Whether you’re working with oils or acrylics, you’re probably familiar with gesso.
If you’re a watercolorist, just be patient and wait until next time – we’ll talk about something especially for you!
For those of you just starting out on your painting journey, gesso is what you use to prepare your support to accept paint.
If you’re working on canvas, you may purchase them pre-gessoed, so they’re ready to paint. If you’re stretching your own canvas, you’ll need to coat the surface with gesso.
Similarly, if you’re painting on a board, the surface needs to be primed. One generally Masonite, but you could also apply it to other wood surfaces. It’s also used on other surfaces to allow paint to adhere to it well.
Gesso Creates Texture Or A Smooth Surface
You can apply the gesso in smooth coats to minimize any texture, or you can use a painterly method to give your support some texture. Use a brush, apply multiple thin, smooth coats and sand in between applications if you want a surface that has little texture.
If you want to add textural interest, you can apply the gesso more heavily with a brush and leave brush marks on every layer. You can also use gesso to build up heavy texture for impasto painting. A palette knife is often used for this technique, but you can also use a brush for creating different effects. This technique is a good way to minimize your material expense – building up texture with expensive paint makes for a costly painting while using inexpensive gesso gives the same look at much less cost.
Golden’s acrylic gesso has excellent absorption and tooth to give you a professional and reliable painting surface for oil, acrylic, pastel, charcoal and pencil. The surface remains pliable, so there’s little danger of it cracking. This characteristic is important when the support isn’t rigid or is exposed to extremes of temperature. It’s suitable for use with oil paint, as long as you apply at least three layers of gesso to your support.
You can also mix Golden’s acrylic gesso with acrylic paint to create a colored ground as a basis for your work. This product is lightfast and permanent and very opaque. You can even use it to re-prime your less-than-stellar paintings and reuse them.
Golden gesso is a smart choice for your taboret of tricks. Its versatility and economical pricing make it a great addition to your studio.