Cape Shore Nov. 1961.
you try
design team

Glossary of Terms:
[ A to M | N to Z ]

: a paint, ink or other pigment that transfers no light and can readily be made to cover or hide what is under it.

opacity: the degree to which a paint, ink or other pigment is opaque.

oil paint: paint made with pigments that have been diluted with oil rather than with water. A painting made using oils is an oil painting.

plate: any thin sheet of metal that is used as a surface for drawing a print. The plate may be etched or engraved or may be drawn on with grease for lithography.

polychromatic: having two or more colours in addition to that of the printing or painting surface.

press: a tool used in printmaking that applies pressure to the plate to transfer the original image to paper or another suitable surface.

print: an impression or print which has been directly produced by an artist or his printer on a plate or a screen, and which has been hand-pulled. This is not to be confused with reproduction.

process: the steps used to create a piece of artwork. This may include a series of preliminary sketches or studies, a series of artist's proofs and the actual task of making the print using the appropriate technique.

pull: to make a print.

realist: an artist whose work is done in a style known as realism, in which the subjects appear as they would in life.

reproduction: a copy of an original work of art which has been produced in another medium; usually a photomechanical reproduction, which can be identified as such on close examination.

screen: a sheet of woven fabric or metal which is stretched on a frame. When paint or ink is pressed on top of a screen, it will come through the holes of the weave unless blocked by some method.

serigraph: see silkscreen.

silkscreen: a type of print made by forcing paint, ink or pigment through a fabric screen, onto a piece of paper or other suitable material. Different shapes are created through the use of stencils or blocks, which prevent the pigment from being transferred to the paper.

stencil: a pattern produced by painting over a surface in which the pigment can only come through in certain areas, such as a shape cut out of paper, or a hole not covered by lacquer or another blocking material.

stippling: the method of applying small dots with the point of a brush to form an image. When the dots are closer together, the image will appear more solid.

squeegee: a non-cutting blade, usually made of hard rubber fitted into a hardwood handle which is used in the silkscreen process. The squeegee is held in both hands by the printmaker and firm, even pressure is applied as the squeegee is pulled across the screen, forcing the paint or ink through the holes.

studio assistant: a person who helps the artist complete the more routine tasks of a work. This may include various tasks, from cleaning screens, to completing the underpainting of a work to arranging supplies. Studio assistants have been used by professional artists throughout history and often prove invaluable.

study, studies: a preliminary idea of a projected work. This work is usually less detailed and refined than the finished work and will often only include a detail, or selected area, of that final work.

subject: the specific, concrete object or objects that are featured as the main focal point in a work of art.

texture: in a work of art, the quality of the surface of an object.

theme: the more subjective underlying idea or ideas behind a piece of art that the subject has been chosen to represent.

transparent: a paint, ink or other pigment that transfers some degree of light and which allows what is under it to show through to some degree.

transparency: the degree to which something is transparent.

transpose: to move a drawing or painting from once surface to another, usually by copying or redrawing it. One tool that artists use for transposing images is a grid.

underpainting: a preliminary layer of paint that is applied before the final layer, the overpainting, is done. The underpainting is used by the artist as a guide and is sometimes completed by a studio assistant.

undertone: the colour effect of a pigment that is viewed by transmitted light through another transparent pigment.

watercolour: paint made with pigments that have been diluted with water rather than with oil; a painting made with watercolours.

woodcut: a type of print made by removing pieces from the top of a flat piece of wood which is then inked and pressed onto paper or other suitable material. A woodcut may be made using engraving, where the image is cut into the block in reverse and everything else is printed, or using relief, where everything but the image is cut away from the top of the wood.

[ A to M ]


1. Allen, R.E., ed. The Oxford Dictionary of Concise English. Oxford University Press, Oxford: 1984

2. Anchorage Museum of History and Art. Squish 2000-2001 Children's Exhibit. Anchorage, Alaska: 2000

3. Mayer, Ralph, ed. The Harper Collins Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Second Edition. Harper Perennial. New York, NewYork: 1991.

4. Memorial University Art Gallery. St. Michael's Printshop: 1972-1987. St. John's, NL: 1988.


Cabinet Bog Land, 1998.