A foundation layer used to prepare a support material for the application of media. Grounds provide a smooth, uniform, and nonporous surface. They can also act as a separating and stabilizing layer to minimize environmental distortions or support deterioration due to reactions with the paint.
For artist paintings, grounds typically fall into these categories.
- Gesso - a Glue binder mixed with Gypsum or Chalk
- Emulsion -a glue medium emulsified with some Oil, Egg, or Natural resin
- Oil ground- a drying oil, such as Linseed oil, with Lead white or other white pigment
- Synthetic - Acrylic or Alkyd based primer introduced in the late 20th century
For gilding, Bole is used as a colored ground or priming layer. Bole is typically composed of a red or brown clay. Colored grounds have also been used for Metal point drawings and paintings made with Gouache, Pastel, Charcoal, and Crayon.
Synonyms and Related Terms
primer; gesso; preparación (Esp.); aparejo (Esp.); préparation (Fr.); fond (Fr.); camada preparatória (Port.); preparação (Port.)
Resources and Citations
- J.Stephenson, "Ground" The Dictionary of Art, Grove's Dictionaries Inc. New York, 1996.
- Reed Kay, The Painter's Guide To Studio Methods and Materials, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1983
- Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)