Edition: Set of works which are numbered consecutively. For example, a piece marked 20/100 is the 20th print out of 100 prints that were produced. This is a way of recording and controlling the number of times the same work can be made. Prints from a limited edition are therefore more collectible and desirable.
Medium: The material/materials an artist utilized in creating a work of art, such as oil paint, acrylic or bronze. The material that a work was created on, such as canvas or wood, is also considered part of the medium. For example, one might say that the medium of an oil painting is “oil on canvas.”
Print / Casting Year: Works of art produced in an edition, such as prints, sculpture, and photography can have a second applicable date. For example, a photograph might have been taken in 1932, but printed or re-printed in 1975 from the original negative.
Provenance: The history or exact record of ownership for a work of art. The provenance of a work of art helps museum staff, curators, gallerists and auction houses determine valuation and authenticity.
Artist’s Proof: The first few works created in a series of works which have been turned into an edition, and therefore the ‘originals’ in an edition. These works are usually set aside as a reference for the artist and are therefore more valuable and sought after, though not always for sale.
Oil Paint: Technique developed during the 15th and 16th centuries in which slow-drying paint is made by mixing colour pigments with an oil base.
Watercolour: Watercolour painting is characterized by colourful pigments dissolved in water producing a translucent image.
Mixed Media Painting: A mixed media painting employs multiple media to create a final piece. For example, a work on canvas that combines paint, ink, and collage is considered a mixed media painting.
C-Print: Developed in 1930, the c-print is the most universal type of colour photograph, created using at least three emulsion layers of light sensitive silver salts. Each layer is sensitized to a specific primary colour. As a result, each layer records different information for the colour make up of an image.
Digital print: Digital photography refers to electronically captured images composed of digital values, or pixels. Iris prints, giclée prints, and digital archival prints are three examples of popular digital printing methods.
Polaroid: Polaroid refers to the synthetic plastic sheet used to polarise light, typically associated with the instant camera and self-developing film.
Silver Print: Silver prints are created by the most common method for producing black and white prints in photography. These prints are generated using papers coated with gelatin that contain light-sensitive silver salts. By 1895, the Gelatin-silver print had replaced the Albumen print, because it did not yellow with age and was easier to produce.
Printmaking: Process in which a work can be recreated from a single image
Engraving: The most popular of the intaglio methods of printmaking, an engraved print is created by scratching or cross-hatching into the surface of a polished metal plate. The plate is then inked, covered with a sheet of paper and run through a press. The areas of the plate which are incised print, transferring the final image to paper.
Etching: Etching refers to the process of using acid to cut into a metal plate. After the plate has “etched”, it is covered with ink and run through the press revealing the etched image on paper.
Lithograph: Lithography is a method of printmaking based on the concept of the repulsion of oil and water. In this process, the artist uses a grease-based chalk to draw an image on stone. An oil-based ink is then applied to the surface allowing the ink to stick to the greased areas of the stone. The stone is then inked, and the image is transferred to paper, after being run through a press. Contemporary offset lithographic printing uses flexible aluminium, polyester, mylar or paper printing plates.
Linocut: The linocut is a 20th century variation on the woodcut. It is created in the same manner, except that a piece of linoleum, which is soft and pliable, is used instead of wood.
Woodcut: Woodcut is a printmaking method in which the artist works on a plank of wood, cutting away the parts of the design which are not to be printed. The wooden surface is then inked, covered with a sheet of paper and run through a press.
Wood Engraving: A wood engraving is a variation on the woodcut. Differing from a woodcut, it is done using the cut end of a piece of wood, as opposed to the plank side. Harder wood is typically employed to create a finer line in comparison to the soft, heavy lines associated with woodcuts.
WORKS ON PAPER
Works on Paper: Works on Paper include artworks drawn, painted or otherwise created on paper using a variety of media.
Acrylic: Water-based plastic paint consisting of pigments bound in an acrylic resin mixture. Can be thinned with water while wet, but become tough and water resistant once dry.
Charcoal: Charcoal refers to the drawing utensil employed by artists as a medium for sketches, finished works, and under-drawings for paintings. The black and crumbly nature of charcoal produces a freer and less dense line than graphite.
Collage: The word collage derives from the French, ‘coller’, which means to glue. Here a work of art is created by clipping and adhering flat articles, such as photographs, newspaper and fabric, to a two-dimensional surface.
Coloured Pencil: Coloured pencils are hand-held writing or drawing instruments typically used to create designs on paper.
Crayon: Crayons are sticks of coloured wax used for writing and drawing.
Gouache: Gouache is a painting medium similar to watercolour that is characterized by pigments suspended in water. However, due to the presence of chalk, gouache produces a heavier and more opaque image than a watercolour.
Graphite: Graphite is a medium known for its greasy texture and metallic gray colour which can be easily removed with an eraser.
Ink / Wash: Ink is a liquid medium composed of a variety of pigments and dyes used to colour a surface. It is often used for drawing or writing with a pen or brush. Thicker inks are used in letterpresses and lithographic printing.
Mixed Media Work on Paper: A mixed media work on paper employs multiple media to create a final piece.
Oil Paint: This term refers to the technique developed during the 15th and 16th centuries in which slow drying paint is made by mixing colour pigments with an oil base.
Pastel: Pastels are sticks of colour, typically made from oil or chalk. Artists use pastels to create a soft and delicate image. The medium can often be unforgiving, as it is difficult for the artist to fix a mistake.