Artist's Resources∼Artist's Dictionary O

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O |P |Q |R |S |T |U |V |W |X |Y |Z


Oak tag   A tough stock paper used for stencils and mounting.
Objective Art   The rendering of a subject as it appears; representational Art.
Objet d' Art   (French, "art object") A Work of Art.
Objet trouve   (French, "found object") An object such as a piece of driftwood, a dried weed, a piece of machinery, that is seen as beautiful by an Artists and exhibited as a piece of Art.
Oblique   Diagonal; in type, a face that slants to the left.
Oblique perspective   See Two-point perspective.
Oblique projection   Projection in which the object has two of its axels parallel to the picture plane. See also Axonometric projection.
Occult balance   Same as Asymmetry.
Oeuvre   (French, "complete Works") The life's Work of an Artist. See also Body.
Ogee   In textile design, an ogival, or "S" shaped, repeat.
Oiling out   A process of rubbing an oil medium into dry areas in an oil painting, then painting into the oil-wet surface with fresh color.
Oil of Spike Lavender   An essential oil often preferred by Artists who object to the odor of turpentine.
Oilstone   A grinding stone used to sharpen knives and tools.
Oil wash   An application of oil paint greatly diluted, usually with turpentine, and applied to the canvas or other support as an undercoating or as a glaze, sometimes used over an acrylic painting to add depth and character.
Okyo School   See Maruyama School.
Old English   A style of lettering and type.
Oleograph   A chromolithographic printed with oil-based inks on a textured board or canvas to suggest the appearance of an Oil painting.
Oleopasto   A medium used with oils so they can be applied thickly without cracking.
Olive branch   In design, a branch from an olive tree represents a symbol of peace.
One-Man Show   A showing for the public of one Artists' Work, usually provided by a gallery or museum.
One-stroke brush   A square-tipped, flat brush used mainly for sign painting, lettering and watercolor detail work; similar to a "flat" in shape.
One-point perspective   Perspective drawing or painting, usually of a structure, having a single vanishing point.
Opalescene   A cloudy irridescence, as the look of the Australian fire opal. See also Iridescence.
Opal medium   A beeswax solution dissolved in turpentine, used as a matte medium for oils.
Opaque   Opposite of transparent; not allowing light to pass through.
Opaque projector   An instrument with a lens used to project an image of an opaque picture, copy, photograph, etc.
Op Art   A term coined in the 1960's to denote a style of nonobjective Art in which geometric designs and certain color combinations create an illusion of movement through visual vibrations.
Open weave   In textile design, a loosely woven pattern.
Optical balance   Elements that appear to balance in a composition. May be formal or informal balance.
Orange peel texture   A surface that has a pocked effect similar to that of an orange peel, occuring during the drying of some shellacs and varnishes.
Orange vermilion   Pigment; a form of pure vermilion.
Order of St. Luke   See Nazarenes.
Organdy   A cloth used to wipe plates in graphic Arts.
Organic line   An unconciously handled line in a drawing that flows in such a way as to take on a meaning of its own.
Oriental Lacquer Name given to a coating used in Asia to create Artwork, usually bowls, boxes, etc., with multiple applications built up to create a hard, tough permanent surface, sometimes thick enough to be carved, the artwork is also called lacquer.
Oriental perspective   An intellectual assumption that the top of the picture is the farthest away from the observer and the bottom is the nearest.
Original print   A print pulled under the Artits' control in graphic Arts, such as etching, lithography, etc.; not a mechanical or photographic reproduction.
Orphism, Orphic cubism   A type of early 20th century cubism using overlapping planes of brillant color; also called "Simulatneoism, Synchronism and Color Orchestration."
Orpiment   Pigment; a native King's yellow, toxic, obsolete.
Orthographic projection   A means of projection in which every side of an object is drawn on one flat plane. Example would be the "breaking down of a cardboard box, and drawing out each panel.
Osnaburg   A lightweight cotton canvas, generally not as durable as duck, used as a painting support.
Ostwald system   The color system of Wilheim Otswald, a psychologist who, in 1916, based a color wheel on a visual mixture of colors, using red, yellow, sea green and ultramarine blue.
Ottonian Art   Art in Germany areoun 950-1060, named after the Ottonian Emporers, a combination of the Carolingian, Early Christian and Byzantine styles, notable in sculpture and manuscript illumination.
Oval wash brush   A brush made of various hairs (pony, goat, squirrel, etc.) used to lay washes, sometimes called a "Sky brush".
Overlays   1. Transparent papers, clear or in color, used one over the other for changes, corrections, instructions, and for color seperation in multicolor reproductions. 2. In textile design, a transparent sheet placed over a design which is then painted or copied in another color, directly on the transparent sheet.
Overpainting   Color applied on top of an underpainting or undercoat.
Overprinting   Printing colors or lines over a previously printed area.
Owalin   A mixture of fine linseed oil and oil of spike lavender; used in restoring old oil paintings; sometimes called "Bell's medium".
Ox gall liquid or paint   A wetting agent added to watercolors to allow painting on a glossy surface. Also used to float watercolor on the surface of a water bath when marbling paper.
Ox hair brush   Brush made from hair of an Ox ear; an imitation, without the spring of sable, and much less expensive.