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Ryan Demaree
12-27-2018, 09:22 AM
I am embarking on the use of a traditional gesso ground for my next painting.

So far this is what ive done-

3 layers of rabbit skin glue sizing

1/8 cup RSG powder
2 Cups of water

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1 layer of gesso

1/8 cup RSG powder
1/8 cup Marble dust
1/8 cup Zinc White
1 cup water

(I plan on doing 2-3 more layers of this gesso recipe waiting for 24 hrs between each coat)

_________________________________


My question now is the absorbancy of the ground. I have used acrylic "gesso", and oil ground both but never traditional gesso ground. I am told its fairly absorbent, which would make sense.

Should I temper the gesso ground with linseed oil? or perhaps a thin coat of a natural varnish such as amber or copal?

I found a recipe on the Natural Pigments website that suggests tempering the finished gesso surface with a natural resin varnish that has been thinned.

https://www.naturalpigments.com/artist-materials/gesso-grounds-ancient-recipes/


I have amber resin varnish, so that would be very doable for me.

What are your thoughts and experiences?


( I would like to not use acrylic emulsions in this process nor would I like to use an oil ground on top of the gesso ground )

Thanks!

Humbaba
12-27-2018, 10:04 AM
Traditional oil painting books recommend thinning a natural resin with turpentine and apply a coat on the Gesso to remove absorbency and to increase adhesion. If your Amber varnish is Spirit based, go ahead and apply a thin layer once the Gesso is completely dried. Oil based Amber varnish takes approximately 3-4 days to dry, so take this into consideration.

Are you planning to create realistic works?

french.painter
12-27-2018, 11:19 AM
Do you plan to paint on panel or canvas?

contumacious
12-27-2018, 02:17 PM
Do you plan to paint on panel or canvas?

A good question to ask french.painter. I was wondering the same thing when I first read the post.

To the OP, you may already know this, but in case you don't, RSG grounds are not recommended on flexible supports such as stretched canvas. Rigid panels will help prevent cracking (RSG is brittle) from both flexing and expansion / contraction as well from absorbing and releasing water as the relative humidity changes. If you want to paint on canvas, adhering it to a rigid support rather than stretching it will substantially reduce the chance of cracks in the ground.

Ryan Demaree
12-28-2018, 02:14 AM
Traditional oil painting books recommend thinning a natural resin with turpentine and apply a coat on the Gesso to remove absorbency and to increase adhesion. If your Amber varnish is Spirit based, go ahead and apply a thin layer once the Gesso is completely dried. Oil based Amber varnish takes approximately 3-4 days to dry, so take this into consideration.

Are you planning to create realistic works?

The painting will be realistic, but not photo-realistic. See my website and the 1st 9 paintings for reference

I will be using Groves amber varnish to temper my panel. IT is walnut oil based, with some turpentine in there. How much Spike lavender should I use to thin the varnish with to achieve a good layer over the gesso ground?

Ryan Demaree
12-28-2018, 02:15 AM
A good question to ask french.painter. I was wondering the same thing when I first read the post.

To the OP, you may already know this, but in case you don't, RSG grounds are not recommended on flexible supports such as stretched canvas. Rigid panels will help prevent cracking (RSG is brittle) from both flexing and expansion / contraction as well from absorbing and releasing water as the relative humidity changes. If you want to paint on canvas, adhering it to a rigid support rather than stretching it will substantially reduce the chance of cracks in the ground.


Yes, I am aware, I am using a cradled panel.

Humbaba
12-28-2018, 06:52 AM
The painting will be realistic, but not photo-realistic. See my website and the 1st 9 paintings for reference

I will be using Groves amber varnish to temper my panel. IT is walnut oil based, with some turpentine in there. How much Spike lavender should I use to thin the varnish with to achieve a good layer over the gesso ground?

Do not use Spike Lavender, specially in a low layer, turpentine will be fine. Hard to calculate how much you need to use, I am not aware of the resin/oil/turpentine ratio of Grooves, but if you do not notice separation at 50/50 I think it will be ok.

Ryan Demaree
12-29-2018, 02:49 AM
Do not use Spike Lavender, specially in a low layer, turpentine will be fine. Hard to calculate how much you need to use, I am not aware of the resin/oil/turpentine ratio of Grooves, but if you do not notice separation at 50/50 I think it will be ok.


im curious, why not use spike lavender?