View Full Version : Should gesso be dry before use?
01-19-2011, 12:35 PM
When applying Gesso to a canvas, do you wait till its dry before applying paints or apply paints while its still moist? And when using acrylics if you want more texture to your painting what product could you use?
01-19-2011, 01:59 PM
Hi Sunflower, I'm not much of an expert on painting, but I've always used acrylics.. (mainly "craft" paints.. Walmart specials LOL) but regarding Gesso, I sometimes use it, but mainly on a rough rock to kind of fill in and make it a bit smoother. Dry or not would depend, (my opinion) on whether you want it to blend in with the color or be a base. White gesso (all I've ever used) would naturally lighten any color you would apply if it's still wet or damp.. If it's dry, that would not, most likely, be the case!. Good luck. You'll probably get much wiser replies. but hope this helped.
01-19-2011, 02:51 PM
Hi Sunflower - welcome to the forum.
I've made your question into it's own thread as the other thread was rather old!
Some bottles/tubs of gesso will tell you to make sure it is dry before painting.
Some people use multiple coats of gesso in preparation, so it's wise to let these dry between coats.
I've gessoed a canvas and then painted very soon afterwards - if it's wettish, it will pick up in the colour. This doesn't bother me!
Some people use gesso to mix with instead of using titanium white.
So I guess, whatever you want to do, is the answer! :D
01-19-2011, 02:59 PM
gesso is a primer. It is meant to seal the canvas or "substrate" and insure nothing will affect the painting to follow.
There are 2 words that are misunderstood.
"dry" and "cure"
the gesso will dry in an hour or so but it hasn't cured.
If you are trying to perfect your method of painting, I advice that you wait a couple of days. Read the manufacturer suggestions.
If you just want to have fun.....start painting right away.
It is not my opinion it is YOUR opinion that matters.
01-19-2011, 04:43 PM
I always allow the gesso to dry first sometimes helping it along with a hairdryer if I am in a hurry. I tend to do several layers , sandpapering between layers when I want a smoother surface. However, this the exception and one layer seems to work for me especially when the painting has more impasto. Try it out, wettish or dry and see what works best for you.l
01-19-2011, 06:50 PM
The last time I painted I applied paint to wet gesso (usually I let the gesso dry or I blow dry it). I ended up liking the textured effect it made. It sure looked sloppy, though, until I built up the color and image. For me, what I depends on the particular painting. Go with your gut and experiment.
01-20-2011, 08:45 AM
I believe way back they used to paint on wet plaster and it was called a fresco so painting on wet gesso would be something of the same idea I would think
.Anything go's. Try it and if you enjoy then keep going. Maybe start on a small piece to find out.
01-20-2011, 09:56 AM
If you want thicker paint, try liquidthix by liquitex. Makes almost any paint thicker with a small addition of this product. There are other things that you can add but they might be considered experimental.
01-20-2011, 06:34 PM
When applying Gesso to a canvas, do you wait till its dry before applying paints or apply paints while its still moist?
Generally people do wait for it to dry at least, if not fully cure (waiting a couple of days or so).
And when using acrylics if you want more texture to your painting what product could you use?
The replies in this other current thread should help with this part of your enquiry, Getting that thick, buttery look... (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=857362)
01-20-2011, 07:23 PM
It depends on your usage. If you are applying to further seal a canvas then do let it dry. Depending on the heaviness of the gesso application "curing" can take as long as several hours. Painting on uncured gesso or uncured acrylic can result in holes being rubbed into the application if hard scrubbing with a bristle brush is done. (Fixable but a real pain) One can use gesso as a blending and opaquing medium, For example I apply a liberal coat of gesso to a sky area and follow immediately with sky colors using a 'hake' brush for a smooth gradation of colors. a La Jerry Yarnell (http://www.yarnellschool.com/online/yarnell/index.html) There are lots of Gessos on the market from very cheap to very good. I use Grumbacher acrylic gesso which is very thick and opaque. I can also use it for texturing under my paintings (it isn't quite as robust as Modeling paste for this but will serve when slight texturing is needed) I also use it in lieu of Titanium white or Mixing white. I do use Titanium white for the final sparkle on water and such.
01-21-2011, 05:30 AM
Depending on the heaviness of the gesso application "curing" can take as long as several hours.
Several days George.
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