Artist's Resources∼Artist's Dictionary P

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Pai-miao  Pai-miao See Kou le.
Painted woven   In textile design, a painted design imitating a woven cloth.
Painting knife   A flexible steel knife used to apply colors to a painting; different sizes and shapes are available.
Paintsticks   Trade name for oils in stick form.
Paisley   In design, a stylized leaf or teardrop pattern, originated in India but later named after a city in Scotland.
Palette   1. A flat support (wood, glass, plastic, metal, etc.) upon which colors are held and mixed, available in various sizes and shapes depending upon the medium used. 2. The colors that an Artists chooses to work with.
Palette cup   A small cup clipped to the palette, used to hold turpentine, thinner or other medium for painting, sometimes called a "dipper".
Palette knife   A type of knife used to mix color on a palette, to clean the palette, to apply ground to a canvas, and sometimes as a painting tool.
Panel   1. In painting, a section of wood, masonite, plywood or other hardboard, used in place of stretched canvas. 2. In cartooning, a sequence of several catrtoons, also called a "strip"; or a single frame where the gag is complete with one drawing.
Panorama   A broad, extended scene suggesting an unlimited view of a landscape or seascape.
Pantograph   An instrument used to enlarge or reduce a drawing; the tracing arm activates a pencil point that reproduces the traced image at the desired size.
Pantomine   In cartooning, a panel or series of panels wihtout words or captions.
Paperboard   A cardboard or composition board.
Paperdolling   Using part of a drawing and pasting a new selection over the ArtWork; for example, using the figure of a person and pasting a new costume over it; in photo retouching, combining different elements from different photos.
Paper foil   A thin sheet of metal laminated to a piece of paper, available in gold, silver, bronze, red, green and blue.
Paper mark   The name of the company who produced the paper pressed into the paper.
Paper plate lithography   A procedure using a special paper plate (In place of a stone or zinc plate) that can be carried and used for outdoor sketching, then printed on a variety of presses.
Paper wipe   Wiping of inked plates with thin tissue pape.
Paper colle   (French, "stuck paper") A form of collage using papers to build up 3-D forms.
Papier mache   (French, "chewed paper") Ground paper materials mixed with glue of paste, which can be molded when wet.
Papoma   Trade name for a Winsor and Newton oil painting medium made from poppy oil, mastic varnish and essential oils.
Parrafin wax   A white wax of lamino-crystalline structure, used in batik; may be bought in a food market (used to seal home-canned products such as jelly).
Parallel perspective   See One-point perspective.
Parallel rule   A mechanical drawing tool consisting of two rulers (straight edges) that are attached with movable arms so the rules always swing parallel to each other.
Parchment   A processed animal skin used for scrolls, illuminated writing and painting through the 16th century; occasionally used in modern times, but replaced with papers that now resemble parchment.
Paris black   Pigment, inferior grade of ivory black, now obsolete.
Pariscraft   Trade name of a sculpting product made of guaze and Plaster of Paris; can be cut, wet, modeled, and painted, dries hard.
Paris, School of   1. 13th century manuscript Illuminators of the time of St. Louis. 2. A term broadly used for any Artists who were involved with modern painting in the 1920's and 1930's, mostly in Paris; included are such groups as "Les Fauves, Les Nablis, the Cubists, etc.".
Parquetry   Wood mosaic floor pattern; a design motif simulating a mosaic floor pattern.
Parting tool   A gouge used in woodcut or wood carving.
Passage   Term sometimes applied to a section, or area of a painting.
Pasteboard   Paperboard made of layers of paper pasted together.
Pastel   An inexact term suggesting a soft, pale, nonirridescent hue. See also "Pastels" below.
Pastel paper   A textured paper with a "tooth"; used for pastels, crayons, and other media. A paper made especially for pastels with a special surface.
Pastels   Pigments pressed into stick form; permanent; available in many colors that are not limited to the common meaning of "pastel", of soft or hard quality; like chalk, the sticks are broken into convenient sizes when used; can be overlaid with more color to obtain various effects; can be rubbed smooth or not. Art in pastels is classified as Painting.
Pasteups   Pictures, type, etc. that are mounted onto a mechanical to form a page for a magazine, book, brochure, etc; to be printed.
Patina   1. A thin deposit of poisonous pigment, often greenish or brownish, caused by corrosion or age, that appears on copper and bronze ArtWorks. 2. Also the name given to a mellowing with age, and may be imitated in painting by glazing; also called "Aerugo, Aes ustum, Verdigris".
Pedestal   A support or base for sculptural Work.
Peinture a l'essence   (French) A painting procedure in which oil paint is squeezed onto absorbent paper to remove the oil, then turpentine is used as a thinner; often applied in dry brush on pastel paper.
Peinture claire   (French) A procedure in which a bright, flat color is placed next to a dark, flat color to create form, in place of a gradual change from light to dark.
Pietra dura   A stone mosaic using semi-precious stones.
Pen ∓ Wash   A wash drawing including line Work.
Pennsylvania Dutch patterns   Distinctive folk designs of the Pennsylvania Dutch, related to designs used in Europe during the 18th century; used on furniture and as household decorations, the colorful hex signs seen on barns are usually wheel-shaped.
Pentimenti   Lines drawn in searching for the correct movement or placement. A line is put down and if it is felt to be incorrect the Artist adds another without removing the first line.
Pentimento   (Italian, "repentance") The reappearance of a previous drawing or painting on the surface of an oil painting, caused by the tendency of linseed oil used in the paint to become transparent with age; also called "Ghost".
Pepper-pot tins   In aquatint, a small jar covered with a fine screen (often an old nylon stocking) is used to sprinkle aquatint or bitumen on the plate.
Perforating wheel   See Pouncing.
Permanent colors   Colors that will not fade or deteriorate.
Persian miniatures   Small, brightly decorated Persian Art depicting hunting scenes, heroes and kings, animal illustrations, etc;, often including calligraphy in the design.
Perspective   A method of representing a subject that is in 3-dimensional space on a 2-dimensional surface.
Perspective chart   A prescaled grid chart used for accurate perspective drawing of architecture, interiors, package design, etc.
Petit point   A small dot used in pointillist painting, from petit point embroidery, made of very small stitches.
Petroglyph   A line drawing or symbol incised on a cave wall or slab of stone as in prehistoric rock carvings.
Phantom draw   1. To mentally draw a subject, using a finger as a pencil. 2. To lightly sketch a subject and then redraw it, being more exact.
Photoengraving   A process for photographically recreating line or continuous-tone Art on a chemically sensitive metal printing plate. A reproduction made by this method.
Photographic printing   In textile and other design processes, the method of transferring designs to the desired surface with photoengraved rollers; fine details and color effects are possible.
Photogravure   See Gravure.
Photolithography   The transfer of Art to a litho plate by the use of photography.
Photo oil color   Permanent, transparent oil color used specifically for coloring photographs.
Photo oil color pencils   Oil color pencils used to draw in highlights, shadows and details in photographs.
Photorealism   The effect of a picture painted to resemble a photograph or having the realism of a photograph.
Photostat/stat   Copy produced by a photostat machine, using a camera that generates an opaque paper negative from which a positive print is made; good for line Work reduction, enlargements, etc.; relatively inexpensive.
Pica   A Printer's unit of measurement equal to 12 points or 1/6", used in page printing for line width, depth of columns, paragraphs, etc.
Pica ruler   A ruler marked with agate and inches on one side, picas on the other, used by printers and in commercial Art.
Picasso, Pablo   (1881-1973) Born in Spain, settled in France, he had much influence on the 20th century Art. HIs early Work was realistic. He then helped formulate cubism and later other modes of nonobjective Art. He was a pinter, sculptor, printmaker and Ceramist.
Pick-up   A ball of dried rubber cement used to pick up excess dried rubber cement from paper or other surfaces, available in ready-made sheets or tapes, also called "goobungle, mouse".
Pictograph   Picture writing; expressing an idea with picture symbols; as in primitive writing.
Picture cleaner   See Winton picture cleaner.
Picture plane   The imaginary plane, like a sheet of glass, at right angles to the viewer's line of vision, on which the picture is projected.
Piece mold   A ridgid mold made in pieces, used for casting sculpture.
Pieta   (Italian, "pity") A Work of Art showing Mary mourning the dead Christ, a recurring theme in devotional Art.
Pinx   (Latin, pinxit, "he painted it") Credit on a print after the name of the one who painted it, may also indicate "He designed it".
Pitcher   In stone carving, a large, heavy implement similar to a chisel; used with a hammer to remove big pieces of stone in the early stages of carving.
Pittura Metafisica   (Italian, "metaphysical picture") An Art syle in Italy about 1918-1921. See Magic realism, Metaphysical painting.
Plane   A two-dimensional flat or level surface, as one surface of a cube.
Planographic printing   A printing procedure in which the printing surface attracts printing ink and is on the same level as the nonprinting surface, unlike "Intaglio" or "relief" procedures; lithography, callotype, and aquatone are included in this category of printing.
Plasteline   A fine, smooth, gray-green oil-base modeling clay for casting that remains soft, can be reused.
Plaster cast   A mold of plaster used for reproducing sculpture.
Plaster of Paris   A gypsum plaster that dries into a solid when mixed with water; used for casting sculpture and ceramics.
Plaster print   1. A relief print made from an inked plaster plate. 2. A print made by casting plaster on an inked intaglio plate.
Plastic   A polymerized product; a nonmetallic, synthetic compound in various forms, capable of being shaped, made pliable, or hardened.
Plastic Arts   Arts that use vision, space and physical materials, such as painting, sculpture, ceramics and architecture.
Plastic cutter   A cutting device used to score and cut plastic, lightweight copper foil, brass and aluminum.
Plasticizer   An additive for paint, varnish, etc.; to give it elasticity.
Plate   1. In graphics, a smooth surface applied to copper, zinc, or steel for etching; or to metal, plastic, or wood for printing. In photography, a prepared surface usually applied to glass. 2. A special illustration bound into a book.
Plate finish   A smooth finish.
Plate oil   A form of linseed oil, mixed with etching ink to make it more manageable.
Plein air/en plein air   (French, "open air") Term applied since about 1850 to Artists who paint scenes outdoors directly from observation.
Pleinairistes   A group of impressionists who painted in plein air: included are Monet, Pissaro, Renoir, Sisley and others.
Plumbago   Another word for graphite.
Ply   Pertains to layers of paper, etc.; to indicate weight and thickness.
Pochoir   (French, "stencil") The use of stencils to produce and color fine prints by hand.
Pointillism   A painting procedure in which dots or spots of color are used to create colors and values by optical mixing; for example, dots of red and yellow used side by side blend optically into orange at a distance; closely linked with impressionism, also called divisionism, simulataneous contrast, neoimpressionism, and chroma luminarism; prominent Artists involved included Seurat and Signac.
Polishing   In lithography, putting a fine grain on the stone with a grinding stone.
Pollock, Jackson   1912-1956   An American who is considered an abstract expressionist. His Works are known for their huge size and dripped and splattered paint. The Work is nonobjective.
Polyurethane brayer   In graphics, similar to a composition roller, but fimer.
Pop Art   A style of Art that is also called new realism and neo-dada; a movement started in the 1950's that used objects like cartoon strips and soup cans or other mass-produced things to create a new work. Artists such as Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein and Warhol were part of this culture.
P.O.P. design   In commercial and advertising Art, means "Point of Purchase", as Art display or construcion located with a product at the retail level; may hold the product and/or simply advertise the product. Andy Warhol is a good example of an Artist of this style.
Poppy seed oil   A medium made form poppy seeds, used for thinning oil paints.
Portable Easel   See Easel.
Portfolio   1. A portable case for carrying papers, drawings, etc. 2. The drawings, paintings, or photos of Artwork in a portfolio that are presented to interested parties seeking to hire or allow School entry to the Artist.
Positive space   The area containing the subject matter in a composition.
Poster   Any illustration and/or lettering publicly displayed to advertise a service, product or event, also as a cheaper means to pocess a picture of a Master's Work.
Poster board   A smooth-finished paperboard used for signs and posters. Available in many colors, also called "Showcard".
Postimpressions   A term genreally relating to the paintings of four Artists, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Seurat, from about 1875-1900; they accepted the impressionists' use of light with bright colors and conspicuous paint handling; but rejected the casual compositional structure of the impressionists.
Post modern Art   1980's Art indicative of humanism and things of our visible World.
Pounce   1. A fine powder of chalk or charcoal contained in a small bag and used in pouncing. 2. A powder used to condition a surface for inking.
Pouncing   1. A means of transferring a drawing in which a perforating or tracing wheel or needle is used to prick small holes in the lines of a drawing, and a pouncing bag is tapped over the drawing; the powder goes through the holes and transfers to the design. 2. When applying paint to a picture, a tapping motion with a brush, sponge or cloth.
Pouncing bag   A cloth bag filled with Pounce. See also "Pouncing" directly above.
Pounce wheel   A tracing or perforating wheel, has long handle and free-moving "pouncing wheel" attached, that runs over the cardboard, fabric, etc. to cut tiny holes into the medium to allow the pouncing powder to go through and mark. See also "Pouncing".
Poussinstes   17th and 18th century followers of Poussin, who felt drawing was superior in importance to color in painting; one of the leading advocates was Charles Lebrun. See also Rubenism.
Powder colors   Opaque watercolors available in powder form, to which water is added as the binder; available in a variety of nontoxic colors.
Prang color wheel   a color wheel that deals with the mixxing of colors; the three primaries of yellow, red and blue are used, the secondaries are made from the primaries, and the intermediaries are derived from the colors on the other side, as yellow and red make the intermediary color of yellow-orange. Researched by Louis Prang. (1824-1909) See also Color wheel.
Pre-Columbian Art   Early Art from the Americas, prior to the landing of Columbus. *
Prehistoric Art   Anything relating ot Art earlier than about 3000 B.C. Some prehistoric Art exists that was done more than 25,000 years ago, such as the incised drawings preserved in Cave walls.
Presentation portfolio   See Portfolio.
Pressboard   A strong, durable high-gloss paper board, often used as a cover stock.
Press etching   A press made especially for intaglio printing, which includes etching, dry-point, aquatint, and engraving; the ink fills the incised lines below the surface of the plate and the pressure of the press forces the paper to contact the ink.
Pressure-sensitive letters   1. Dry-transfer letters and symbols easily applied to paper by burnishing; available in different sizes, colors, and fonts. 2. Permanent vinyl plastic letters and symbols that are available for glass, metal, wood, leather and outdoor use.
Presto-seal film   A self-sealing protective film for Art Work, maps and blueprints.
Primary colors   1.In Artists' terms, red, yellow and blue. 2.In Printers terms, magenta, cyan and yellow.
Prime   To prepare a canvas or panel for painting by covering it with a glue-like paint such as gesso; the primer penetrates the surface and prepares the support so that the paint does not seep through the backing.
Primer   The glue or size, such as gesso; used to prepare a canvas or panel.
Print   1. An impression pulled from an original plate, stone, block, screen or negative, prepared solely by the Artist; in collagraphy, engraving, etching, dry-point, aquatint, mezzotint and silkscreen 2. In textile design, a floral or geometric design as opposed to plaids or stripes. 3. A positive made from a photograph negative.
Printer's proof   See Bon a tier.
Printing press   A hand or power operated machine that prints impressions on paper and other suitable materials. See also Press, Block-printing press, Etching press, Lithographic press.
Print rack   A rack used to exhibit prints, drawings, watercolors and the like.
Prismatic color   See Iridescence.
Process Art   Art of the 1960's and 1970's, based upon the idea that the Artists' product is less important than the process that brought it into being, related to minimal Art, performance Art, and Conceptual Art.
Profile   The side view of a subject.
Projection principle   The phenomenon whereby the imagination is able to create form from any amorphous element, such as clouds, ink blots, etc.
Proportion   The mathematical relation of things to the whole; the harmonious relationship between the parts of a form.
Prototype   The first of its kind; an original Work of Art, usually intended for reproduction or copying.
Protractor   A calibrated semicircular or circular instrument used to measure or construct angles.
Provenance   The history of a Work of Art; its origin and collectors, records kept to help ensure authenticity and forestall forgery.
Psychedelic Art   Distortions of visual perception taking the form of exaggerated color and movement associated with hallucinogenic drugs; include swirls that resemble Art nouveau.
Psychedelic colors   The bright fluorescent colors seen in the above type of Art.
Puddle   1. In watercolor, a small pool of water or color either on the palette or on the paper. 2. In tole painting, to add medium to paint to acheive the required consistency.
Puff ink   A type of ink used by printers that rises into a puffed pattern.
Pull   1. In graphic Arts, to make a print and "pull" from the press. 2. In a picture, the tension generated by the juxtaposition of lines, values, shapes, colors, in the composition.
Pulver   German for powder. To an artist, it relates to ground stone, used to make a pigment when mixed with oils, or some other base, like clay.
Pumice powder   A lightweight powdered porous volcanic rock used as an abrasive and as a polish.
Purism   A 1918 protest against cubism by Amede Ozenfant and Le Corbusier, who sought to restore representational construction by means of stressing purified outlines and machine-like qualities of forms.
Purist   1. An Artist who adheres to set principles; for example; one who does not mix mediums in the same picture, such as transparent watercolor and opaque watercolor. 2. Followers of Purism.
Pusher blanket   In intaglio printing, the top or upper blanket on the press.
Putto   (Italian) In Art, a male child as a cherub.
Putty eraser   A soft eraser similar to a kneaded eraser, but more flexible.