View Full Version : On priming and gesso...

01-27-2010, 08:15 AM
I am a relatively new artist proffesionally. At school I was taught when making a canvas to staple the canvas over the wooden stretcher bars we nailed together, and then prime the canvas with white emulsion paint. Since then, I generally buy pre-stretched, pre-primed canvasses which state they are suitable for both oils and acylics. Since being on here I have noticed a lot of people talking about using 'gesso' as the given for what to use to prime surfaces, be it canvas, wood panel, etc. So feeling a little foolish I looked up what gesso actually is. I quickly found out, but with this information also discovered that it is not advised to paint with oils over the most commonly used acrylic gesso, as there is not a strong enough physical or chemical bond and the oil paint will eventually delaminate itself from the acrylic base, although this may take several decades to occur. Rabbit skin glue based gesso is recommended to use instead of acrylic, to stop this from occuring.

However, I did find an interesting alternative to this which I would like to share and gain other opinions on, I found this site: http://carbeesoyscenic.com/news/port...ates-soy-gesso (http://carbeesoyscenic.com/news/portsmouth-artist-formulates-soy-gesso)
which tells of this new gesso made entirely from non toxic and recycled sources, and also will bond much better with oil paints than acrylic gesso. It sounds ideal to me, especially as I am a strict vegetarian! What is everyone else's opinion of this? Has anyone else heard of it before?


01-30-2010, 01:48 PM
On reading the site info you gave, it appears to me that this is a type of house paint base. A "white satin" is usually the color of base paint you use to mix light house paints. It also talks about being good for "interior/exterior walls", and that you can get good coverage in "one coat". Also, they say that the white satin is water resistant, which sounds like our oil paints would probably not stick to it very well.

Good try though.

02-11-2010, 04:37 PM
More nonsense. Acrylic gesso is great stuff to use as primer for an oil or an acrylic. Just as good if not better than an oil ground.