PDA

View Full Version : Gesso as medium


Luka
04-28-2004, 01:19 PM
Ok, I thought I would make my very first post here, the asking of what will probably seem to most a stupid question.

I have been away from art for more than a decade and a half. Don't ask. Long boring story.

I mainly did drawing and sculpting before, but now I want to do more painting. I am starting from scratch again. Haven't even stretched my first canvas yet, but I already have the finished painting clearly in my head.

I have spent what seems to me to be a fortune on the materials needed to just barely get started. I won't go into details, but I simply cannot afford to go now and buy more paint, or mixing medium.

I am concerned about having enough paint to finish the painting with. I have plenty of gesso. I am curious whether that will work as a mixing medium ?

What kind of problems can I expect ? If any...

What effects ? Change the color ? Longer/shorter drying times ? Change in life expectancy of finished painting ? Etc...

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

:)

Lady Carol
04-28-2004, 01:48 PM
I have used gesso as to whiten colours without any ill effects. I have also used it as white when I ran out and was too lazy to go down to the store or it was after hours.

Luka
04-28-2004, 06:29 PM
Thank you very much for the reply, Milady.

I hadn't even stopped to consider that it has white in it. I guess I'll have to get some sort of transparent medium after all.

Or more paint.

Or both... ;)

I am glad I found this resource. Or, more correctly, was directed here. It looks like it will be a valuable place to learn and be helpful in.

I see lots of friendly faces here.

surreal
04-29-2004, 12:51 AM
Hi Luka,
Welcome to the Acrylics forum.
:)

I would not use gesso for any purpose other than that which it is intended for.

Please post your painting for us to view when it is completed, or when it is partially completed.
:D

Anita Orsini
04-29-2004, 01:05 AM
Gesso is basically acrylic medium with titanium white and other ingredients to make it an absorbent ground. I know a number of artists that mix it with their paint when they need more opacity but I have heard that you must be sure to varnish well or it can absorb dirt from the environment. You would still need a transparent medium though.
Anita

Luka
04-29-2004, 01:25 AM
Thank you for the reply, Nina.

And thank you for the welcome.

So many happy faces here. And pretty ones too.

:)

Is there any particular reason for the caution against using gesso ? I am the type that is just too curious. I will eventually have to try it anyway, just to play with it, and see what it does. LOL

I am in the process of clearing my porch, and enclosing it. So that I can set up an easel in there.

I want so badly, to do this painting... that I just can't get it out of my mind.

At the same time... It has been so long. I have developed a kind of phobia. I am afraid that I will get started and it will look like total crap, and I will feel like giving it up right away.

I used to draw, and sculpt and paint a lot. I intended to make a career of it. But I married, grew a family, and had to put bread on the table. So I swung a hammer, and put art away.

I am single now. Have been for a while. I am no longer able to do what I used to do. And have had some problems along the way. The artist in me has been curled up and hidden far too long. He is bashing me about the ears and demanding that I start to be creative again.

Ok, I've come this far, I might as well explain a bit.

Without writing my life story... I am bi-polar. Almost totally depressive. None of the problems associated with mania. Tha mania is always too mild to cause problems.

Over some years time, I lost many parts of my life. A lot of the things that bring joy. And a lot of "urges" as well. I was pretty much a stone for a while.

Now, the urges are coming back. With a vengeance. LOL

In a way it is almost a blessing that this happened. I am learning just how closely one passion is related to another. How denying one drive affects the others. And I am learning for the first time, just exactly who my inner artist is.

It is like I have the priviledge of becoming a child again, but with the experience and knowledge of an adult.

Now....... If I could just get past this phobic block, and get some paint on a canvas !!!

;)

Luka
04-29-2004, 01:33 AM
Wow !!

That's the sort of info I was hoping for !

Thank you very much.

I had a hunch it was basically just acrylic medium. But also wondered why it was not commonly used that way. There had to be some reason.

Yes, with the titanium in there, it could cause problems with color, as pointed out by miLady Carol. Is there a transparent gesso available ? Kind of the best of both worlds, in a pinch...

Thank you Anita. I am glad to meet you.

Richard Saylor
04-29-2004, 02:21 AM
Is there a transparent gesso available?
There is a 'clear' acrylic gesso, but I don't know anything about it or whether it would be in any way suitable as a painting medium. I would tend to doubt the latter.

Luka
04-29-2004, 02:29 AM
hmmmmm

I have seen white, black and grey gesso. But not the clear.

I guess the clear would kind of tend to turn it into a glaze instead, wouldn't it ?

Ok. I guess theres nothing for it but to get more paint.

Thank you.

:)

terriv
04-29-2004, 08:59 AM
I am using gesso as both medium and paint for something I am working on. It's a garden statue and I wanted the texture to be very flat, dry, dull, and stone-like in contrast with the gloss of other objects in the picture. It is working fabulous! I like it much BETTER than acrylics actually. Maybe from now on my medium will be "gesso".

Note to self: Ask WC to add forum titled "Gesso".

terriv
04-29-2004, 09:04 AM
Do you know where to get black gesso that I might expand my palette from one color to two?

Anita Orsini
04-29-2004, 09:45 AM
You are lucky in that I had just been reading about gesso somewhere recently. I purchased black gesso at Pearl. Most of the larger art stores should carry it or you could order it online from pearl. I would think it would be very difficult to make a clear gesso as it has to have absorbent material in it to make it a good ground for paint. Most absorbent material is chalky. You might try checking the Liquitex web site. They have some very good information there. Golden also has a site.
Anita

Luka
04-29-2004, 10:00 AM
I have a question about the forum, if you don't mind...

How does one know what post a reply post belongs to ?

I mean, without leaving the quote in there when making your reply...

I get quite confused sometimes.

Enchanted
04-29-2004, 10:45 AM
My "simple" answer from my "simple mind" is that, "acrylic is acrylic is acrylic" when it comes to speaking art supplies. Sure, the different "acrylics" contain different additives, but the original "vehicle" - the acrylic material itself - is essentially the same for all manufacturers. And unlike oil paints, where the artist might modify the tube color with additions of a variety of medium formulas, acrylic medium is only acrylic.

That having been said, I have often used the gesso INSTEAD OF using a white acrylic color (titanium white). It all depends on what it is one is trying to achieve in the painting passage. I like the look the gesso imparts to skies, as just one example. If you watch Bob Ross or someone demo-ing his "wet into wet" oil methods on TV, you can achieve the same effect by layering on a fresh coat of gesso, then blending your sky colors into that before it dries too firm to be workable. I keep it workable by spritzing it on my palette with a bit of retarding agent.

As for the question about clear gessoes - they are sold and apparently are clear in spite of the addition of agents to give the gesso "tooth." I've never seen the need for using a clear gesso since I keep gallon jugs of clear acrylic mediums (varnish, gel and molding paste) at hand. But clear gessoes have been discussed many times on WC and should be a "searchable" topic.

As for beginning a painting with an acrylic ground in black, or any other color, I have often used pigment sold by ceramic suppliers, principally the iron oxides in both black and red. These pigments, when added to clear acrylic medium, give a wonderfully "toothy" surface for those times when I desire to begin with a black or reddish background. Additions of ordinary "marble dust" to clear acrylic medium will allow the artist to create their own acrylic gesso with a "toothiness" to suit - in place of using a store-bought gesso - and you can "tint" it with any color you desire.

terriv
04-29-2004, 11:10 AM
Here is the painting I am working on using gesso. I haven't painted the bird yet. The goal is for him to be a very life-like bluebird. (Yet to be determined.)
At any rate, you can see the effect I was trying to achieve maybe. I wanted a dull, flat, stone-like effect on a glossy sparkly background because she isn't a fairy at all, she's a stone garden birdfeeder. She needs a bit more highlighintg adjustment. When I'm finished, I'll come back and post it again.

Adding: Think the red glow needs to extend around underneath the bird too making more of a circular effect.

It's a bit odd perhaps in that sometimes I'm acutally inspired by the FRAME. When I saw this frame, I immediately liked it and knew I wanted to fill it with a tiny magical nature moment.

Luka
04-30-2004, 03:23 AM
Thank you once again, Anita.

Whyizzit, I spend so much time on this computer contraption, yet it never occurs to me to use it to research materials by going to the manufacturers websites ?

Luka
04-30-2004, 03:31 AM
Whoah !!

Jump back Jack !!!

Thank you very much. Excelent information.

Between you and terriv, I am becoming convinced that my curiosity was a good thing. I am going to have to give it a whirl !

Hey, if I can paint with clay and sculpt with trash, I suppose using gesso as a medium, is kind of tame, 'eh ?

I have a lot to learn.

I went and checked out your website. While I find some of your work disturbing, I am very impressed with all of it !

I bookmarked, and will continue to check back for inspiration, as I teach myself once again.

Luka
04-30-2004, 04:04 AM
Wow !! I am very impressed. For such a small painting, it sure packs a punch.

I saw the finished product in the other thread. Is that going to be for sale ?

I am beginning to feel kind of out of place here. Not having anything to show. I have some circumstances to work on here, before I can really even get started.

Feeling out of place, but also getting inspired. I'll get there. Soon, I hope.

Thank you for your replies. And your encouragement through example.

chal
05-08-2004, 12:02 PM
I'm probably doing things the completely wrong way but I buy gesso by the gallon and use it for everything from a ground, to a mixing media and I use it exclusively for whites. I don't think I even own a tube or jar of white paint :)

Just my two cents.

chal

stoney
05-08-2004, 01:22 PM
Here is the painting I am working on using gesso. I haven't painted the bird yet. The goal is for him to be a very life-like bluebird. (Yet to be determined.)
At any rate, you can see the effect I was trying to achieve maybe. I wanted a dull, flat, stone-like effect on a glossy sparkly background because she isn't a fairy at all, she's a stone garden birdfeeder. She needs a bit more highlighintg adjustment. When I'm finished, I'll come back and post it again.

Adding: Think the red glow needs to extend around underneath the bird too making more of a circular effect.

It's a bit odd perhaps in that sometimes I'm acutally inspired by the FRAME. When I saw this frame, I immediately liked it and knew I wanted to fill it with a tiny magical nature moment.

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW