Using Gesso in Mixed Media Art

While   for   many   years,   gesso   may   have  been   only   used   in   fine   ar6st   circles,   it   has   now   become  an  essen6al  amongst  the  mixed  media  toolkit.   Here  we  will  look  at   what  gesso  is   and  several  techniques  using    the  versa6le  medium  in  your  mixed  media  art. Gesso  is  a  special  type  of   paint   that   contains  chalk   par6cles  to  give  it  its  special  proper6es.   It   is  mostly   available  in   white  but   is  also   available  in   black  and   clear.  Tradi6onally,  gesso  is  used  as  an  undercoat  to   give  tooth  or   good   texture  to   the   surface   you   are   pain6ng  onto,  before  the  paint  is  added.   In   your   mixed   media   art,   we   can   also   use   this   undercoat   layer   to   add   texture.   ADer   you   have   applied  a  generous  layer  of  gesso  to  your   substrate,   use  a  skewer  to  "draw"  into  the  wet  layered,  adding   words   or   paFerns.   Then   leave  the   artwork   to   dry.   These  markings  may  be  obscured  as  you  con6nue  to   add  layers  of  ephemera  and  paint,  but  some  of  it  will   peek  through  and  add  further  dimensions  to  your  work. With  a  background  of  gesso,  we  can  begin  to  add  colour   and  features  to  our  artwork  with   paints.  Acrylic  paints  work  well  with  a  gesso  undercoat.  We  can  use  the  special  proper6es  of   gesso   to   create   another   layering   technique,   oDen  called   gesso   resistance.   ADer   adding   a   layer  of  acrylic  paint,  whether  it’s  one  colour  or  a  combina6on,  leave  the  paint  to  dry  slightly,   and  then  spray   your  work  with  a  light   mist   of  water.   Leave  the  water   droplets  to  sit  for  a   minute  or   so,   then  use  kitchen  towel,   or   other   absorbent   paper,   to  carefully   mop  up  the   water   drops.   This  will  liD   off   some  of   the   paint,   leaving   a   lovely   moFle   effect. Tapping  into  the  resistance  proper6es   of   gesso,   you   can   also   paint   shapes   onto   your   background,   rather   than   giving   it   a   full   undercoat.   Once   the   acrylic   paint   layer   in   added,   use   kitchen  towel  to  “buff”  off  some  of  the   colour,   allowing  the  gesso  paFerns  to   show  through  underneath.  This  subtle   effect   is  a  lovely   way   to  add  layering   into   the   background   of   any   mixed   media  art  pain6ng. As  with  any   mixed  media  art   technique  or  medium,   you  must   play   with  combina6ons  and   colours  to  see  what  works  for  you  and  your  style  of  crea6vity.  The  more  you  use  gesso  as  an   undercoat  and  in  the  resistance  technique,  the  more  it  will  help  you  understand  its  unique   proper6es.  Happy  crea6ng!

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful