece appears real and three-dimensional.

UV Coating: Liquid applied to a printed sheet, then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light.

Values: The relative lightness or darkness of colors or of grays.

Variegated Wash: A wet wash created by blending a variety of discrete colors so that each color retains it's character while also blending uniquely with the other colors in the wash.

Vehicle: The liquid used as a binder in the manufacture of paint.

Vignette: A painting which is shaded off around the edges leaving a pleasing shape within a border of white or color. Oval or broken vignettes are very common.

Wash: A thin layer of translucent (or transparent) paint or ink, particularly in watercolor; also used occasionally in oil painting; a transparent layer of diluted color that is brushed on.

Watercolor: A pigment mixed with a binder and applied with water to give a transparent effect; painting in pigments suspended in water and a binder such as gum arabic. Traditionally used in a light to dark manner, using the white of the paper to determine values.

Web Press: Press that prints from rolls of paper, usually cutting it into sheets after printing. Also called reel-fed press. Web presses come in many sizes, the most common being mini, half, three quarter (also called 8-pages) and full (also called 16-pages).



 
 
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