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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.


hacksaw

A multi-purpose saw with a narrow blade fixed at each end in a rigid curving frame.

Hague School

An association of Dutch painters who worked between 1850 and 1900. These artists painted in a realist style which was a revival of 17th-century landscape traditions.

Example: Members included Anton Mauva and Joseph Israels.

Happenings

A phenomenon which began in the 1960's, combining theater and visual arts activities. Breaking free from the confines of the museums or galleries, artists performed improvised, often inviting audiences to participate.

Example: Yayoi Kusama often staged happenings in which she invited artist and audience alike to place polka-dots on her naked body.

hardwood

Certain deciduous trees produce wood which is very tough and durable when seasoned. Cherry, mahogany and oak are examples of hardwoods.

hatching

Creating tonal or shading effects with closely spaced parallel lines. When more such lines are placed at an angle across the first, it is called cross-hatching. Artists use this technique, varying the size, closeness and other qualities of the lines, most commonly in drawing, linear painting, engraving, and etching. Hatching is also referred to with the French word hachure.

Example: Most preparatory drawings of the Italian Renaissance masters such as Leonardo and Michelangelo include hatching.

hazardous

Describes materials or actions which can be dangerous. In the United States, OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a federal agency) requires that manufacturers of most materials publish "material safety data sheets" that describe how those materials must be handled and disposed of. When in doubt, ask the manufacturer or supplier to send you a copy.

heartwood

The part of a tree trunk yielding the densest, hardest timber, located deep within the tree. The heartwood and the outer wood-- or sapwood-- dry out at different rates, so sculptors generally separate the two, using heartwood when working at a smaller scale, and sapwood when working at a larger scale.

heddle

The device on a loom used for raising selected warps to create space through which the weft thread can easily pass.

helium

A colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-explosive, and inert gaseous element. It is used in arc welding and gas-discharge lasers, as a component of artificial atmospheres, as a refrigerant, as a lifting gas for balloons. Tank sizes available include 221 cubic feet. Atomic symbol He, atomic number 2, atomic weight 4.0026, boiling point -268.9°C, density at 0°C 0.1785 gram per liter. (pr. hee'lee-m)

See Also:  acetylenecarbon dioxide

herm

A pillar which tapers at the top to the form of a human or animal head. Originally, in Greek and Roman times herms were to mark crossroads. From the Renaissance herms have been used as an incorporated architectural element.

herringbone perspective

A type of perspective in which the lines of projection converge not on a vanishing point, but on a vertical axis at the center of the picture, as in Roman paintings.

hew

To make a shape as with an ax, chisel or other carving point. The past tense can be either hewed or hewn.

hiding

The hiding power of a pigment refers to its opacity-- its capacity to cover colors beneath it in order to obscure them completely.

high relief

In relief sculpture, a form that extends at least halfway out of the background.

hollow building

A ceramic technique for sculpture in which the form is built up from slabs and tubes of damp clay in such a way that it is hollow throughout. Ceramic sculptures are made hollow, chiefly to ensure that no part is much thicker than any other; such differences in thickness would create tensions in the clay during firing, as the clay shrinks in cooling.

hollow carving

Wooden sculptures are often hollowed or partly hollowed in order to avoid strain resulting from the different rates of shrinkage in heartwood and sapwood. Stone is also hollowed out, but to enable it to be supported (especially in the case of a bust, for example) or to be lifted and transported more easily. Ceramic sculptures are made hollow, chiefly to ensure that no part is much thicker than any other; such differences in thickness would create tensions in the clay during firing, as the clay shrinks in cooling.

hollow casting

Casting in a mold by lining the walls of the mold with layers of sculpture material rather than filling up the mold. The technique varies with the medium being used. Cast metal sculptures are made hollow chiefly to ensure that no part is much thicker than any other; such differences in thickness would create tensions in the metal as it shrinks in cooling.

hot press

A very smooth surfaced paper.

hot wire cutter

A tool for cutting Styrofoam. A wire is held taut in a frame and heated, enabling it to pass cleanly through the Styrofoam without undue pressure being applied. A hand-held or bench model may be used.

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