Tapa- A cloth made in Polynesia by pounding the bark of a tree, such as the paper mulberry. It is also known as bark cloth.
Tapestry- Multicolored pictorial or decorative weaving meant to be hung on a wall or placed on furniture.
Tempera- A painting medium made by blending egg yolks with water, pigments, and occasionally other materials such as glue.
Tenebrism- The use of strong chiaroscuro and artificially illuminated areas to create a dramatic contrast of light and dark in the painting.
Terra-cotta- A medium made from clay fired over a low heat and sometimes left unglazed. Also the orange-brown color typical of the medium.
Tint- The dominant color in an object, image, or pigment.
Tondo- A painting or relief of circular shape.
Tone- the overall degree of brightness or darkness in an artwork. Also saturation, intensity, or value of color and it's effect.
Trefoil- An ornament design made up of three rounded lobes placed adjacent to one another.
Triglyph- Rectangular block between the metopes of a Doric Frieze. Identified by the three carved vertical grooves, which approximate the appearance of the end of a wooden beam.
Triptych- An artwork made up of three panels. The panels may be hinged together so the side segments (wings) fold over the central area.
Trompe l'oeil- A manner of representation in which the appearance of natural space and objects is re-created with the express intention of fooling the eye of the viewer, who may be convinced that the subject actually exists as a three dimensional reality.
Tugra- A calligraphic imperial monogram used in Ottoman courts.
Ukiyo-e- A Japanese term for a type of popular art that was favored from the sixteenth century, particularly in the form of color woodblock prints. Ukiyo-e prints often depicted the world of the common people in Japan, such as courtesans and actors, as well as landscapes and myths.
Undercutting- A technique in sculpture by which the material is cut back under the edges so that the remaining form projects strongly forward, casting deep shadows.
Underdrawing- In painting, drawing obscured by the application of paint.
Urna- in Buddhist art, the curl of hair on the forehead that is a characteristic mark of a Buddha. The urna is a symbol of divine wisdom.
Ushnisha- In Asian art, a rounded turban or tiara symbolizing royalty and when worn by a Buddhist, wisdom.
Vanishing point- In a perspective system, the point on the horizon line at which orthogonals meet.
Vanitas- An image popular in Europe during the seventeenth century, in which all the objects symbolize the transience of life. Vanitas paintings are usually of still lifes or genre subjects.
Veduta- (vedute) Italian for "vista" or "view". Paintings, drawings, or prints often of expansive city scenes or of harbors.
Vellum- A fine animal skin prepared for writing and painting.
Verism- A style in which artists concern themselves with capturing the exterior likeness of an object or person, usually by rendering it's visible details in a finely executed, meticulous manner.
Vignette- A small motif or scene that has no established border.
Wash- A diluted watercolor or ink. Often washes are applied to drawings or prints to add tone or touches of color.
Watercolor- A type of painting using water soluble pigments that are floated in a water medium to make a transparent paint. The technique of watercolor is most suited to a paper support.
Woodcut- A type of print made by carving a design into a wooden block. The ink is applied to the block with a roller. As the ink remains only on the raised areas between the carved away lines, these carved away areas and lines provide the white areas of the print. Also the process by which the woodcut is made. Chuck Close's "Emma" is a wonderful example of a woodcut.