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Glossary

Word of the Day!

ground


A surface to which paint is applied or the material used to create that surface. A painting's ground is usually specially prepared on its support. Traditionally, for oil paint on canvas use a ground of oil and white pigment and on wood surfaces either an oil ground or gesso. Within a picture, ground may refer to a surrounding or background area. Also, in etching, it's an acid-resistant compound through which a design is drawn.


Example: Sam Francis often painted on ungrounded canvas.

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Blue pigment originally made from ground lapis lazuli.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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