1. What is airbrush?

An implement that resembles a thick fountain-pen and which has a small container near the nozzle. By air pressure supplied from a container or a mechanical compressor, varnish, fixative or colours can be applied. It can produce effects from fine lines up to wide sweeps.

2. What is conte crayon?

Introduced by Nicholas Jacques Conte, they are sticks of compressed compound of binder and pigments; the colours being sanguine, sepia and black. They are grease-free and can produce very sensitive work.

3. What is cassone?

An Italian word for the marriage coffer. In the Renaissance period it was the fashion to have painted cassoni. Florence led with this vogue, and artists who decorated them included Botticelli and Uccello. The craze ceased towards the end of the 15th century when it was replaced by carved oaken chests.

4. What is fat over Lean?

The principle in oil painting that suggests each layer of paint should contain more oil than the one beneath. Awareness of this concept helps ensure permanence.

5. What is coquille board?

An illustration board intended for the commercial artist. The working face has a shallow dotted, stippled or textured embossing. When this is drawn upon with crayon or pencil a type of half-tone is produced.

6. What is casein?

A milk protein used as a binder for casein colours. It is prepared by drying the curd from sour milk, then grinding it into a yellowish powder. Casein is only water-soluble in the presence of an alkali such as ammonia, thus casein paints once dry are waterproof. A type of milk curd glue was used by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. It has also served as an adhesive for joining the planks of a panel.

7. What is echoppe?

A needle that has had its point bevelled to an oval facet that can be used in etching and engraving. It will make lines of varying thicknesses, and with engraving can be used to re-work and expand certain lines. A favourite tool of the 17th century graphic artists such as Jacques Callot (1592-1635).

8. What is fashion board?

A heavy laminated card with a white quality paper face that may be finished rough, 'not' or hot pressed.

9. What is drier?

Metallic salts which, when mixed with a drying oil speed oxidation and reduce drying time (Also called “siccatives”)

10. What is beeswax?

Has many uses in art, including: mixed with turpentine to make a wax polish for finishing oils, tempera and alkyds; mixed with varnish and turpentine to prepare a painting medium for oils; as a stiff paste with a small amount of turpentine to assist impasto; mixed with Venice turpentine and resin asan adhesive for relining a painting.

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