Life Style / Painting Glossary
A.W.S.: Abbreviation of the American Watercolor Society, established in 1866.
Abrasion Resistance: Resistance to being worn away by rubbing or friction; related more to toughness than to hardness. A necessary quality for floor finishes, enamels and varnishes.
Abrasive: Used for wearing away a surface by rubbing. Examples are powdered pumice, rottenstone, sandpaper, sandpaper, steel wool.
Abstract Art: Painting that purports to be completely non-objective, with no reference to nature whatsoever. The 2 main forms practiced are Hard Abstract and Soft Abstract. Hard Abstract has a basis in ge . . . View Full Definition
Academy Board: An economic board for oil-painting. It is made from several sheets of paper sized together. The face is then primed with a ground of white lead, chalk and oil. The back was often painted gre . . . View Full Definition
Accent: A detail, brushstroke, or area of color placed in a painting for emphasis.
Acid Free: Acid free refers to papers without acid (ph) in the pulp when manufactured. High acidity papers degrade quickly.
Acrylics: Pigments dispersed with acrylic resin (synthetic resins made by polymerization of acrylic acid esters). A medium for painting introduced during the early 1960s. It offers considerable freedo . . . View Full Definition
Adhesion: The strength of a paint or sealant to remain attached to a surface.
Aerosol: A product feature that uses compressed gas to spray the product from its container.
Airbrush: An implement that resembles a thick fountain-pen and which has a small container near the nozzle. By air pressure supplied from a container or a mechanical compressor, varnish, fixative or c . . . View Full Definition
Airless Spray: A spray that increases the fluid pressure of paint by means of a pump that causes atomization with air, resulting in higher film build and little or no over-spray.
Alia Prima: A method by which a painting is usually completed in one sitting�painting in a direct manner.
Alkalai: A basic, or caustic, chemical substance. Found in fresh cement, concrete, plaster and certain household cleaning products.
Alkyd: Synthetic resin modified with oil for good adhesion to a clean surface and good gloss, color retention and flexibility. Slow drying.
Alkyds: These recently introduced colours act as an extension to oil-painting. They have a uniform speed of drying. They may be used for under-painting, and are excellent with glazing over dried-out . . . View Full Definition
Alla Prima: To paint a picture in one sitting, particularly applicable to oil-painting. The French use the term au premier coup. It is the wisest method where heavy impasto is to be used. The paintings . . . View Full Definition
Alligatoring: Condition of paint film where surface is cracked and develops an appearance similar to alligator skin.
Altarpiece: A decorated screen, panel or series of panels, fixed or movable, placed on or behind the altar. Normally it would carry paintings or reliefs. Two hinged panels comprise a diptych, three a tr . . . View Full Definition
Aluminum Paint: A paint that includes aluminum particles and gives a metallic finish when dried.
Analogous Colours: A grouping of related colours next to each other on the colour wheel. Example: Yellow, Yellow Green, and Green.
Anchoring: Mechanical bonding of a coating to a rough surface as contrasted with adhesion, which is chemical bonding.
Aniline: A derivative of coal tar used to produce brilliant, but not necessarily permanent, colors.
Anti-Corrosive Paint: Metal paint designed to inhibit corrosion. Applied directly to metal.
Antique Finish: A finish usually applied to furniture or woodwork to give the appearance of age.