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term definition
Panel Often refers to a wood, copper, Masonite, or other hard surface on which to paint. Sometimes it is referred to as a board. Artists from the colonial period often painted on panels, at first with tempera, and later with oils, prepared beforehand with a layer of gesso. More recent artists have painted on panels too. Today, the material most commonly used as a panel is a manufactured product with the trade name Masonite, available from hardware stores, as well as from other sellers of artists' supplies.

Panorama A wide, unbroken view of an entire surrounding area. A picture or series of pictures representing a continuous scene, either exhibited all at once, or exhibited one at a time by being unrolled and passed before the audience.

Paper M√Ęché Pulped paper, usually combined with glue, chalks and sometimes sand. It can be shaped by molding and then baking.

Pastel Pigments mixed with gum and pressed into a stick form for use as crayons. Works of art done with such pigments are referred to as pastels.

Pau-Brasil Poetry A Brazilian manifesto written in 1924 by Oswald de Andrade that clearly asserts the aesthetic creed "no formula for a contemporary expression of the world," and looked in a new way to the hybrid Brazilian cultures and the contrast between its tropical setting and its modern industry. It begins: "The Carnival in Rio is the religious outpouring of our race. Pau-Brasil. Wagner yields to the samba schools of Botafogo. Barbaric, but ours. Rich ethnic mix. Richness of vegetation. Minerals. Casserole of vatapá. Gold and dance."

Perspective The technique artists use to project an illusion of the three-dimensional world onto a two-dimensional surface. Perspective helps to create a sense of depth-- of receding space. Fundamental techniques used to achieve perspective are: controlling variation between sizes of depicted subjects, overlapping some of them, and placing those that are on the depicted ground as lower when nearer and higher when deeper. In addition, there are three major types of perspective: aerial perspective, herringbone perspective, and linear perspective.

Photomontage A pictorial composition made by covering sheet of paper or card with overlapping photographs or fragments of photographs.

Plaster or plaster of Paris The term plaster usually refers to plaster of Paris (also called gesso)- a pasty composition that hardens on drying and is used for coating interior walls, ceilings, and partitions. Plaster is generally composed of sand, water (about 2 parts plaster to each part of water), and a cementing agent such as gypsum, lime, or portland cement. Though heated in its manufacture, it needs no heat to mature the way ceramic clays do. A common building material as well as a versatile medium in sculpture, can be either the material cast in a mold or the material of a mold, a material to be modeled, or carved, or attached to something else.

Polychrome Having many colors; multicolored. This term is usually used to describe sculptural or decorative objects finished or decorated with paint or glazes or using different metals and materials to achieve a multicolored effect.

Portrait A representation of a specific person, a group of people, or an animal. Portraits usually show what a person looks like and may reveal something about the subject's personality. Portraits can be made of any sculptural material or in any two-dimensional medium.

Praxis Nicaraguan group of painters and sculptors active in Managua from 1963 to 1972. It was founded by Alejandro Aróstegui (b. 1935), together with the painter César Izquierdo (b. 1937) and the writer Amaru Barahona. It was founded with the intent of assimilating elements of Western Modernism while reaching a distinctive national pictorial language. Praxis was supportive of the progressive politics of the Sandinista front and to an examination of the relationship between art and society.

Pre-Columbian Refers to the time in the Americas before the sixteenth centuryóbefore Christopher Columbus arrived with the first wave of European colonists/invaders.

Prints and printmaking A print is a shape or mark made from a plate or block or other object that is covered with wet color (usually ink) and then pressed onto a flat surface, such as paper or some kind of fabric. Most prints can be repeated over and over again by re-inking the printing block. Printmaking can be done in many ways, including using an engraved block or stone, transfer paper, or a film negative.