Artist's Resources∼Artist's Dictionary T

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Tableau painting   (French) A painting which is produced in an unexpected or dramatic way; example: a layered glass painting, three, four, or five layers of glass with a portion of the picture painted on each glass, placed one on top of the other, creating a three-dimensional picture.
Table easel   See Easel. There you will find a complete list of all types of easels available. br / Tabouret   A stand to hold an Artists' palette, paints and accessories, drawers and compartments are underneath it.
Taches   Effective touches of impast paint.
Tachisme   (French, "tacher", "to stain or blot".) An offshoot in the 1950's of abstract expressionism closely associated with activism; an unplanned pattern of splotches and dabs of paint, the emotional impact of which results from the outburst of the Artists' spirit while working; exponents of this approach were Jean Atlan, Camille Bryan, Alfred Wols, Georges Mathieu and others.
Tacking iron   A box heated by electricity, used to tack pictures, photographs or papers to cardboard by a dry mounting effect.
Tagboard   Cardboard used for posters, tickets, flash cards, etc, available in white and colors.
Tallpiece   An illustration used at the end of a page or end of a book.
Talc   A fine-grained mineral used as a filler, sometimes called "French chalk".
Talent   A natural gift or ability of superior quality.
Tangent   Touching or meeting, as of lines or forms.
Tanka   (Tibetian) A religious painting mounted on brocade cloth, used as a processional banner.
T'ao-t'tieh   In design, a heraldic animal mask. See devils' mask.
Tapestry   In textile design. 1.   A scenic fabric wall hanging, originally used for insulation and warmth as well as decoration. 2.   A colorful, durable fabric.
Tariatan   A strong, white absorbent cloth used for wiping inked plates.
Tatlinism   A constructivist Art style named for one of the earliest constructivilists. See Constructivism.
Tatersall   In textile design, a large plaid design at one time used on blankets worn by horses at the auction rooms in London, where the auction market was owned by a man named Tatersall.
Tau   See Tree of life.
Tear sheet   A published page showing an Artists' illustrations, designs, photographs, or other Artwork, or a copy of that page.
Technical pen   A drawing pen with a finepoint and an ink supply cartridge; available in different point sizes.
Tectiform   A term applied to certain abstract forms/signs which accompany paleolithic wall engravings.
Tectonic   In sculptural forms, relating to the simple mass rather than extended shapes and forms.
Tempura   Originally a pigment ground with egg emulsion, properly called egg tempera. Dries hard and quickly and is very permanent; while egg tempera is still used, in general; the term now refers to gouache, poster colors and other opaque watercolors. See Egg tempura.
temperature   In color, the relative "warmth" or "coolness" warm colors being in the red-yellow range, while cool colors would include blues and greens.
Template   1.   A plastic or metal guide for drawing circles, squares, triangles and other shapes and symbols. 2.   A full scale drawing that can then be cut out and applied to other mediums for cutout, then to be re-assembled in the new medium.
Ten, the   Ten American Artists who exhibited together in 1898 and thereafter. Frank W. Benson, Joesph R. DeCamp, Thomas W. Dewing, Childe Hassam, Willard L. Metcalf, Robert Reid, Edward Simmons, Edward C. Tarbell, John H. Twachtman and J. Alden Weir; after Twachtman died in 1902, William M. Chase became a member, all were influenced by French impressionism.
Ten chi Jim   (Chinese, "Heaven, earth and man") A Buddhist concept in all Art; in a painting, refers to the three elements: main subject, complementary addition, and auxillary details.
Tenebrism   (Italian, "tenebrosco" "dark and gloomy") The empahsis is on chiaroscuro to acheive dark, dramatic effects, the picture often being illuminated by a streak of light; the approach is reminescent of the style made famous by Caravaggio; Georges de LaTour is often referred to as the great French tenebrist.
Tension   In composition, the visula feeling of strain or pull, the dynamic relationship between any of the elements.
Terra merita   1.   Pigment, a yello lake, fugitive and obsolete. 2.   In sculpture and pottery a hard, fired unglazed clay.
Tertiary colors   In contemporary usage, the intermediate colors are considered tertiaries, yellow-orange, red-violet, blue violet, blue green, and yellow-green. In early color theory, the mixture of the secondary colors created a tertiary, as the green mixed with the orange, orange mixed with the violet, and violet mixed with the green.
Tetrads   Color harmonics based on four colors, using every fourth color, the tetrads on the Prang color wheel: yellow orange, red, blue violet and green, ornage, red violet, blue and yellow-green, and red orange, violet, blue-green and yellow.
Theme   The most important idea or subject in a composition, the subject for a Work of Art, sometimes with a number of phrases or variations, for example Cezanne used La Montagne Sainte-Victoire as a theme in many of his paintings.
Theorem painting   An early American decorative Art using stencils and oil paint on velvet cloth.
Thermography   Process for making raised printing used for business cards, letterheads, etc., made with ordinary type, but while the ink is still wet a special resinous powder is sprinkled on it, it is then heated, and the fused resin rises to produce the raised lettering, giving a general appearance of engraving.
Thin   Oil color diluted with turpentine rather than an oil medium, it creates a matte finish, also called "Lean".
Thinner   A liquid used to reduce the thickness of a pigment, as water for watercolors, gouache, acrylics and casein, and turpentine for oils.
Thirsty brush   A watercolor term meaning a brush that has been wet and then squeezed dry; if then touched into a wet area, it will pick up moisture.
Three-point perspective   Represtations drawn in perspective so as to show height, width and depth, necessary when the scene is seen either froma "birds eye view" or a "worms eye view".
Thumbnail sketch   A rough, very small sketch.
Tickling up   Making small, fussy adjustments on Art Work.
Tight   Said of a drawing or painting that is exact, carefully detailed through the use of small brushes or other precise tools.
Tight hand   The ability to draw or paint with precision.
Tin leaf   Used in the Middle Ages in place of silver leaf because it did not tarnish; also used with yellow color or yellow varnish as a top coat, to imitate gold leaf.
Tinsel painting   The craft of painting on glass with transparent oil paints backed with aluminum foil, sometimes called crystal painting.
Tip-in   In photography, the process of developing a direct positive image on a lightweight metal plate, popular until the late 19th century; also called ferrotype.
Tissue overlay   A transparent paper used to keep Art Work clean, for instructions, and for making corrections.
Tjanting needle   A tool used to apply liquid wax to cloth for batik.
Toile de Jouy   In textile design, a one-color design depicting scenes pertinent to the 18th century or Oriental scenes.
Tole   Painted tinware, a decorative folk Art of painting on tin trays, lamps and other household itmes with designs, borders, etc.
Tonalists   A term applied to some Artists in the period from 1880-1919, who tried to capture realistic qualities in nature; Inness, LaFarge and Whistler were among the Artists in this group.
Tondo   A painting in circular form, or a sculptured medallion.
Toner   1.   In silkscreen, a concentrated ink mixed with a color to make it transparent, not to be used alone. 2.   A synthetic organic color in a highly concentrated form that is stronger than a lake.
Tonking   A process of using blotting paper to remove excess oil paint from an area while still leaving pigment in the hollows of the canvas; name derived from Henry Tonker, a professor at the Slade Art School in England.
Tormented   Said of Artwork that has been overworked.
Tortillion   A rolled heavy paper stump, pointed on one end, used to soften and tone pencil, charcoal and pastel drawings. Similar to a stump.
Tosa School   Japanese School of Painting in the 15th to late 17th centuries, started by Tosa Motomitsu; the main subjects were court scenes, bobles, and ceremonies of the court.
Totentanz   See Dance of Death
Tracery   In design, curved and/or foilated design, common in Gothic Art.
Tracing cloth   A thin, sturdy starched transparent cotton cloth that is used for ink tracing; available in rolls.
Tracing paper   Transparent paper used over a drawing in order to copy (trace) it; also used for layout and planning Work.
Tracing wheel  See Pouncing.
Traditional   Conforming to established procedures and principles handed down from the past.
Trail/Traile/Trayle   A running carved design of a continuous vine.
Transfer paper   See Pressure-sensitive letters.
Transparency   A photographic positive film such as a color slide or; sheet or roll film used by commercial photographers.
Transparent base   In silk screen; an extender that reduces the opaque paint to transparency, improves the screening and does not change the color or viscosity.
Transparenting fluid   Any of several types of fluids that can be used to make papers more transparent; often used when painting from old drawings, available through drafting supply stores.
Transparent oxide of chromium   Pigment, viridian, a transparent dark green, permanent.
Trash Paper   A very thin, transparent sketch paper used by architects, it is possible to see through several layers.
Tree of life   A symbol in the shape of a tree, usually with fruit or leaves, the Greek letter "tau" a "T" is also considered the tree of life.
Trefoil   (Latin, "three-leaved") A motif with three leaves, often found in Gothic ornamental work.
Trial proofs   In graphic Arts, proofs that are pulled to work out the requirements for the choice of paper, color, pressure, etc.
Trimetal plate   Plate made with three layers of metal, chromium on top of copper, on a base of aluminum or stainless steel.
Trim size   The size of a final printed piece will measure; the measurement to which the printed sheet will be cut.
Tripoli   A cutting compound used to remove tiny scratches on metal.
Triptych   A panel painting in three parts, a middle section with two wings, often used for altar pieces.
Trite   Said of Art Work that is ordinary, has little meaning, lacks interest and orginality.
Triton   In design, a creature with the body of a man and a dolphins' tail.
Trois crayons, a   (French, "with three chalk crayons") A drawing on toned paper, usually with black, red and white crayons or chalk.
Trompe l'oeil   (French, "Deception of the eye") Painting rendered with photographic realism, so realistic it can fool the viewer into thinking the subjects are real rather than painted, often done in mural size. Also called Illusionism.
Trucage   A painting forgery.
Truck   In newspaper printing, each page of type, illustrations, etc.; put together on a small moveable table called a truck. Each truck holding just one page, the system is now obsolete.
Truquer   An Art Forger.
Try-outs   In animated cartooning, a series of rough animated drawings that are photographed on a film strip, then analyzed or criticized.
T-square   A drawing tool shaped like a "T" with exact 90 degree angles at the crossbar; used to draw accurate lines and to check squareness of Art and copy, often in conjunction with a triangle.
Tsuketate   A traditional Japanese ink painting in which sumi or color is used for the masses; no outlines are employed.
Tube colors   1.   Pigments packaged in tubes, as opposed to pans or cakes. 2.   Color straight from the tube, without additions or alterations.
Tube wringer   A tool to help squeeze all remaining paint from the tube.
Tudor Rose   In design, five open petals in a rose shape.
Turk's florentine medium   Trade name for an oil medium used on textiles.
Turner, Joesph Mallord William   (1775-1851) British painter, known for his atmospheric land and seascapes which sometimes bordered on abstraction. He was a major influence on impressionism.
Turnsole   A blue or violet dye used in medieval manuscripts.
Turpenoid   Trade name for an odorless turpentine product used in place of turpentine.
Turpentine   A natual solvent distilled from pine trees, used as a thinner in oils and alkyds and for cleaning brushes.
Tusche   A fluid used to paint the design in lithography and silk screening. Twenty, The   See Vingt, les.
Twinstick   Trade name for a tape that is sticky on both sides.
Two-point perspective   The type of perspective in which objects in a picture viewed on an angle will have two vanishing points, with verticals remaining parallel to the sides of the picture plane, also called "Angular perspective".
Tympan   1.   In lithography, a greased fiber board or zinc sheet used to protect the paper and allow the scraper bar to move easily. 2.   In architecture, the space between the arch and the lintel of a building.
Typography   The study, practice and Art of using or designing with movable type.