Technical Terms

Action – is the direction of the movement of the model.
Cast shadows – any shadow cast on a surface by the light. A cast shadow has the sharpest edge near the form that is casting it.
Chroma – color intensity. The brightest colors are the paints as they come out of the tube. When a complement or Gray at the same value is added to a color out of the tube, the chroma of the color is reduced.
Complement – the colors opposite the primaries on a color wheel with three primaries. A complement is the mixture of the two remaining primaries. The complement of Yellow, for instance, is Purple, a mixture of Red and Blue, the two remaining primaries. The complement of Red is Green, a mixture of Yellow and Blue and the complement of Blue is Yellow-Red (Orange).
Counter change – when anything in a painting appears light against a dark and the same value then appears dark against a light. for instance, the mast of a ship may appear light against the land and then dark against the sky.
Drapery – any fabric which appears in a painting including clothing.
Dry-brush – is the light dragging of a loaded brush over nearly dry or dry paint.
Edges – On a figure, rounded forms have softer edges than where the bone is closer to the surface. This is because we are binocular and see farther around a round shape with one eye than the other causing a slight blur or soft edge. In any painting, the edges range from knife sharp to a complete blur.
Halftone – At the boundary between light and shadow on a form, or rounded surface, there is a soft edge called a halftone.
Holding the local – means maintaining relative comparisons of values and color in the light and in the shade.
Hue – color designation, Yellow, Red and Blue for instance.
Local – general color and value identification.
Mass – in the beginning of a drawing or painting, large areas which have been simplified and stated at the same value are called masses. In a drawing, the shadows are initially stated at the same value, (mass) and later divided into reflected light, darker halftones, accents and darker lines to indicate edges, forms and cast shadows but kept close to the mass value decision. In a painting all the large value areas are initially generalized at approximately the same value, (mass) to guide the eventual value decisions.
Memorized figure abstraction, (six line figure) – gives the artist an understanding of the figure underneath the clothing and is visualized in the initial stages of a drawing.
Plane – a flattened portion of a rounded form.
Primaries – Yellow, Red and Blue.
Pull point – a point on a figure or any other shape from which folds emanate. In the drawing of the coat draped over a chair in the ‘Early Years’ sample drawings, the coat was drawn so as to show the shape of the chair and it’s pull points.
Secondary colors – a combination of two primaries. Yellow-Red (Orange), Purple and Green.
Spectrum painting – As a light value darkens, an option for the artist is to move down through the color spectrum. From Yellowish White to a light Yellow Red then Red (Pink) etc.
Tertiary colors – combining three primaries. A primary mixed with a secondary is the mixing of three primaries.
Unity – A coherent general effect. An interrelated pattern wherein the parts contribute to the harmony of the whole. Unity may be lost by the use of abrupt or startling elements.
Value – White is the lightest value and Black is the darkest. The range in between contains all the Grays and colors. The image in a Black and White photograph is seen by values alone, Black, White and Grays.
Warm and cool, (temperature) – warm colors are Yellow, Yellow-Red, Green-Yellow and their many variations, cools are Purple, Blue and the Greens leaning toward Blue. Red is intermediate in that it cools a warm and warms a cool.
Washes – thin transparent paint applied with a large brush and used in the initial stages of an oil painting.