Why am I using Gesso?

Gesso Tips

  • Trim down an old brush with scissors to stiffen it up for use with gesso.
  • Mark the brushes used with gesso primer and reserve them only for gesso.
  • Gesso is available in white, gray, black and clear.
  • Make your own tinted gesso.
  • Using gesso helps you save money on paint.
  • Buy 2 small size containers of gesso and test them for your style of art.

Preparing round panels with a few coats of gesso because I like to paint on a funky irregular surface.

These panels are canvas mounted on archival wood product. Cotton pre-strecthed or mounted canvas usually has a coating of primer (thinned gesso basically) when you buy it. The fabric texture is still visible and I would go directly to paint at this point only if I wanted the canvas texture to show in my painting. 

What is gesso?

Gesso is made of chalk, pigment and binder. The chalk gives the grip to your paint and makes it easier to move your brush over the surface.

If you like a very smooth surface try sanding each coat of gesso. Waterproof sandpaper works the best but any type will do. Try 220, 320 and 400 grits. The lower the number on sandpaper the coarser the 'sand' texture. Use the lower number first, progressing to the higher number to the finish you desire.. 

Chalk in the gesso is hard on brushes. The chalk in gesso roughens the hair on the brush and is abrasive enough to wear the length if you do many canvases. So reserve a brush just for gesso.

This is my first project using a round shape canvas. No plan yet for what I'm going to paint on it.

How many coats of gesso ?

 For my style of painting I generally apply 2 or 3 coats of gesso to a new canvas. I purposely make brush mark patterns in the gesso because I like a randomly patterned texture to paint on.

Gesso Tips

  • Trim down an old brush with scissors to stiffen it up for use with gesso.
  • Mark the brushes used with gesso primer and reserve them only for gesso.
  • Gesso is available in white, gray, black and clear.
  • Make your own tinted gesso.
  • Using gesso helps you save money on paint.
  • Buy 2 small size containers of gesso and test them for your style of art.

Wonderful buttery consistency and quick drying time make the Winsor & Newton Professional White Gesso one of my favorites.

 

 

 
This gesso from Daler-Rowney sands very well if you like a super smooth surface and the rectangle container shape makes it easy to use right out of the tub.

Save that color pencil

Save money with pencil extenders and pencil caps.

Color pencil lovers rejoice!

Save money and be green by using color pencil extenders and pencil caps. They fit both hex and round type pencils. The caps protect the sharpened pencil tips and are handy to mark which pencils you are using on a project. Super handy for travel art kits.

How does the pencil holder work? 

The short pencil is held firmly by a ring that slides up over a ferrule (like the metal part of a paintbrush). It returns the balance to the short bit of pencil and makes it easy to hold. The best part is that it gives you enough length to sharpen the color pencil several more times.