Artist's Resources∼Artist's Dictionary G

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Gag line   A colloquial term for a caption.
Gallery   A room or rooms where Art Works are exhibited.
Gallery tone   The golden brown tone acquired by many old master's paintings due to age, poor varnish, dirt and the use of bituminous pigments.
Gamboge   Pigment used in watercolor; a transparent yellow close to cadmium yellow medium on the color chart, permanence questionable.
Gamma   A Greek letter resembling an upside-down "L", sometimes used in design.
Gammadion   A design made up of 4 gammas, an example of which is the swastika or fylfot.
'Gang og Batignolles'   Nickname for a group led by Claude Monet who met at the Cafe Guerbois in Batignolles, a district in Paris. The group included Artists, Musicians and Critics.
Gang run   A printing operation in which several different jobs, all of the same color, are printed at the same time to reduce cost.
Gang up   To put a number of items together for the printing or platemaking process.
Gargoyle   A carved, grotesque human or animal figure projecting from the roof of a building; most popular in the Middle Ages, it was originally used as a rain conductor, the water spouting from the mouth.
Gauffer/goffer   A tool used to emboss a surface with decoration.
Gauguin, Paul   1848-1903∼ Born in Paris, a French impressionist, he is best known for his use of broad planes and symbolic color depicting the life of the South seas.
Gel   1. A transparent oil color medium, packaged in tube form, used to alter the viscosity and elastic quality of paint for ease of handling, drying time and certain effects. 2. A thick, colorless acrylic medium that adds gloss to acrylic paints.
Gelatin   A protein product, colorless, transparent, used as an adhesive or for sizing.
Gelatin roller   In graphics, a firm but flexible roller used for inking and used by some Artists in painting; also called a "Brayer".
Gesso  Pronounced jess-o  A white primer used as a base for paintings of acrylic and watercolor, cannot be used with oil, although special "gesso" types have been made for this use. Base coat is applied to wood, canvas, Masonite, etc., and can be textured or sanded smooth.
Gesso engraving   Process in which gesso is built up to a 1/16" thickness in multiple layers and an engraving is made on this hardened surface; a sealer is used to provide a good printing surface.
Ghost   1. In lithography, the remnant of a previous drawing reappearing on a wet stone. 2. The remnant of a previous painting appearing through a painting done over it. See also Pentimento.
Giclee   Pronounced jah-clay  A print reproduced from a digitally scanned original, creating an electronic digital print.
Gilded   Covered with gold leaf or gold paint, as a picture frame.
Gingerbread   A lot of unnecessary decoration or ornamental details, especially in architecture.
Glair   A glaze or size made from the white of an egg, used in gilding and in egg tempura.
Glassine   A thin, transparent cover paper used over Art Work or as sleeves for photo negatives.
Glaze   1. A transparent layer of paint mixed with a medium, applied over a dry area, allowing the underpainting to show through. 2. In ceramics, a fired-on finish for pottery, that is applied to greenware, and is of a thick, opaque consistency.
Glisten   A stage in the drying of a watercolor when the paper reflects light with a slight shine or luster, best seen at about 45 degrees angle to the paper.
Glory   See Aureole.
Glycerine   A heavy, colorless and odorless oil used in making Watercolor paints, or added to Watercolor paints and gouache to delay drying time.
Golden mean/Golden section   An idealized proportion based on the division of a line so that the ratio of the shorter section to the longer is equal to that of the longer section to the whole; based on a matematical theory of Euclid.
Gold ink   An ink made of gold-colored metallic particles in suspension, used with pen or Air brush; requires frequent agitation to keep the particles from settling.
Gold leaf   Extremely thin beaten/hammered gold for gilding; standard is 23 1/2 carats, but available in a number of weights and qualities.
Goldpoint   A technique in which gold wire is used to draw on specially prepared paper. See also Silverpoint.
Goldrite   Trade name for a gold transfer paper; lines written or drawn on it with a ballpoint pen transfer in gold to almost any surface such as wood, metal, glass, paper, leather or plastic.
Gold size   See Bole.
Goobungle   See Pick-up.
Goop   In tole painting, the medium used to thin the paint.
Gorky, Arshile   (1904-1948) An American abstract expressionist; he was an influence on deKooning and Pollock.
Gothic   Pertaining to European Art and architecture, between the 12th and 15th centuries; the building style emphasized pointed arches, cross-ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses; the scope was monumental in scale with much ornamentation. Gothic painting emphasized human qualities striving for classical ideals.
Gouache   French for opaque watercolor, permanent. Designers' colors and casein are gouache, also the mixture of opaque white with transparent watercolors can be used.
Gouge   A kind of chisel used on wood, linoleum, etc.
GR   Grams per meter, stated about certain papers; 100gr, 250 gr, etc.
Gradation   In composition, a gradual transition from one form or element to another; usually with slight changes in value.
Graded wash   A wash with variation in color or value from dark to light to light to dark.
Gradine   In sculpture, a toothed chisel used to remove large pieces from marble or stone.
Graffiti   (Italian, "graffiare", to scratch) Originally a drawing on an ancient wall, in modern times has come to mean crude drawing or writing disfiguring walls, doors or any available public space.
Graffito   See Sgraffito.
Graining   In lithography, a slight roughening of the stone to give it tooth to catch the grease crayon.
Grandee paper   An 80 lb. cover stock in a medium texture, 20"x26", available in a variety of colors as well as white.
Granos de trigo   Dots of ivory resembling grains of wheat, used as design.
Granosis   In sculpture, toning or dulling the glare of stone by using an application of color mixed with wax.
Granular board   A san or marble textured board prepared by the Artist and used for pastels, etc.
Graphic Arts   1. Any form of Art producing original prints, such as aquatint, drypoint, etching, lithography, silkscreen, woodcut, etc. 2. Any form of Art for commercial reproduction, including mechanicals, typography, layout, etc.
Graphics   In a broad sense any representation by printing, drawing and painting.
Graphic symbols   "Press style" symbols such as dots, lines, stars, borders, etc.; used to decorate type for advertising and other printed material.
Graphite pencils   Drawing pencils in which the center rod is graphite; H to 9H are graduated degrees of hard (light) HB and F are between hard and soft; and 2B to 6B are graduated degrees of softness. (dark)
Graphite transfer paper   A thin paper coated with graphite, used for transferring a drawing.
Graph paper   Paper with a printed grid, available in various sizes and grids, used by designers, architects, engineers, teachers, publishers, etc.
Graver   See Burin.
Gravure, Photogravure   A commercial intaglio printing process using plates or cylinders, known for its quality in half-tone and color reproduction.
Grease pencil   A lithographic pencil; a pencil with a waxy, grease-like base.
Greco, El Theotocopulos Domenikos   (1541-1614) Born in Crete, settled in Spain where he was known as "The Greek". His style is often mystical and full of exaggerated proportions. His Work had a great influence on all who followed it.
Greek Key pattern   A running design popular in Greek and Roman decoration, also called Greek fret and Roman key.
Greeking   Rough lettering or type indication to suggest the appearance of type in a layout.
Griffin   In design, a mythical beast, half eagle and half lion.
Grinding stone   In lithography, a pumice stone used with a mixture of sealing wax and alum solution to smooth the stone.
Grisaille   (French "gray") 1. A Renaissance technique of underpainting with grays; transparent or semi-transparent colors were then glazed on. 2. Contemporary usage has come to mean a monochrome painting rendered in grays, often in imitation of bas-relief.
Grog   Crushed and fired pottery one usually mixes into their terra cotta clay beofe making a sculpture. It reduces shrinking and sagging of the Art Work when it is being fired in the kiln. Because it allows for more pourous space in the model, it distributes heat more evenly when fired as well.
Grotesque   Decorative Art that combines human and animal forms.
Ground   1. A base coating of paint or gesso applied to a panel, canvas, paper or board which a picture is painted or scratched. 2. In textile design, the 1st screen or the base color of a design, often white. 3. An acid-resistant coating for plates used when etching.
Grounding   In sculpture, the polishing of marble with a fine abrasive.
Ground plane   In linear perspective, the line on which the object (often a building) rests parallel to the horizon line.
Guillotine   A heavy cutting knife on a paper-cutting machine.
Gum arabic   A natural gum material from the Acacia tree,used in solution with Watercolors and other Art products to increase gloss and transparency, now nearly unobtainable. Synthetic or cellulose substitutes, referred to as "gum" are now usually used.
Gum eraser   A firm but soft crumbly eraser used to clean ArtWork.
Gumming up   In lithography, brushing a solution of gum(arabic) and water over the stone to seal off and desensitize a nonpainting area.
Gumtine   A Trade name for a substitute for turpentine.
Gum water   A gum solution used with Watercolors to increase gloss and transparency, improves flow and wetting; a binder of watercolors.
Gwa   (Japanese) A drawing or a picture.
Gwafu   (Japanese) A book of sketches.
Gwajo   (Japanese) An album of folding prints.
Gypsographic print   See Embossed print.