Artist's Resources∼Artist's Dictionary L

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Lacquer, modern   Coating made of cellulose materials, made for ease in spraying to create a fast drying, shiny tough, hard film, used mostly in industrial work.
Lacquer inks   Used for commercial silkscreen work, available in many colors; can be thinned to transparency with a special base; one type of lacquer ink can be used on aluminum foil; toxic and flammable.
Lacquer, Oriental   Name given to a coating used in Asia to create ArtWork, usually platters, bowls, boxes, etc., coated with multiple applications and built up to a hard, tough, permanent surface, sometimes thick enough to be carved; the ArtWork is also called "Lacquer".
Lake colors   Colors made by precipitating a dye upon a pigment; transparent and usually not permanent.
Lapis lazuli   Pigment; a true ultramarine blue made from the semiprecious stone; practically obsolete.
Lay figure   A wooden mannekin with movable parts; can assume almost any desired position, to substitute for a life model.
Lay out   To apply a rough or general planning of a page, advertisement, brochure, etc.; showing positioning of type and illustrations.
Layout paper   A bond or offset text, vellum finished, able to accept paint, chalk, pencil, etc.; and usually translucent.
Layout pencils   Soft, smooth, usually black pencils, used for layouts and sketchings (ebony, negro and flat carpenters' pencils).
Lazuline blue   Pigment; native ultramarine, practically obsolete.
Lead/Leading   Originally a strip of lead seperating lines of type, still used to designate the space between lines; example: ten to twelve (10/12) means a ten-point typeface cast on a twelve-point body; allowing two extra points between lines, referred to as "leaded two points".
Lead adhesive   A pressure-sensitive adhesive brushed on lead tape so that it can be applied to glass, metal, etc.
Lead casting   A form of sculpture using lead.
Leaf   Metal that has been rolled or beaten to a very thin sheet, used in gilding; available in gold, silver, copper, palladium, tri-color gold and aluminum.
Lean   Said of Oil colors that are thin or l;ow in oil content, giving a matte finish. A lean quality can be acheived by squeezing the oil paint onto a blotter to absorb some of the medium.
Leather brayer   In lithography, a roller covered with soft leather.
L'Ecole de Paris   (French, "The School of Paris") A term that implies "Contemporary Art". It started about 1900 when Paris was the World Art Center.
Leonardo Da Vinci   (1452-1519) Italian, a Florentine painter, sculptor and architect, and designer. Among his best known paintings are "The last Supper" and "The mona Lisa". His notebooks and sketches show the scope of his remarkably agile mind.
Leroy lettering pen   Trade name for a tool for mechanical hand lettering often used by architects and other draftsmen.
Letraline tape   Trade name of an opaque tape (glossy or matte) used in commercial Art; available in 10 widths and different colors.
Levigator   In lithography, a circular tool used to grind the stone; also referred to as a "Jigger".
Life drawing   Drawing of the human figure; usually refers to drawing from a nude model.
Life mask   An impression of the face of a living person, usually made of plaster.
Lift   In Watercolor, a term for taking out unwanted pigment, using dry brush, a sponge, tissue, paper towel, finger or cloth.
Lift-ground etching   Using aquatint as a base, positive images of lines or brush strokes are etched into the plate, which is then inked with a lift-ground solution (e.g. 50% saturated sugar dissolved in 50% India ink) also called "Sugar bite".
Lifting   In gouache and some other mediums, the mixing of an undercoat with a second coat; prevented by using a fixative on the first coat.
Light box   A translucent glass-topped box with a light under it, used for tracing.
Lightfast   Resistant to fading on long exposure to sunlight.
Light sensitive plate   Plate that is treated with a light-sensitive coating, used in photogravure and photolithography printing procedures.
Limited Edition   In graphic Arts, a limited number of prints, determined by the Artist, that are pulled from a plate and numbered, after which the plate is destroyed.
Limner   An Artist who paints miniatures.
Line and wash   A line drawing combined with a wash of ink or watercolor.
Linear perspective   Mechanical; geometric perspective, a means of giving the illusion of distance in 3-D surface on a 2-D surface by the location of lines.
Linen canvas   Linen cloth used as a support for painting; may be primed or unprimed, in different textures and qualities.
Linenfold   A decorative Gothic fold in cloth, straight in line with soft and hard ends.
Linen tester   A small, powerful magnifying glass originally designed to count threads in linen, now also used to examine the dot structure in plates, printed materials and negatives.
Line of Beauty   Called Hogarths' line of beauty after the English painter William Hogarth (1697-1764), it takes the form of a graceful "S" curve in a composition.
Line of sight   In linear perspective, the line extending from the viewer's eyes to the pictures' plane, in the exact center of the cone of vision, also called the "Line of Vision".
Line of Vision   See Line of sight.
Liner   1. A brush used by sign painters to create straight lines and sharp edges ; available in different shapes and in pointed quill sizes. See also Dagger. 2. A strip of wood, linen, hemp, velvet, etc. that lines the inside of a frame immediately next to the picture.
Linocut   A linoleum cut.
Linoleum   A durbale floor covering used for linoleum cuts, originally made from dried linseed oil.
Linoleum block   A piece of wood with battleship linoleum mounted to the surface, cut and inked to make a block print called a linoleum cut or linocut.
Linoxyn   The dried linseed oil skin of an oil painting.
Linseed Oil   An oil made from flax seed, used as a medium with oil paints and as a drying oil in pigments.

Boiled linseed oil Processed with heat or driers; not used by Artists.
Cold pressed linseed oil No heat involved; oil from the crushed seed is left to stand until the impurities have settled out, and is then filtered.
Raw linseed oilSeeds are heated before being pressed, used only in lower quality paints.
Refined linseed oilSteam pressed, refined and bleached; less expensive than cold pressed oil, most often used in grinding paints.
Stand oilThe molecular structure has been changed by polymerization; a heavy oil, dries slowly but creates a tough, flexible film.
Sun-thickened oil Of honey-like consistency, is thicker and quicker drying than cold-pressed oil or refined oil; has been partly oxidized, thickened and bleached by exposure to the sun.

Liquid eraser   Used on drafting film to completely erase an area.
Liquid Mask   A liquid frisket used to block out areas on paintings in watercolor, gouache, commercial Art, etc.; can be removed by rubbing with the fingers; a few trade names are " Maskoid, MoonMask, Miskit, and Luma Liquid Mask".
liquid resin ground   In aquatint, a saturated solution of resin mixed in denatured alcohol.
Liquin   A medium used to thin oils and alkyd; speeds drying time.
Lithographic ink   A printing ink available in colors, used in reproducing lithographs, not to be confused with the tusche in lithography used for drawing and painting on the stone.
Lithographic points   Needles or points used for scratching in the crayon areas on a lithograph stone to create white-line effects.
Lithograph stone   A flat slab of limestone, prepared with a grain to be used for lithography.
Lithography   A process that involves drawing with a grease crayon on limestone or a metal or plastic plate, which is wet with water and then inked with a roller; the oily printing ink adheres to the oily drawing and resists the blank areas, making it possible to pull prints with a litho press; since its invention in 1798 it has been a popular process with such Artists as Daumier, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso and Miro.
Lithography press   The printing press used to pull prints in lithography.
Livering   The turning of oil paint to a rubbery mass in the tube, caused by impurities in the pigment.
Loaded   Fully charged, said of a brush filled with paint.
Local color   The actual color of a subject.
Logo/Logotype   An identifying symbol; signature, or trade name for commercial use, also called a "Bug".
Lost wax process   A procedure for casting metal sculpture and jewelry, used from the 5th century A.D. to the present time; also called "Cire perdue" and "Investment casting".
Lukasbruder   Order of St. Luke. See Nazarenes.
Luminism   A style of painting characterized by concern with the effects of light; applied to the 19th century impressionists, but also used to refer to the late Hudson River School of painters and their fascination with light and atmospheric effects in landscape.
Lunette   A half-moon shaped panel decorated with ArtWork.
Lutschism   See Rayonnism.
Lyrical abstraction   In the early 1970's, an outgrowth of abstract expressionism, featuring large picture sizes and muted color harmonies; the term is sometimes applied to the Work of Mark Rothko (1903-1970) who is also classified as an abstract expressionist.