Artist's Resources∼Artist's Dictionary F

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Facade  Pronounced faa-sod.  The main face or front of a building, usually given special treatment, as the facade of a Cathedral.
Face   A front surface; the front part of a human head.
Fan brush   A bristle, sable or synthetic brush made in the shape of a fan with a long handle; used to blend colors or to create texture in a painting, especially in trees and shrubs; more sparsely bristled than a Badger blender.
Fantastic realism   Very realistic rendering in Fantasy Art.
Fast frame   See Braquette.
Fat over Lean   In Oil painting, the practice of painting "lean" or with less oil at first, with top layers painted "fat" or with more oil, to allow changes in the lower layers (expansion, contraction) without cracking the surface.
Fauves, les   (French, "the wild beasts") The 1st major aesthetic movement of the 20th century, it was led by Henri Matisse in France in the 1905-06; the outstanding characteristic of the Fauves was their use of pure, bright, explosive color (often squeezed straight from the tube for directness and emotional effect) rather than tone. Other important Artists in the movement were Andre Derain, Maurice Vlaminck, Georges Reualt, Raoul Duffy and Georges Braque.
Feathering   1.In etching, to stir or move around the bubbles of the acid with a feather, brush or pipe cleaner. 2.In drawing, the slight lifting of the pencil or pen, as One nears the end of a line; creating a lighter shade or tone.
Federal blue   A grayed blue color used in early American decor.
Fence   In sculpture, the piece of metal or clay used as a seperation in a piece mold of plaster.
Ferric chloride   In etching, a liquid used on both copper and zinc printing plates as a mordant.
Ferrule   The metal part of a brush that holds the hairs or bristles.
Ferrarese School   Mid 15th century Italian and Flemish Artists around Ferrara, Italy; who painted in the Gothic and Rennaissance styles. Leading Artists were Piero della Francesca, Pisanello, Jacopo Bellini and later Dosso Dossi.
Festoon   A decorative motif made up of flowers or fruit and leaves held together or interlaced with ribbons.
Fiberglass eraser   A fiberglass brush in a holder, used to remove ink and other marks difficult to eradicate from paper.
Fiberglass paper   Paper made of fiberglass, used for many mediums; lies flat, though wet, without buckling; Strathmore Aquarius is a tradename for a part cotton and part fiberglass paper; Scintella is a tradename for a fiberglass paper with a texture in which the fiber is "raised", giving the paper a definite shine or "twinkle".
Field   1.The overall illumination in a picture; for example, if the majority of elements appear bright, the field is bright; if grayed, the field is "grayed". 2.In custom made area rugs, the "field" is the largest, most dominant color contained within the rug.
Field of Vision   Everything that is visible without turning the head.
Figure-ground reversal   In design, the back-ground and the main subject reverse colors and/or values; same as "Counterchanges"
Filbert   A flat Artists' brush with an oval-shaped point.
Filigree   Delicate, ornamental openwork of fine wire; lace-like ornamentation mainly used in jewelry.
Fill   1. In textile design, the crosswise (horizontal) yarns, woof, or welt. 2. The small designs that are added to fill in around a major motif.
Film Stripper   In platemaking for photolithography, the person who handles the films and negatives for plating; fits, positions, and assembles the negative film elements.
Fine Art   Art primarily produced for the Artists' satisfaction rather than for direct commercial purposes; does not necessarily denote quality.
Fine manner   A means of engraving with a fine crosshatching that can approach a wash effect.
Fire   1. In Art Work, a characteristic of colors that are vivid or exciting, or a piece of ArtWork that is exciting. 2. To bake in a kiln.
Firmer   In wood carving, a chisel that is flat-bladed and double-beveled.
Fish-scale motif   A pattern resembling fish scales.
Fitch   A long, flat sign-painting or lettering brush with a chiseled edge; fitch, (Skunk) or polecat hair is also used in some "Camel-hair" brushes.
Fixative   A permanent waterproof spray used to protect Art Work such as pencil' pastels, and charcoal.
Fixed Palette   A limited number of colors to be used for a particular painting or Artwork.
Flat wash   An even color value of wash over an area of a picture.
Flexible ruler   See Curve ruler.
Flextex   Trade name for a compound of marble dust and opaque white acrylic, used to produce a texture.
Flimsy   The transparent overlay paper used on a piece of Art Work for protection and notations.
Flint paper   A highly coated paper with a glossy finish, used for packaging and displays. Available in white as well as many other colors.
Flip Board   Usually a gesso-coated cardboard or Masonite, used in graphics to turn over or flip a print.
Flock   A soft-textured, pulverized product of wool, cotton, rayon, etc.; that is glued or sprayed onto cloth or paper, creating a velvety effect, either in solid or in a pattern.
Flong   A term referring to strong tissue paper pasted to thick blotting paper; used in making stereotype printing plates.
Flourishes   Fancy or decorative embellishments on calligraphy or lettering.
Flour paste   Wheat flour and water mixed together to form a paste.
Flush   Up tight to a line or edge, next to or touching without overlapping.
Foamcore board   Board with a plastic foam center faced with white or colored paper on both sides; lightweight and sturdy, used, amoung other things, for mounting or backing pictures, 3-D model making, etc. One trade mark name is "Bienfang", available at Office Supply stores.
Foilated   Decorated with leaves or with foils.
Folk Art   Art and handicrafts produced by un-trained people, usually of a traditional decorative style, such as tole painting, hand carved toys, handcrafted ironwork, embroidery, calligraphy, scrimshaw, etc.
Font   In type, a complete selection of one size and face including numbers and punctuation marks; a standard typewriter or Computer has font type(s).
Fountainbleau School   A group of Italian and French painters working at Fountainbleau, France, in the mid 16th century. See Mannerism.
Foreground   The area in a picture that seems to be closest to the Viewer.
Foreshorten   To shorten forms in a drawing as they recede from the foreground in order to maintain the proportions that appear natural to the Viewer.
Form   The 3-dimensioanl shape and structure of an object.
Formal balance   Bisymmentry; equal weight of importance on both sides of the center.
Formalism   The tendency toward symmetrical balance; a devolution from naturalism toward the stylized.
Format   Layout or makeup of a book, paper, magazine, etc; its apperance in size, shape, type and design.
Foul bite   In etching, the accidental biting of an area, causing unplanned inking.
Fountain   In printing, a reservoir on a press for the ink supply.
Fountain Sumi ink brush   A fountain brush (sable) with a barrel for the ink; takes refills.
Fracture planes   In pictorial composition, planes that have been "chopped up" and realigned; also referred to as "split planes".
Free   Applied to Art, a loose and not exact treatment in a drawing or painting; a broad manner, not clipped or tight.
Free-lance Artist   One who does Art Work for several different employers, not on salary or on a specific day to day basis.
French bristle   A silky, thin bristle, usually white, used for brushes.
French Chalk   See talc.
French Curve   A thin template, usually made of clear plastic, used to draw curves; available in many sizes and shapes.
Fresco   A type of mural painting using lime-proof pigments painted on a fresh lime plaster, becoming a permanent part of the wall. Many masterpieces were done in fresco, no longer commonly used.
Fret   See Greek key pattern.
Frieze   A horizontal band high on an external wall, often decorated with relief sculpture, or a band below the ceiling on an internal wall.
Frisket   A transparent paper or other material with a light adhsive backing, used as astencil, or to protect areas of Art Work from a wash or an Airbrush treatment.
Frog perspective   See Sotto in su.
Frontality   Presentation of the straight-on view of an object or scene, as in Egyptian and other early painting.
Frontispiece   An illustration that appears at the front of a book, near the title page.
Frottage   (French "rubbing") The technique of taking an impression of wood, stone or any other texture, by placing paper over the object and rubbing with a pencil; crayon or charcoal over the surface. Max Ernst used this type of Work in some of his collages; similar to the rubbings from tombstones, sculpture, etc.
Frottis   Term for a glaze or a thin layer of paint.
Fude   An Oriental brush 8" to 9" long with a bamboo handle, made of various combinations of squirrel, horsehair, weasel, rabbit, wolf and raccoon. Soft, round and makes a hairline point.
Fugitive pigment   Said of color that is not stable but changes chemically under different circumstances, usually fading.
Full drop   In design, a repeat motif directly below the first motif.
Futurism   An Artistic movement founded in Italy in 1909 as a glorification of machinery, speed, and violence; followed by the color approach of neo-impressionists; important Artists were Boccioni, Balla, Carra and Severini.
Fylfot   A design made up of the Greek letter "Gamma", called a gammadion, one of which is the swastika. See Gamma and Gammadion.