View Full Version : Gesso and the Yarnell Method

12-09-2011, 06:34 PM
:confused: Anybody know of a gesso that is as thick and workable as the Grumbacher, the brand Jerry uses and recommends? Thin gesso's do not work in the Jerry Yarnell method and Grumbachers is not carried locally nor is it carried by my old faithful supplier, Dick Blick. Anybody tried the heavy gesso made by Liquitex? Or has anyone found Ultrex as workable and non-yellowing as Grumbacher? ---- The additives recommended to thicken regular gesso are not easily found, thus the questions.

12-09-2011, 10:00 PM
I just use the liquidex basics gesso and i do Yarnell style with it.Works for me,just have to use quite abit of it and spray your canvas with some water as well.Hugz,Jan

12-10-2011, 10:51 AM
I think it is Lascaux gesso (http://www.dickblick.com/products/lascaux-primer-and-gesso/) that is a wonderful gesso with good body and doesn't have a shiny look to it when dried. It is a bit more expensive but a wonderful product.

12-10-2011, 10:52 AM
I am not familiar with the Yarnell method (will be hitting up google after this) -- but I just decided to try out the Liquitex Basics Gesso and it is pretty substantially thick.

12-10-2011, 01:09 PM
I use Utrecht. It is very thick. I purchase it by the gallon and it works very well for the Jerry Yarnell method.

12-10-2011, 05:26 PM
I routinely use Golden gesso, which I would designate as a thick gesso with good coverage. However, it would run out of the jar were I to turn it upside down, unlike the Grumbacher that Jerry Yarnell uses.

Do any of those mentioned have that much body? Grumbacher is not like putty, it is very workable and can be thinned if needed and does not run out of the jar if turned upside down. I am looking for something similar that is more readily available..... even the "gesso dust" for thickening any gesso is difficult to find, even on the internet. Thus the quest for a ready made gesso that is thick but not so hard it cannot be picked up with a brush and worked into the acylic paint.... The other gessos are fine for priming the canvas, just not thick enough for mixing into the paint.

12-11-2011, 09:44 AM
The Liquitex Basics gesso will not run out of the jar if turned upside down. I have a big jug of it and and I have to squeeze the bottle in order to get it out. It's kind of like a heavy body paint but a bit thicker. I find it easy to tint with paint and rather workable as well.

12-11-2011, 06:25 PM
yes i m familar with the yarnell method - he loves gesso- sometime i gesso sometimes i don't i think at one time after the pbs showed they had a number where u could call and get the supplies

12-11-2011, 08:12 PM
You can order Grumbacher Gesso from Jerry's website:
Just click on the Online Store for all his supplies and CD's.

12-12-2011, 03:04 PM
Grumbacher is not like putty, it is very workable and can be thinned if needed and does not run out of the jar if turned upside down.
Didn't realise it was quite that thick, good to know. Not a great option but I'll mention it all the same, the Lefranc & Bourgeois 'gesso' is thick enough that it won't pour.

...even the "gesso dust" for thickening any gesso is difficult to find, even on the internet.


12-12-2011, 03:25 PM
Liquitex extra heavy body gesso is fabulous.

12-13-2011, 06:10 PM
Jerry Yarnell uses Grumbacher gesso rather than white paint in his paint mixtures.. Because he uses a great deal of scumbling and dry brush techniques, a heavy body gesso is essential. He even mentions in videos that students who try to use conventional liquid gesso for mixtures will not be successful in getting the effects of his dry brush techniques. He advocates regular liquid type gesso for priming the canvas but not for mixing into the acrylic paint for the reasons stated. A good example of his scumbling and dry brush technique using heavy gesso can be seen in his Sedona Canyons video series on the internet. His storm clouds over the cliffs are a good example of the need for a heavy gesso in the paint mixture.

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll give the Liquitex heavy body type a try as it is more readily available than the hard to find Grumbacher and priced about the same.

12-13-2011, 09:37 PM
You should be able to use any gesso as long as it has the qualities to make the added paint opaque. He says in that same video that you mentioned why he uses it over white paint. The scumbling he does is a dry brush technique and could be done with only paint.

12-13-2011, 11:14 PM
Sorry I wasn't plain enough in my description of the Yarnell method of scumbling and dry brush painting with acrylics. Of course one can scumble or dry brush with paint sans gesso. I quoted from one of his teaching videos in which he states that his students get in trouble with more liquid gessos when used as a white mixer. He actually demonstrates by turning his jar of gesso upside down so students will know what to look for. At the same time he says any artist grade gesso is fine for priming a canvas. It's simply his techinique, not the only way to use acrylics. My reference to the Senora Canyon video was used as an example of the control he has using his method. -- I'm plagued with an inquiring mind and love to try out methods other than my own - obviously I've not tried his method yet due to not being able to get a thick gesso locally. ..... I'd like to at least give his method a whirl to find out for myself how acrylic handles using the heavy gesso rather than white paint in mixes. An itch I need to scratch! LOL

Thaks for the replies! And Merry Christmas one and all.

12-14-2011, 03:53 AM
You can get the Grumbacher Hyplar gesso 525 in either 16 or 32 oz jars at Mister Art http://www.misterart.com/painting/acrylics/gesso/grumbacher-acrylic-gesso.html

It is very thick indeed!