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Glossary

Word of the Day!

drawing


Depiction of shapes and forms on a surface chiefly by means of lines. Color and shading may be included. A major fine art technique in itself, drawing is the basis of all pictorial representation, and an early step in most art activities. Though an integral part of most painting, drawing is generally differentiated from painting by the dominance of line over mass. The artist's choices of drawing media-- tools and surface-- tend to determine whether a drawing will be more or less linear or painterly in quality. There are many sorts of drawing techniques, varying according to the effect the artist wants, and depending on whether the drawing is an end in itself-- an independent and finished work of art-- or a preliminary to some other medium or form-- although distinct from the final product, such drawings also have intrinsic artistic value. Preliminary drawings include various exercises (e.g., contour drawing, gesture drawing, figure drawing, drawing from the flat), as well as sketches and studies, cartoons and underdrawings. Drawing has been highly appreciated since the Renaissance, greatly because it implies spontaneity-- an embodiment of the artist's ideas. This spontaneous idea has always been used to particular advantage in caricature. The invention of printmaking techniques in the 15th century made possible the duplication and dissemination of drawings, further establishing drawing as a definitive art form. Also see pencil, brush, pen, ink, chalk, charcoal, crayon, pastel, watercolor, wash, hatching, sinopia, abbozzo, computer graphics, and mechanical drawing.


ukiyo-e

Japanese for 'pictures of the floating world'. Ukiyo-e were popular in the seventeenth to nineteenth-centuries, and depicted kabuki actors, landscapes, and folk tales.

Example: Kitagawa Utamaro's Five Kinds of Ink from the Northern Provinces, early 1790's

ultramarine

Blue pigment originally made from ground lapis lazuli. French ultramarine is an artificial substitute.

undercut

Carving to create an overhang; a recess or awkward angle in the surface or form of a three-dimensional object which would prevent easy removal of a cast from a mold. Molds should be designed to eliminate this problem. Ways to cast objects with overhangs include using piece molds and waste molds.

underdrawing

Drawing preliminary to other work, and incorporated into it, thus deprived of independent artistic value. An example is the underdrawing in fresco and panel painting, such as sinopia and abbozzo.

underpainting

The layer or layers of color on a painting surface applied before the overpainting, or final coat. There are many types of underpainting. One type is an all-over tinting of a white ground. Another is a blocked out image in diluted oil colors that serves as a guide for the painter while developing the composition and color effects.

See Also:  abbozzosinopia (or sinopie)grisaille

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