Gesso

papillon-fleur 6par6

Jim Vance/the Jimmer

The exchange of information , the communication between people are the best things happening on the web. I heard often artists referring to gesso , I thought  it was complicated and not for me. Thanks to Fiona on her blog  Naperie explaining in detail how to do it, I finally bought some and tried it on paper and cardboard. I like the texture it gives and  the way  colours are absorbed. I am still looking for my perfect surface though. It should  diffuse like rice paper, slide and absorb like gesso, and be sturdy like cardboard. Any suggestions?

Ce qu’il y a de meilleur avec le web c’est l’échange d’informations, la communication. J’ai souvent entendu des artistes parler du gesso en pensant que c’était compliqué et pas pour moi. Grace a Fiona, dans son blog Naperie, qui explique en détail comment faire, j’en ai finalement acheté et essayé  sur du papier et du carton. J’aime la texture que cela donne et aussi l’absorption des couleurs. Mais je suis toujours à la recherche de ma surface parfaite qui aura la diffusion du papier de riz, l’absorption et la glisse du gesso et la robustesse du carton. Des suggestions?

8 thoughts on “Gesso

      • I mainly use handwriting and computer – do lots of notes and ideas on paper and get stuck into the writing on the computer – I find I get frustrated working only on paper as I make such a mess, with crossing things out etc., whereas editing is so easy on the computer (and with access to thesaurus and dictionary etc., it saves a lot of time).

  1. aloha Benedit – these are both superb. way fun. i like using gesso in a variety of ways too. both with acrylic paint and watercolor.

    that perfect surface/material is elusive. i have favored surfaces and materials – perfect… wow. tough. i can find things with some of the qualities i like but another material that has a different set i like. that’s probably why we keep trying different things, yes? the artist’s holy grail – the perfect material.

    one thought years ago for me was that clay was actually an ideal material – even to paint on as a surface. there are a variety of reasons to like clay. however getting into clay requires a very different studio – or access to one. and different tools at least initially in the process. it’s still fun to try things in it tho if you get the opportunities. …still… a perfect material… hmmmm… might as well have fun exploring. aloha.

  2. the search for the “perfect surface” is a way for me to have a good excuse for not obtaining the effect I wanted.
    I agree with you it is the artist holy grail, and keeps us on exploring and advancing.
    Clay seems very interesting…
    Thank you Rick.

    • yeah. you know… that search. yeah, for the perfect surface… it’s also the perfect excuse to keep trying new things. yeah. that’s my story, and i’m sticking to it.

      yeah. “the effect i wanted” that’s elusive too. however… what’s fun is to try what you dont know to find out what happens. that’s really the perfect search too. …and.. i think i may have mentioned this at other times.. search. for me. is what art is really about. what it is. which is also what life is about and what life is. fun, eh? yeah. just find out what this does now… The Search. Life. Art. Life. yeah art. fun on. bwahahahahahaha. aloha.

  3. I have been thinking about gesso this week, wondering if I could suggest some idea toward your perfect surface. Um… I’m still working on it….

    I am really astonished at your using gesso for watercolor. I never would have thought of that. It looks fabulous. I knew an artist who toned his paper by grinding pigments (you can use pastels to get the pigment) in a somewhat dilute pool of Elmer’s glue. It needs a fairly study paper to work properly (to keep the paper from buckling afterwards). I did the toned paper thing myself for a while around that time, and I’m not sure why I’m not doing it now except that I’m not well organized.

    I used my toned papers sometimes with watercolor, usually making a drawing which I also colored.

    Perfect surfaces are kind of an artist’s Rorschach test — or are like a Zodiac reading — they let you project your desires onto them. You can learn a lot by wondering about your true desire.

    I understand the perfection thing. I’m looking for a perfect motif — something that is beautiful in a flat abstract way and which also opens like a window into a space that you step into vicariously, something that is very specific and full of particularities and which yet operates like a dream with a logic of its own.

    Am still working on that too. Hmm …

  4. Thank you very much Aletha,
    I am very curious about toning the paper with pigments, pastels would be perfect for me, I have some and not using them too much. The biding, however , (Elmer glue) would not work, I think, because the surface would be waterproof, but I could add some pigments in the gesso…anyway it is an exciting new avenue , merci, merci.
    The gesso and watercolor is not my invention, I red somewhere, that it was similar to the “al fresco” technique, when Italian painters would paint directly on fresh gesso on walls.
    The colours are toned down, I find, because of the gesso.
    The perfection thing , for me, is like a destination, going in the direction of that idea with a lot of zigzaguing. And it is fun to zig zag!

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