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Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Panel

Panel

A hard surface, usually made of wood, that an artist uses to paint on.

Paper pulp

Vegetable, mineral, or man-made fibers that are mixed with water. As paper pulp dries, the fibers bond together to form a sheet of paper.

Performance art

Performance art usually refers to art activities that are presented to a live audience. Performances can include all kinds of media such as music or sound, dance, poetry, theater, film, and video.

Philosopher

A person who studies philosophy, which is a vision of life or an attitude toward the purpose of life.

Philosophy

A vision of life or an attitude toward the purpose of life.

Photo-realism

A style of painting where the artist works from one or several photographs of subjects, usually everyday scenes and objects. A photo-realist painting appears to be very realistic, like a photograph..

Photogravure

A printing process invented in 1879 as a method of reproducing photographs. First, an image is transferred to a copper printing plate with the help of chemicals. For each print, the plate is hand-inked and then printed using a printing press.

Photojournalist

A photographer who takes pictures to tell a story for newspapers or magazines. Photographs used in newspapers and magazines are often combined with captions, which are words that explain what the picture is. 

Pigment

Pigment

A substance that makes color when it is added to a liquid or other medium. For example, powdered pigments made from natural and artificial substances are mixed with linseed, walnut, or poppy oil to make oil paint.

Pixel

The tiny squares of color that make up an image on a computer.

Plane

A flat surface, such as a side of a cube.

Plaster

A soft mixture of lime, sand, and other substances, plaster is a dry powder that is mixed with water to make a paste. The paste gives off heat and then hardens. Since ancient times, plaster has been used for sculpture and for walls.

Plasticine

A man-made material that resembles clay but remains soft. It is often used for modeling.

Plexiglass

Plexiglass is a brand name for a light, hard, often transparent plastic.

Polyurethane

A mixture of chemicals that are used in soft and hard coatings such as paint, glue, varnish, and foam.

Polyurethane enamel

An industrial paint often used for outdoor projects.

Pop art

A style of art that used images and ideas borrowed from popular and consumer culture, including comic strips, television, advertising, cartoons, and products such as soda, soup cans, and fast food.

Pop Art

A style of art that used images and ideas borrowed from popular and consumer culture, such as comic strips, television, advertising, cartoons, and products such as soda, soup cans, and fast food.

Porcelain

A special type of clay used to make white ceramics or pots that are almost see-through.

Porcelain

Porcelain

A type of clay used to make household china such as plates, dishes, and cups.

Portrait

A representation of a person. A portrait often looks like the person, but it can also be made of symbols, signs, objects, or words to stand for the person instead.

Pose

A body position or attitude. For example, a model might pose for an artist in a particular way.

Potential

The possibility of something happening in the future.

Predella

Small paintings or sculptures that run along the frame at the bottom of an altarpiece. The subject of the paintings or sculptures relate to the main altarpiece.

Presbyterian minister

A person who is a preacher in a church and also a teacher.

Preservation

Protecting something from damage or decay.

Primary colors

Primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. These colors cannot be produced by mixing other colors together. But most other colors can be made by mixing red, yellow, and blue in different quantities.

Print

A print is a shape or mark made from a printing block, plate or other object that is covered with ink and then pressed onto a flat surface, such as paper or fabric.

Printmaking

The process of making a print.

Projection

Displaying an image on a surface using a projector. For example, in movie theaters, films are projected onto a screen.

Prolific

Producing many works.

Prop

Prop

Moveable objects used in a play, a performance, or a movie.

Prosthetic

Prosthetic

An artificial device used to replace a missing body part, such as a limb, a tooth, an eye, or a heart valve.

Pryor, Richard 1940-2005

An American stand-up comedian, actor, and writer. More info

Psychoanalyst

A person who studies how the mind works and uses this knowledge to treat people who suffer from mental or emotional problems.

Pulp paper

A material prepared by separating fibers from wood, crops, or waste paper. Pulp paper can be fluffy or formed into thick sheets. More info

Pun

A play on words that often has a humorous effect.

Pyramid

A pyramid is a building or monument usually built with large stone blocks. A pyramid is made of geometric shapes. The floor or ground is a square, and the walls are four triangles that meet at a point at the top of the pyramid.