Artist's Resources∼Artist's Dictionary B

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B   Symbol on tube of paint indicating a color of a less than permanent quality, but fairly durable.
"Baby" Spot  1. A spotlight of 500 watts or less 2. A very small design or illustration.
Backing Board   Any heavy cardboard or similar material used for mounting pictures or to protect the back of a stretched Canvas. See also Chipboard.
Backing-Up   In printing, a term meaning to print on both sides of a sheet of paper, as the pages of a book.
Backstein Gothic   An architectural term used to describe the 14th Century German variant of Gothic structures wherein brick was used in place of stone.
Back-Up   1. Paper or carboard glued to the back of ArtWork to prevent the curling of edges. 2. The printing of the second side of a printed page. 3. The process of filling in the back of a thin copper electroplate, making it solid.
Badger Blender   A soft-hair Artists' brush similar to a shaving brush, used dry, flattened, and spread out to blend areas of color; also called a "sweetner."
Baugette molding   A simple strip of molding used for framing.
Balance   In composition, a visually favorable distribution of elements.
Ball-flower   In architectural decoration, 3 or 4 petals witha ball shape in the middle.
Balopticon   A projectore that enlarges or reduces the image of a sketch or photograph while projecting it onto a drawing surface for the purpose of tracing or transferring the Work.
Bamboo brush   An Oriental brush with a handle of bamboo. See also Calligraphy brush.
Bamboo pen   A Japanese pen made from a piece of bamboo, used for drawing and calligraphy; a versatile instrument that can produce a range of heavy to fine lines.
Band   In Design work, a running motif.
Banding Wheel   A small turntable for banding pottery with colored glaze.
Barbizon School   A group of French naturalist Painters who left Paris and gathered in the village of Barbizon in the mid 1880's , seeking a fresh approach to nature by painting on the site. Lead by Theodore Rousseau and Charles Francois Daubigny, other members included Francois Millet, Narcisse-Virgile Diaz, and Constant Troyon.
Barbola paste   A putty-like paste painted on a surface to create an embossed effect.
Baren   A round, smooth flat pad used to lift an impression by hand from a wood or linoleum block; the traditional Japanese style is covered with bamboo, but barens are now available in wood, nylon, and other synthetics.
Baroque   1. A style of European Art dating from the latter part of the 15th Century to the early 18th Century. Although centered in Rome, where the sculptural Work of Bernini and the paintings of Cortona are dominant examples, the style also flourished in other areas. The Flemish painter Ruebens is classified as high baroque. Sometimes derided for being flamboyant and overly decorative, baroque should not be confused with rococo, a style that overlapped and followed it. 2. Used as an adjective, baroque was, until the 19th Century, synonymous with the absurd or irregular, but such meaning is no longer credited.
Bars   In commercial Art, especially textile design, a set of parallel bars used to mask an area for a stripe to be made with an Airbrush.
Bateau-lavoir, Groupe du  French, "the group of the floating wash house" A group of international Artists located in Monmartre, Paris from 1908 to the beginning of World War 1; title derived from a tenement building occupied by Picasso; cubism was a leading pursuit, important names were Dulaunay, Gris, Leger and Modigliani.
Basic Forms   The four intristic 3-D forms in Art; the cube, cone, cylinder and sphere; seperately or in combination, they can suggest the structure of almost anything, whether natural or man-made.
Bas relief   pronounced 'baa' French, low relief A form of sculpture in which figures project only slightly from their background.
Bassetaille   French, low-cut In jewelry making, a process in which gold or silver is engraved with a design and carved in low relief; transparent colored enamels are applied, drying between coats, and a clear coat is made level with the rim, followed by enamel fizing.
Batik   A wax resist process used in textile design; originated in Indonesia.
Bauhaus   A German School of Architecture, design and applied Arts, founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius, specializing in relating Art to Industrial technology; some of the Artists involved included Lyonel Feininger, Wassily Kadinsky and Paul Klee.
Bead & Leaf   A running molding design of a bead shape and a leaf pattern.
Bead & Reel   A running molding pattern of a bead shape alternated with disk shapes.
Beading   The bubbling quality of paint when applied to a slick surface; most frequently occurs with water-based mediums.
Beam Compass   A drawing compass with a long beam attachment which draws or cuts circles from 1 1/2" to 15 1/2".
Beau brillant paper   A 65 lb. cover stock witha rough texture, available in a variety of colors.
Beaux-Arts, Ecole des   (French, Fine Arts, School of) A School of Fine Arts located in Paris.
Bed   On a printing press, the surface that establishes the maximum useable sheet size.
Beeswax   Wax from honeycombs of bees, used in encaustic painting, in etching grounds, in wax varnish, and as a resist in batik and other procedures.
Bell's Medium   An Oil painting medium used since the 19th Century, superceded by Owalin or other medium mixtures.
Bench Hook   A device used to hold a wood block or linoleum block in place while cutting.
Benday   In printing, a process using screens of different dot patterns to mechanically produce shading effects; named for its inventor, Benjamin Day (1838-1916) See also Shading sheets.
Beni-ye, Beni-zuri-ye   (Japanese, pink picture) A two-color print in pink and green.
Benzine   A toxic, flammable hydrocarbon used as a solvent; as a rubber cement thinner, and as a photo surface cleaner.
Bevel   1. To cut an edge at an angle other than 90 degrees on mats, etc. 2. To round off or slant an edge. 3. A ruler with an adjustable arm used to draw or cut edges.
Bichromatic   A term describing a Work of Art created with just two colors. In Latin, "bi" means "two").
Bicutter   A tool that cuts two lines at the same time; adjustable from 1/8" to 3/4".
Biedermeier   A term coined from the fictional Philistine poet and applied to a style of Art and Architecture of Germany and Austria during the period 1815 to 1845; a style geared to the middle class, similar to early Victorian Art in Britan, and considered stolid, simple and sentimental.
Bienfang   See Foamcore board.
Bimetal plate   In engraving or printing, a plate made with two layers of metal, for example, copper over aluminum or copper over stainless steel.
Binary colors   Colors that are made up of two hues, as orange, green and purple.
Binder   The adhesive used to hole particles of pigment together in paint. In watercolor; gum arabic, a water-soluble glue; in Oil; linseed oil; in tempura; egg yolk or whole egg; in pastels; gum arabic; in acrylics; a liquid plastic.
Biomorphic  A term applied to shapes that resemble the curves of plant and animal life; applied especially to the Works of Hans Arp.
Bird's eye   1. In textile design, a woven cloth pattern that suggests the shape of a bird's eye in the middle of a diamond. 2. In wood, the tight circles or "eyes" that are usually of a deeper color and tighter grain than the rest of the wood.
Bisect   To cut into two equal parts.
Bite   In engraving, to etch or bite from a metal plate.
Bitumen   A native asphalt used in the preparation of asphaltum. See also Asphaltum.
Black letter   A typeface, commonly called "text".
Black mirror   A piece of convex glass painted black and used to study values and composition by reducing details and eliminating color; also called "Claude Lorrain glass".
Black Sable   A lettering or fine varnish brush originally made from wood martin or stone martin, now from civet cat hair.
Blanc d' argent   (French, "silvery white") Flake white, toxic.
Blanc fixe   (French, "fixed white") A white base for watercolor and fresco painting; also called "constant white".
Bland   Without impact or strength; a term applied to Art that is too mild.
Blaue, Reiter, der   (German, "The blue rider") An avant-garde group of early 20th century painters who had a noteable influence on modern Art; members who were founders included Wassily Kadinsky and Franz Marc, Paul Klee, August Macke and others.
Blaue Vier   (German, "The blue four") Four Artists, Paul Klee, Wassily Kadinsky, Lyonet Feiniger and Alexei von Jawlensky, who held exhibitions together in Germany, Mexico and the United States in the 1920's.
Bleach-out   A bromide print that is underdeveloped and used as a basis for a line drawing, then bleached away.
Bleed   1. Paint or ink that runs into an adjoining area or up through coats of paint; usually undesirable. 2. A fuzziness or spreading of the edges of a painted area. 3. In the graphic Arts, to extend to the edge of a printed page, without a margin; accomplished by allowing an extra 1/8" bleed edge, to be trimmed.
Bleed marks   Lines at the corners of piece of ArtWork to be reproduced, showing the area that will extend over an edge, usually 1/8".
Bleed-proof   Said of dried paint or ink that will not spread when wet with water.
Blended roller technique   See Rainbow printing.
Blender   See Badger blender and Fan brush.
Bleu Celeste   Pigment; cerulean blue.
Blind pressing   Making an embossed print with an uninked plate; also called "blind printing". See also Embossed print.
Block book   A book in which text and illustrations were printed as one unit, all in one impression; frequently used before the invention of movable type.
Blocking in   Laying in the initial statement of a picture by a broad indication of tone, color and line.
Block letter   A typeface, commonly called "Gothic".
Block out   In graphics, to stop out an area with shellac, tusche, etc; to use a block-out stencil.
Block Print   A print on paper or textile, each color requiring a seperate block; the hand-carved wood or linoleum block may be stamped by hand or in a block printing press.
Block-printing ink   A thick ink applied to a wood or linoleum block; available in many colors in an oil-base or water-soluable ink.
Bloom   In an Oil painting, an undesirable, dull, foggy, whitish effect on a surface of a varnished picture.
Blotting paper   In printing, an absorbent paper used to dry printed material.
Blowtorch   In metal sculpture, a hand-held gas-fueled burner that produces a flame hot enough to melt or fuse some metals.
Blowup   An enlargement.
Blue ashes   Pigment; Brememn blue, toxic. Also called "Blue bice" and "Blue verditer".
Blue Four   See Blaue Vier.
Blue pencil, pale   Used to mark ArtWork, photographs and photostats because it does not reproduce on line film, a film insensitive to blue, used in photographic printing processes.
Blue Rider  Also called The Blue Rider Four.Important group of Artists, including Wassily. See also Blaue Reiter.
Board   In ArtWork; 1. A drawing or painting surface with a stiff backing. See "Bristol Board, Canvas Board, Illustration Board, Masonite".
Boasting   In stone carving, the rough shaping of the design.
Boasting Chisel   In sculpture, a flat chisel used to rough shape the stone.
Bocour blue or green   Trade name for phthalocyanine blue or green.
Body   1.In painting, the viscosity or density of pigment or ink. 2.Referring to a "body" of Work, or the Artists' lifelong accomplishments in his field of Art, be it painting, sculpture, etc.
Body color   Opaque color in paint, often achieved by the addition of gouache or opaque white to transparent color.
Body matter   In typography, the text or body text.
Bogus drawing paper   A stiff sheet of paper used with markers, pastels, gouache, etc.
Bohemian   Originally an inhabitant of Bohemia Czech , now a nonconforming person, indifferent to convention.
Boiled Oil   See Linseed oil.
Bokusaiga   A Japanese ink painting using the traditional black and color.
Bole   Gold size, a dull red background laid to provide a smooth, non-abrasive base for gold leaf.
Bolognese School   A group of Artists in and around Bologna, Italy in the 12th to 17th centuries.
Bolus ground   A ground or base for canvas, prepared with a dark brown or reddish earth (bole); eventually shows through and affects the painting.
Bon a tier   (French, "good to pull")A press proof of an etching, lithograph or other print that is approved and sp labeled by the Artist. Serves as the standard for the edition of the print.
Bond Paper   A good quality paper used for drawing and sketching.
Bone Black   Pigment; a brownish black made from charred bones; Artists' grade called "ivory black."
Bone emulsion   A product added to plaster or moist clay to make it self-hardening.
Boneless style   See Mo-ku.
Bone structure   The body frame, the way the bones affect the surface appearance.
Border print   1. An illustration, a design on all four sides of a picture. 2. In textile design, a design on only one edge, such as on the bottom of a skirt or the top of a drapery.
Bordering wax   Wax used around the edges of a large plate as a molded border so that the plate can be etched without immersion, also called "Wailing wax".
Boss   In sculpture, any projecting mass that will later be carved out or cut.
Boucharde   A mallet used by sculptors, with short, pyramidal points on both hammering ends to bruise and break up stone and soften it, in the early stages of stone carving; also called a "Bushhammer."
Bougival white   Bismuth White.
Bourges process   The use of transparent acetate sheets for color seperation in the printing process where each overlay sheet is produced by the Artist; a relatively inexpensive means of acheiving color in printed Art.
Bozzetto   (Italian, "small sketch") In sculpture, a small, rough model used as a guide, also called a "Maquette."
Braquette  An inexpensive, frameless frame in which clips are held on the top and bottom of a piece of glass-covered artwork with spring tension and nylon cord; adjustable to different sizes.

Brayer   A hand roller designed for inking printing blocks and plates; also sometimes used by Artists painting large areas.
Braze   1. In metal sculpture, to solder with hard solders such as an alloy of copper and zinc, zinc and silver, or nickel and silver. 2. To cover a metal with brass.
Breathing   The expansion and contraction according to weather conditions, of papers and canvas.
Breathing space   The empty space/area surrounding a form. See also Negative space.
Bridge   See Artists' bridge.
Briefing   Instructions to an Artist from a Client.
Bright   A short, flat brush with a long handle, used mainly for oil, acrylic and alkyd painting.
Bristle   See Bristle brush.
Bristol Board   A durable drawing surface used for all types of general ArtWork and lettering; can be used on both sides; available in a smooth plate finish or medium vellum.
Broad manner   A style of engraving in which the lines are broad and bold; also a term sometimes used to describe a bold manner of painting.
Broadside   A large folded advertisement, also called a "Broadsheet."
Brocade   In textile design, an interwoven jacquard design of raised flowers or figures with an embossed appearance acheived by contrasting the background of twill or satin with gold or silver threads or by using different surfaces and colors.
Brocatelle   In textile design, a stiff cloth with embossed, twilled figures woven onto a plain ground, producing a high relief effect; similar to damask, it was originally made to imitate Italian leather.
Broken color   Two or more colors so placed in a painting as to produce the optical effect of another color, without being mixed on the palette.
Bromide print   In commercial Art, a photographic print.
Bronze   An alloy, princibally of copper and tin, used for sculpture.
Bronze powders   Powders made in different metallic shades and used decoratively; will tarnish and turn dark,
Brucke, Die   (German,"The bridge") Name given to a turn of the century group of German expressionist Artists who introduced the influence of Van Gogh, Gauguin, and others into Germany; founding Artists were Erich Heckel, Ernst Kirchner and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff.
Bristle brush   Oil painting brushes made from hog bristles, which have a unique taper, or curve. See also Bright, Egbert, Filbert, Flat, Round.
Brush quiver   A container, with a carrying strap, to hold and carry brushes.
Brush script   1. Calligraphy with a brush. 2. A script typeface.
Brush washer   A metal cup specifically designed to use in cleaning watercolor brushes.
Brushwork   The distinctive manner in which an Artist applies paint with his brush.
Buckle   Waves, or bulges that appear in paper or canvas, usually from too much moisture and uneven drying.
Buddhist School   A religious Art propagated in Japan by Buddhist priests.
Bug   See Logo.
Bump up   To make an enlargement.
Burgundy, School of   1390-1420∼ Flemish court Artists under Philip the Bold of Burgundy. The School practiced Flemish realism superimposed on the naturalism that was dominant in the Italian Schools; from this grew the International Gothic style; among the most noted members were the Van Eyck brothers.
Burin   A graver; a tool of different sizes and styles, used to engrave wood or metal plates.
Burl   A knot or growth that may be found in a tree; in a woodblock it is hard to carve, but sometimes can be utlilized effectively in a design.
Burn   1. In lithography, the result of too much nitric acid in a gum etch. 2. A term used in photographic platemaking for plate or film exposure.
Burnisher   A tool used to smooth, flatten, or polish, available in different sizes and materials.
Burnt Plate oil   An extender for etching ink.
Burr   A rough edge on a cut in metal.
Bushhammer   See Boucharde.
Bust   In sculpture, a portrait that includes the head, neck shoulders and breast.
Bust peg   In sculpture, the wooden support upon which a bust is modelled.
Butcher's tray   A white enameled tray used as a palette for watercolors or acrylics.
Butt joint   In design, a place where two motifs meet in a visible or invisible straight line without overlapping.
Byzantine Art   The term refers to a particular style rather than the area of the Byzantine Empire. Paintings and mosaics have been found in Europe, Asia and parts of Africa. Encompassing the period A.D. 330 to the 15th century, the Art is religious in nature, early Byzantine Art was called Early Christian Art. The style creates floating figures with large eyes, bright colored mosaics on gold or toned backgrounds; the effect tends to be flat and decorative, featuring frescoes and relief carving.