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Glossary

Word of the Day!

loop tool


A tool consisting of a loop of non-ferrous metal attached to a handle, and used in carving plastic and leather-hard clay.


E.A.

The abbreviation for the French term épreuve d'artiste, meaning artist's proof.

ear

In casting, a depression that receives a pin for aligning the pieces in a two-piece mold.

earth colors

Pigments which can be found in earth or clay, such as brown, copper, and sepia. These colors are chemically very stable, and therefore their color remains truest over time.

Example: Georges Braque's The Portuguese, 1911

See Also:  colorwarm colors

earthenware

Pottery or other objects made from fired clay which is porous and permeable. Earthenware is fired at relatively low temperatures, may be glazed or unglazed, and is usually but not always buff, red, or brown in color. Red earthenware is a clay given its color by the presence of iron oxide. A clay body based on ball clay is known as white earthenware. Faience, terra cotta, and majolica are examples of earthenware.

eclecticism

The practice of Greek philosophers who borrowed from various conflicting schools of thought.

edge

Where two things meet. Also, may refer to a quality sensed in art works which is other than a smooth decorativeness; and that may be a sense of something unusual, disturbing, controversial, or in any of many other ways more demanding of the audience.

See Also:  avant-garde

edition

A set of identical prints, sometimes numbered and signed, pulled by, or under the supervision of the artist. Two numbers are often written at the lower edge of a print-- the first indicating the print's place in the order of all prints in the edition, the second number indicating the total number of prints in the edition.

efflorescence

A formation of white crystals resulting from penetration of moisture through painted walls-- especially brick, tile, or uncoated plaster. May also be produced by soluble materials present in the wall itself.

See Also:  bloom

egg tempera

A watercolor medium used for permanent, fine works.

egg-oil emulsion

A painting medium

elements of art

The basic components used by the artist when producing works of art. Those elements are color, value, line, shape, form, texture, and space.

emboss

To create a raised design or relief on a flat surface by pressing or hammering a design into the back side.

emery

Coarse corundum used as a powder or paste for the abrasion and polishing of stone or metal.

See Also:  grind

enamel

A vitreous, usually opaque, protective or decorative coating made from silica heated in a kiln or furnace, and fused on to metal, glass, or ceramic ware. It is often applied as a paste which solidifies during firing as areas of color. Also, an object, usually very small, having such a coating, as in a piece of champlevé, cloisonné, bassetaille, or plique-a-jour. In ceramics, specially prepared low-firing colors with a high flux content.

encaustic

Encaustic is an ancient painting technique. The paint, which uses wax as the primary vehicle, is made by mixing finely ground pigment (not tempera paint) with white purified beeswax and resin. While the artist works, the mixture is kept on a heated palette so that it stays semi-fluid. The paint is applied with painting knives or stiff natural bristle brushes, or is poured onto the surface. It may be applied in a thin film or built up to a low relief. Once finished, the entire painting is heated until it develops a satin-like sheen. This is called burning in and is how the process gets its name: encaustic is derived from a Greek word meaning to burn in. Heat helps fuse paint to a uniform layer and bond it to the support. Once solid, the paintings surface may be buffed gently with a silk cloth. Encaustic is as permanent as most mediums. On a very hot day the surface may get tacky and extreme temperature will cause damage. Special care must be taken when an encaustic painting is shipped. Commercially prepared encaustic products are available for those artists who do not want to work with dry pigment.

engobe

A colored slip used in decorating ceramics. (pr. en-gohb) A prepared slip which contains clay feldspar, flint, a flux and usually colorants.

See Also:  glaze

engraving

A method of cutting or incising a design into a material, usually metal, with a sharp tool called a graver. One of the intaglio methods of making prints, in engraving, a print can be made by inking such an incised (engraved) surface. It may also refer to a print produced in this way. Most contemporary engraving is done in the production of currency, certificates, etc.

Example: Albrecht Durer's The Fall of Man, 1504

enlargement

A larger version of a work. Making an enlargement is sometimes called a bump up or as a blowup.

entablature

The upper part of a Classical building. The entablature includes the cornice, frieze, and architrave, all of which rest on the capitals of the columns.

Example: The Parthenon, Athens, Greece, 447-438 B.C.

epoxy resin

A thermosetting plastic resin, used for resin casting. Epoxy is also used in the manufacture of adhesives which bond firmly.

eraser

A tool used in the erasure of parts of drawings. Graphite pencil drawings are erased with any of several types of rubber. (It was after this use that the substance called rubber received its name.) Lighter parts of charcoal drawings can be erased with either a kneaded eraser (also called putty rubber) or a kneaded piece of fresh bread. Wax crayons and lithographic crayons cannot be erased unless they are on non-absorbent surfaces.

erasure

Removal, usually of written or drawn marks, by rubbing, wiping, or scraping. The goal of erasure is typically to remove all traces of something, although one finds it practical to compromise at partial erasure. And, the scrambling of material recorded magnetically, as in the use of the delete key on a keyboard.

See Also:  erasersolvent

etch

To use acid to cut into a surface, usually metal or glass. Too often confused with engrave.

See Also:  etching

etching

An intaglio printing process in which an etching needle is used to draw into a wax ground applied over a metal plate. The plate is then submerged in a series of acid baths, each biting into the metal surface only where unprotected by the ground. The ground is removed, ink is forced into the etched depressions, the unetched surfaces wiped, and an impression is printed. Also, both the design etched on a plate and an impression made from an etched plate. Too often confused with engraving.

existentialism

A philosophical theory stating that a person's existence is one of free will, where he or she determines his or her own progress. Alberto Giacometti's art displays interest in existentialism.

Example: Alberto Giacometti's La Place, 1948

extender

Material used to increase the bulk of a medium; the act of adding such a material. Often used in less expensive (sometimes sold as "student quality") paints. Sometimes called filler and filling.

See Also:  aggregate

extrusion

The process of making shapes by forcing material such as clay or dough through dies.

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