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What does balance mean in art

what does balance mean in art

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Black, white and greys. Artwork that is executed without color.


Thicker and stronger than tempera or watercolor paint, Acrylic is a water-based "plastic" paint.

Albumen Print

This printing process is used in photography printing processes. Egg whites are used in the emulsion.

Alternative Process

This photography term covers approximately 35 different processes for the final unconventional effect.


A structure used beneath something else for support. For example, a sculptor might create a clay sculpture with a wood or wire armature beneath it as support. Think about the frame of a house being constructed before all of the brick or siding is built on top.

Artists Proof

A small group of outstanding prints for the artists use which have been set aside from the edition prints.

Basic color principles

All color theory is based on the principle that 'color is light'.

An object that we see as red contains pigmentation which absorbs all of the colored rays of white light except the red color, which it reflects. White pigment absorbs none of the colored rays, and black absorbs all of the colors of the spectrum.


An art and design principle concerned with the arrangement of one or more elements in a work of art so that they appear symmetrical (even) or asymmetrical (uneven) in design and proportion.


Parrafin or beeswax is used to resist paint or dye on fabric or paper. Designs and patterns are produced on the unwaxed areas.


When clay has its first firing in a kiln, it is called bisque ware. At this point, the clay has changed composition and can no longer have water added to it and turned back into a useable material.


The complete absence of light. Because of impurities, you can not create black with pigments. In most black pigments, the is a slight blue trace. A black surface absorbs all light.


In printmaking, a Brayer is a roller which is used to apply ink to printing surfaces.


Brush styles are designated by a letter following a series number. Some basic brushes to meet your needs:

F- Flats, square edge, long bristle

B- Brights, flat, square-edged, long sable

R - Rounds, pointed bristle

L- Longs, flat, square-edge, long sable

Filberts- Flat, oval edge, long fibre


Fabrics that are prepared for painting. Available in panels, stretched on frames, or obtained by the yard.


Used to describe the shaping, finishing and firing of clay.

Charcoal and Conte Crayon

In stick form, both give you a very strong, dark line. A disadvantage to these crayons is that they break easily and tend to smudge. Can be found is stick form as well.


An impression made by the artist, or by the printer seal.


This is the intensity, or strength, or purity of a color. Squeezing paint directly from the tube to the palette is 'full chroma'.


A process where a photographic print can be made directly from a color transparency.

Coil method in clay

As one of the oldest methods used in the formation of pottery, long strands of clay are laid on top of one another, joined by blending the coils together.


Collage is from the French meaning "paste up". The combination of pieces of cloth, magazines and other found objects to create artwork.


This name is derived from the word 'collage'. It is an image built up with glue and other materials.


When light is reflected off an object, color is what the eye sees. The primary colors are red, yellow and blue. The secondary colors are orange, purple and green.

Complementary Colors

Complementary colors are those which appear opposite to one another on a color wheel. The complimentary colors are red and green, blue and orange, and yellow and purple.


The arrangement of lines, colors and form.


The modern pencil lead invented by Nicolas Conte. It is a black, red or brown chalk.

Contour Drawing

Contour drawing shows the outline of the subject, and not the volume or mass of an object. Blind contour drawings are those created by looking only at the subject, and not the paper while drawing.


Contrast is created by using opposites near or beside one another, such as a light object next to a dark object or a rough texture next to a smooth texture.

Crackle glaze


This painting technique involves the use of powdered colors that are mixed with glue size, or such things as egg yolk.

Dominance is an object or color that stands out in relation to the rest of the painting.

Dry Brushing

Technique used in paintings using more pigment then water.

Dye Transfer

This is one of the most permanent color processes. This method gives maximum control of color, balance and contrast for color prints or transparencies.


This type of clay needs to be glazed, it is porous and not waterproof. Earthenware is a low-fire clay.


An easel is used to support your canvas while painting. Can be a collapsible tripod, studio types and as a combination sketch box unit. Some sketch boxes contain lids that serve as easels.


A group of identical prints that can be numbered and signed by the artist.

Open Edition: An unlimited number of prints

Limited Edition: Prints that have a known number of impressions, and

are usually signed and numbered by the artist.

Egg Tempra

A water-base paint made with an egg yoke binder.

Elements of Art

Elements of art are the basic visual symbols found in the work such as lines, shape, form, space, point, light, motion, direction, scale, dimension, texture and color.


This ancient art uses colored wax for painting. This technique involves painting images onto walls with pigments that are blended with wax. When used with heat, such as an iron, the permanent color is burned into the wall, for good.


To harden clay, you have to heat it at high temperatures which fuses the clay particles.

Fixative Spray

For fixing charcoal drawing on canvas before painting. Fixative spray is available in spray cans, or for use with mouth atomizer.


An element of art, such as you would see in a sculpture that has three dimensions.


Pigment is applied directly to damp plaster making this wall painting medium one of the most permanent form of wall decoration.

Gamut or Colour Gamut

The range of colours that can be mixed by the paints on an Artists Pallette. Also defined as the range or colours that can be displayed on a TV, Computer Monitor or a Printer. The Human eye is capable of seeing colors far beyond any of these limited Gamuts.

An Ideal Artists gamut can be produced by 3 colours with Cadmium Yellow Light, Quinacridone Magenta and Phthalocyanine Blue GS.

Gesture Drawing

This quick drawing captures the energy and movement of the subject. It does not necessarily have to be realistic.


Color that is thinned to a transparent state and applied over previously painted areas to modify the original color. (see also Underpainting)


When clay is hard, but not yet fired it is referred to as greenware. The clay can be made wet and turned back into a useable material.

Gold Leaf

Used for gilding, gold or silver (for silver leafing) is beaten to extremely thin sheets.



Opaque watercolors and the technique of painting with such colors using white to make tints.


Small areas on a painting or drawing on which reflected light is the brightest.


Hue is another word for color. The attribute which describes colors by name, i.e. red, blue, yellow etc.

Ilfochrome Classic (Cibachrome) Print

Ilfochrome Classic (Cibachrome) is indisputably the best fine art color print process available today. Its archival qualities make it suitable for gallery and museum exhibits. Image sharpness and color fidelity are unsurpassed.

Constructed on a polyester base that is durable, chemically inert and will not yellow with age.

Only pure Azo organic image forming dyes are used.

These dyes yield an image with richer color saturation and more accurate hue rendition.

This product has unexcelled archival stability, offering extremely high fade resistance and life expectancy.


A manner of painting where the paint is laid on thickly so texture stands out in relief.


Impressionism is referred to as the most important art movement of the 19th century. The term impressionism came from a painting by Claude Monet. His painting was titled Impression Sunrise. Impressionism is about capturing fast fleeting moments with color, light, and surface.


This term is used to describe the brightness, or the dullness of a color.

Intermediate colors

Obtained by mixing adjoining Primary and Secondary colors.


Kilns can be electric, of natural gas, wood, coal, fuel oil or propane. The kiln is the furnace used to fire ceramics or metal.


A line is an identifiable path of a point moving in space. It can vary in width, direction and length.

Horizontal lines run parallel such as ===

Angled lines are a combination of diagonal lines such as /\/\/\/\/ >

Linseed Oil

Used as a medium. The tradional "binder" for oil colors.


This is a printing process. A small stone, or metal plate is used. The printer, usually with the artists supervision covers the plate with a sheet of paper which are then run through the printer.


The art material that is used in a work of art such as clay, paint or pencil. Describing more then one art medium is referred to as media. Any substance added to color to facilitate application or to achieve a desired effect.


Three dimensional shapes which are suspended and free moving.

Modeling Material

Material that is formed into a shape. Most modeling materials harden when the moisture in them evaporates, such as clay. Some do not harden, such as plastecine and can be used again.


A print that has the same underlying common image, but different design, color or texture.

A one of a kind print made by painting on smooth metal, creating a texture that is not possible to paint directly on paper.


This paper comes in large sheets, and is inexpensive. Newsprint will eventually yellow, and is not a good choice for preserving artwork. Pen and market will bleed through newsprint.

Oil Cup

A container that can be clipped to your oil palette. One cup for the medium, the other cup for the brush cleaner.

A definition by Winsor & Newton state: "Oils are one of the great classic media, and have dominated painting for five hundred years. They remain popular for many reasons: their great versatility, offering the possibility of transparency and opacity in the same painting; the lack of color change when the painting dries; and ease of manipulation."

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