Abstract Art

Abstract art seeks to break away from traditional representation of physical objects. It explores the relationships of forms and colors, whereas more traditional art represents the world in recognizable images.

Acrylic Paint

Paint in which an acrylic resin serves as a vehicle. Acrylic colors are water soluble when wet, but dry to an insoluble form. Colors are bright and dry quickly.


| ahr-kahy-vuh l An archival material should have a neutral or slightly alkaline pH; it should also have good aging properties to preserve art and framing for the longest periods of time.


| kánvəss | A woven, heavy cloth of cotton, hemp, or linen, used as a support for a painting. The surface may be prepared for painting with gesso.

Canvas Transfer

A print or poster is coated with a special chemical which seizes the ink. The resulting ink film is then carefully separated from the paper and embedded into artist’s canvas. This transfer can be further enhanced by brush strokes or a process called age and crack.


| kay’ seen’ | A paint much like opaque watercolour in which casein, a milk glue, is the binder. Casein is a white, tasteless, odourless protein precipitated from milk by rennin. Casein paint dries quickly with a waterproof surface and may be varnished.


| díptik | A set of two prints or paintings making one complete image. A pair of pictures or carvings on two panels, sometimes hinged together.


An intaglio printing process in which a pointed needle is used to inscribe the lines.  Tiny uplifts of metal, called burrs, are left along the incised line. These burrs result in a soft, fuzzy line in the image when the plate is printed.


| en’ kos’ tik | The “classic” or “basic” encaustic method is extremely simple; it consists of painting on any ground or surface with paints made by mixing dry pigments with molten white refined beeswax plus a variable percentage of resin (usually damar), working from a warm palette. The brush or palette knife, manipulations can also be assisted by warming and chilling the surface. A final heat treatment, or “burning in” (which is the meaning of the name encaustic) by passing a heat source over the surface, fuses and bonds the painting into a permanent form without altering it, and a light polishing with a soft cotton brings out a dull, satiny sheen. When cool, the picture is finished; no further changes ever take place.


Lines are cut into a plate with a burin or graver. The metal which is displaced is smoothed with a scraper, then the plate is inked, forcing the color into the lines, completely filling them. The lined image filled with ink which is then transferred onto paper.


| ech’ ing | An intaglio process in which an etching needle is used to draw into a wax ground applied over a metal plate.  The plate is submerged in a series of acid baths, each biting into the metal surface only where unprotected by the ground.  The ground is removed, ink is forced into the etched depressions, the unetched surfaces wiped, and an impression is printed.


| zhee-clay | Giclee is an individually produced, high-resolution fine art print now considered to be the most accurate technique for reproducing an artist’s original works of art. The new high definition printing technique was developed in the U.S. during the 1990’s, and is now the high end standard of the arts world. The Giclee is unsurpassed in terms of matching the original artwork and also in terms of conservation. Thanks to new archival inks, conservation has been greatly improved from the offset lithography. Giclees are superior to traditional lithography in several ways. The gamut of color and resolution for Giclee’s is far beyond that of lithography or serigraphy. The colors are richer, brighter, last longer, and are so high-resolution that they are virtually continuous tone, rather than tiny dots. Giclee’s can be printed on a number of media, from canvas to watercolor paper. This renders an amazingly smooth and consistent image, a Museum Quality Fine Art Reproduction.  Since the digital image includes every subtlety and nuance of the original, including the smallest details of light and shadows such as the textures of the paint and canvas or paper, the fine art Giclee is often indistinguishable from the original work of art.The process consists of a very sophisticated printer (with nozzles tinier than a human hair) that sprays millions of microdroplets a second onto the media (paper or canvas). The Giclee is printed one line at a time and it may take an hour to complete a single 30″x 30″ sheet.


| im présh’n ìzzəm | An art movement and style of painting that started in France during the 1860s. Impressionist artists tried to paint candid glimpses of their subjects showing the effects of sunlight on things at different times of day. The leaders of this movement were: Camille Pissarro (French, 1830-1903), Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926), and Pierre Renoir (French, 1841-1919). Some of the early work of Paul Cézanne (French, 1839-1906) fits into this style, though his later work so transcends it that it belongs to another movement known as Post-Impressionism.

Intaglio printing

| in’ tal’ yoh’ | The collective term for several image processes in which prints are made from ink trapped in the grooves of an incised metal plate. Etching and engraving are the most typical examples.


| li thóggrəfee | The image is drawn with a greasy crayon onto a specialty treated stone. Water is applied and then ink which adheres only to the greasy drawn image. The printing surface is completely flat and the image is transferred because of the incompatibility of oil and water.


| met ‘ soh’ tint’ | An intaglio process that is tonal rathar than linear. In the mezzotint process, the artist works from dark to light. A metal plate is first worked with a curved serrated tool called a rocker, raising burrs over the surface to hold the ink and print as a soft dark tone. If the plate were to be printed at this stage, it would produce a right and uniform black impression. The artist draws his image on the ground with chalk, then the design is created in lighter tones by scraping out and burnishing areas of the roughened plate so that they hold less ink, or none, in the highlights.

Mixed Media

A technique involving the use of two or more artistic media. Materials may include paint, ink, pastel, photographic images, natural elements such as sand, gold or silver leafing, etc. The various media are combined to create one composition.


A process using a form of printmaking that will transfer onto paper. A monoprint is a one-of-a-kind print, each one derived from the same plate but individually hand manipulated. Various techniques include etchings, aquatints, mezotints and engraving.

Oil Painting

A slow drying paint made when pigments are mixed with an oil, linseed oil being the most traditional. The oil dries with a hard film and the brightness of the colours are protected.

Oil Painting Composition

Composed of pigments that are mixed with a binder of linseed oil and used with turpentine, oil and varnish to create art. Usually thin coats of color are blended together next to and on top of each other. Also used thickly and painted with a palette knife for textural effects.

Plein Air Painting

En plein air is a French expression which means “in the open air”, and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors in natural light. Many French Impressionist painters such as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir advocated en plein air painting.


| ser’a graf | Also referred to as silk screening is a method of printing using a squeegee forcing ink through a screen. It is a printmaking technique that creates a sharp-edged image using a stencil. It is complex process using a fine mesh of polyester or nylon material stretched tightly across a frame. A separate screen is created for every color that exists in the original art.


| tríptik | A set of three paintings or bas reliefs, related in subject matter connected, or mounted side by side. The two outside half-panels (called wings) may be closed over the central panel. Also a set of three prints that make one complete image.

Watercolor Painting

The technique of painting with watercolor pigments.Watercolor paints are often applied on heavy archival paper. The final work of art is covered with conservation glass for protection.


| U poe | Yupo is a synthetic paper, made of polypropylene plastic. It was originally designed for the graphics and printing industry and is PH neutral and waterproof. Yupo has a slick, non-porous surface, preventing paint and water to be absorbed as it would be on watercolor papers. Instead the water evaporates slowly, causing the paint to puddle, run and dry in unexpected ways. You take advantage of this quality by using as many granulating watercolor pigments as possible, adding metallic and iridescent duo-chrome colors when it suits the design. The more granulation the paints produce the more intriguing the results will be and would not be obtainable by straight brushwork. Yupo can also be painted on directly, just as one would on paper. The watercolor paints retain most of their color intensity, unlike on watercolor paper where about 40% is lost after drying. The paint has a mind of its own on Yupo and it is best not to expect exact, controlled results but to “go with the flow” and enjoy the unexpected effects!

Custom Framing Terms

Archival Framing

Archival Framing method uses materials that do not contain acids that can break down your photograph, print, or painting.Mats should be rag board that separate the painting or drawing from the frame and glass.Artwork can be damaged by sunlight, so you want to choose glass that has a UV protection. We recommend Museum Glass.

Bevel Edge

Cutting or shaping the edge or end of the material to form an angle that is not a right angle, such as the bevel cut on the window edge of a mat. We can also cut a reverse bevel on a mat board so that a white core does not appear.

Custom Frame

A custom frame adds beauty and completes a work of art. The frame molding provides the architectural design element, whether traditional, transitional, or contemporary. The custom framing should complement the art, photography, or even family or sports memorabilia.

Fabric Mat

The mat border around a work of art, photograph or print which is covered with a fabric. Most commonly used is linen, suede, or silk fabric.


A small, usually narrow molding with a profile that may be used as an edging on a mat or frame lip. May be part of a design line from a frame company that coordinates with the outer molding profiles.


A molding which is used to elevate a work of art above the mounted surface within the frame; the art appears to float within the frame.

Frame Design

The selection of the components for a visually and architecturally pleasing frame design for a particular piece of art or art grouping. The components may include mats, liners, fillets, and frame moldings.


A small piece of paper or tape generally used to attach paper art to a mounting board.


The liner fits between the artwork and frame. Liners are traditionally used with oil paintings,  and often are covered in linen or silk. At Leawood Fine Art we custom hand wrap our liners so that there are no corner seams showing. There are many profiles, widths, and fabric selections available to choose from.

Mat Board

A multi-ply board usually comprised of a core, adhesive, facing and backing paper. Commonly four-ply, but available in other thicknesses up to 8-ply. May be rag board or made of wood fiber. The surface paper comes in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and even fabrics. In framing, used to make the window mat and as a mounting board for artwork.

Museum Glass

We’ve all heard about the dangers of ultraviolet light rays — particularly to organic materials. Exposure to UV light causes organic material to break down. This is visible in the form of fading colors and embrittlement and yellowing of the materials that bear the artwork. These effects, once started, are cumulative and irreversible.The best way to preserve your art is to protect it from exposure to UV light from the outset. For starters, don’t hang your art in direct sunlight or light it with fluorescent light. Ask your framer to use Conservation Quality Glass.Museum Glass effectively blocks a minimum of 99% of the dangerous UV light — protecting your artwork without affecting the visible light spectrum so your colors show truly as nice in a year as they do the first day you frame them.

Non-Glare Glass

Glass which has been etched on one or both sides, which defuses the light, resulting in a minimum of glare and reflection. AR Glass (anti-reflective) is a high quality glass now commonly used as an alternative to non-glare.

Shadow Box Frame

A frame made from a deep molding in which three-dimensional objects may be displayed.For example: Sports Memorabilia, Autographed Jerseys, Golf Hole In One, Baby shoes and Communion Dresses, Commemorative Plates or Plaques, and more.

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