I posted this in the beginners group also, but hope its okay to cross-post here:

Questions about Gesso

Do you gesso, even when using pre-primed canvas? If so, do you use colored gesso or add color to it as a part of starting the under-painting?  Any thoughts on best brands of gesso?  What about consistency?  Is thick better?

Any help appreciated since I'm about to go out and buy some.  :-)

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I'm going to partially answer my own question...  just found this in the resources list for acrylics:

http://www.art-is-fun.com/what-is-gesso.html

Thank you.  I should have looked there first.

'gesso' is a water based 'primer' with some additional ingredients….the good news…to me..that it is not expensive. As a beginner, if gesso is not available, you can use other water based primer paints. KILNs is a popular product. Price is about the same. Also, for myself, as a beginner, I suggest you use a quality 'gesso.' (http://www.art-is-fun.com/what-is-gesso.html)

One point  with  regards  to Gesso - keep it covered, as it dries out easily and hardens.  I have a bigger jar of it , so I transfer some to a small  tight -sealing  jar to use when I'm using it to mix with colours, (instead of using tubes of Titanium white).  And I lightly mist  the surface of the gesso when I go to close it.   And do use a quality gesso.  Jerry Yarnell  likes Grumbacher brand.  Keep the sealing surface of the jar wiped clean, so it stays sealed properly.

If you want a smooth surface on your canvas or board, as in doing portrait work, you apply  the gesso; let  it dry and sand it lightly with 220 grit sandpaper and keep adding layers of gesso, applying it in a different direction and sanding until it's as smooth as you want.  

Another question about gesso:  I tried oil paint a while ago but didn't find it working for me!  I do love acrylics and would like to repurpose these old oil "paintings" - 

Has anyone used gesso to cover oil paint so that the canvas can be used with acrylics? 

Linda



Linda B said:

Another question about gesso:  I tried oil paint a while ago but didn't find it working for me!  I do love acrylics and would like to repurpose these old oil "paintings" - 

Has anyone used gesso to cover oil paint so that the canvas can be used with acrylics? 

Linda

Using gesso to cover over oil paint  was a suggestion I received when I sent that  query to our art club members.

I bought  a painting in a yard sale and don't know if it's acrylic or oil, so I'm considering using Acryl  Lok -  a super adhesive stain blocking house paint primer  on it and then applying gesso.

Thanks for this idea, Eleanor.  Have you actually tried it yet?

Eleanor Van De Bogart said:



Linda B said:

Another question about gesso:  I tried oil paint a while ago but didn't find it working for me!  I do love acrylics and would like to repurpose these old oil "paintings" - 

Has anyone used gesso to cover oil paint so that the canvas can be used with acrylics? 

Linda

Using gesso to cover over oil paint  was a suggestion I received when I sent that  query to our art club members.

I bought  a painting in a yard sale and don't know if it's acrylic or oil, so I'm considering using Acryl  Lok -  a super adhesive stain blocking house paint primer  on it and then applying gesso.

No, I have not tried it yet, but another member of our art club also said to use a couple coats of house paint primer over the oil paint.    Someone I know who was a well experienced artist said she used  this Acryl Lok   for priming many  objects, including nature's objects.  

Thanks Eleanor.  

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