A list of terms by Arcy Art Original Oil Paintings relating to oil paintings and a short definition of each term including alla prima, blending, brushwork, canvas, chiarascuro, composition, dead colour, gesso, ground, palette, scumbling, glazing, plein air, underpainting etc.
Oil Painting Terminology
Here is a list of art terms related to oil painting.
Absorbent Ground - A chalk ground for oil paintings which absorbs oil and is used to achieve a matt effect and to speed up the drying time of the oil paint.
Additive Colour - Colour that results from the mixture of two or more coloured lights or the visual blending of separate spots of oil paint.
Alkyd - Synthetic resin used in paints and oil painting mediums which works as a binder that encapsulates the pigment and speeds the drying time.
Alla Prima - Oil painting technique in which the final surface of a painting is completed in one sitting.
Blending - Smoothing the edges of two colours together so that they have a smooth gradation where they meet on the oil painting.
Body Colour - Opaque oil paint which has the covering power to obliterate underlying colours.
Brushwork - The characteristic way each artist brushes paint onto a support of his/her oil painting.
Canvas - Closely woven cloth used as a support for oil paintings.
Term used to describe the effect of light and shade in a oil painting, especially where strong tonal contrasts are used
Chroma - The relative intensity or purity of a hue when compared to grayness or lack of hue.
Composition - The arrangement of elements by an artist in a oil painting.
Dead Colour - A term for colors used in underpainting.
Diluents - Liquids such as turpentine used to dilute oil paint.
Drier - A material that accelerates drying of an oil painting by promoting oxidation.
A term used to describe paints which have a high oil content.
Film - A thin coating or layer of oil paint.
Gesso - A white ground material for preparing rigid supports for oil paintings, made of a mixture of chalk, white pigment, and glue.
Glaze - Thin and transparent oil paint applied over a previously painted surface to alter the appearance and color of the surface.
Grissaille - A monochromatic oil painting which is often used under coloured glazes.
Ground - Coating material, usually white, applied to a support to make it ready for painting.
The perceived colour of an object.
A style of painting characterized by thick, juicy color application on the oil painting.
Intensity - The purity and brightness of a colour also called saturation.
Key - Used to describe the prevailing tone of an oil painting. A predominantly light painting is said to have a high key.
Lean - Used as an adjective to describe oil paint thinned with a spirit which results in a low oil content.
Local Colour - The actual colour of an object or surface, unaffected by shadow colouring, light quality or other factors.
Flat, nonglossy; having a dull surface appearance.
Medium - The liquid in which pigments are suspended. Also a material chosen by the artist for working.
Palette - The surface on which a painter will mix his oil colours. Also used to describe the range of colours used by artists in their oil paintings.
Pentimento - A condition of old paintings where lead-containing pigments have become more transparent over time, revealing earlier layers.
Plein Air - Term describing oil paintings done outside directly from the subject.
Coating material applied to a support to prepare it for the oil painting.
Scumbling - The oil painting technique of applying a thin, semi-opaque or translucent coating of paint over a previously painted surface to alter the colour or appearance of the surface without totally obscuring it.
Sgraffito - Technique in which the surface layer is incised or cut away to reveal a contrasting colour.
Study - A detailed painting made of one or more parts of a final composition, but not the whole painting.
In oils, the movement of one paint layer over another.
Tromple l'oeil - A painting with extreme naturalistic details, aiming to persuade the viewer that they are looking at an actual object, not a representation.
Underpainting - The initial stage in an oil painting of using a monochrome or dead color as a base for the composition.
The relative lightness or darkness of a hue. Black is low value. White is a high value.
Verdaccio - Traditional term for green underpainting.
Wash - A thinlayer of transparent or oil paint.
Wet on wet - The application of fresh oil paint over an area of the oil painting on which the paint is still wet.
Yellowing - This effect on oil paintings is usually caused by one of three reasons: excessive use of linseed oil medium; applying any of the varnishes that are prone to yellow with age; or most often - an accumulation of dirt embedded into the varnish.
A list of terms by Arcy Art Original Oil Paintings relating to oil paintings and a short definition of each term including alla prima, blending, brushwork, canvas, chiarascuro, composition, dead colour, gesso, ground, palette, scumbling, glazing, plein air, underpainting etc. .