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Old 02-05-2012, 06:27 AM
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kadon kadon is offline
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Gesso panels

I have some smallish gesso panels 'created using traditional materials'.
I assume there is no need to prime them since they are already gesso'd.
I find two problems.

1. Whilst they are delightfully smooth to work on the paint dries almost instantly and leaves no room for blending or even dry-brushing.
2. I vary the direction of my brush strokes on canvas without having the problem that occurs on the gesso'd board. There is a shine that leaves a shocking effect as the paint dries. It is as if you have to keep painting the strokes in the same direction. You cannot change direction such as if you want to follow the shape of the object (face) because the shine goes a different way and ruins the whole thing. I'm not much good at describing this, but I hope an experienced artist will recognise the problem.

I think people use these panels for fine artwork so how do they overcome these problems?
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:15 AM
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ReneHH ReneHH is offline
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Re: Gesso panels

hi cadon,

don't know, if I can help here....
read about gessos the other day.


1. after gessoing you can use a primer coat...maybe something like this?
http://stores.alexanderartsupplies.c...Categories.bok
I read one can mix a coat by mixing e.g. 5 parts titanium white and 1 part linseed oil... the first coats of oilcolour should (using a primer coat) not be thinned using diluter (terpentine etc.) as it doesn't work well with
2. first vertical strokes, then horizontal strokes, very thinnly are important (or the other way round). otherwise I don't know why the problem occured...

hope some profs read this and can give better advise...
all the best
regards rene
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:24 AM
DaveGhmn DaveGhmn is offline
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Re: Gesso panels

edit: written while Rene was posting, so I didn't see that one... apologies for duplication of info...

Short answer to 1 - the gesso and board are too absorbent. Degas would have loved them, as he did all sort of things with oils to make them velvet-matte like his favorite medium, pastels.

You can fix this with a coat or two of your favorite gesso, or even a THIN coat of shellac.

As for 2 -- what is the 'shocking' effect? It sound as though you're describing the shine of light on the brush-created ridges of paint. They are the most noticeable (in normal downlight) on horizontal strokes, least noticeable on vertical.

If you want smooth application, try a soft-ish brush -- sable or badger/mongoose.

'Painterly' painters often welcome the effect you're getting, as it helps capture the gesture of the brush.

If you want to be painterly but want to avoid the effect, use oblique or vertical strokes. However, you're not alone in disliking the effect. In his DVDs, Richard Schmid actually goes back over passages originally laid down with horizontal strokes, swiping them obliquely or vertically. Most of the time while doing this, he talks about knocking down the (his word) 'annoying' reflection.
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Last edited by DaveGhmn : 02-05-2012 at 07:29 AM.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:35 AM
llawrence llawrence is offline
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Re: Gesso panels

Quote:
Originally Posted by kadon
1. Whilst they are delightfully smooth to work on the paint dries almost instantly and leaves no room for blending or even dry-brushing.
If it's that absorbent, it might be made with clay of some sort. Lay down an imprimatura of oil, paint or gently rub it into the gesso, and leave it for a night, then paint over that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kadon
2. I vary the direction of my brush strokes on canvas without having the problem that occurs on the gesso'd board. There is a shine that leaves a shocking effect as the paint dries...
I don't know, I haven't experienced this problem (except that all oil paint seems to do it to some extent). It's called "velveting," I think - maybe the problem is exacerbated due to the rapidly drying paint?
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:06 PM
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Re: Gesso panels

If its traditional chalk gesso it will absorb oil VERY quickly. I believe gottsegen recommended a 50/50 mixture of shellac / denatured alcohol. Btw denatured alcohol is in the hardware store, NOT rubbing alcohol.Denatured alcohol is the solvent for shellac. Turpentine won't damage the seal it creates. It'll be with solvents. And it STINKS! I've had good success with 2 coats
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Old 02-05-2012, 06:27 PM
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Re: Gesso panels

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGhmn
As for 2 -- what is the 'shocking' effect? It sound as though you're describing the shine of light on the brush-created ridges of paint. They are the most noticeable (in normal downlight) on horizontal strokes, least noticeable on vertical.

If you want smooth application, try a soft-ish brush -- sable or badger/mongoose.

'Painterly' painters often welcome the effect you're getting, as it helps capture the gesture of the brush.


Dave: I really like the effect you speak of as I consider myself as 'painterly' and the effect is great on canvas. This is totally different however. The shine interferes with the harmony of tones...basically destroys them. Perhaps the 'velveting' suggestion explains it, but it has really put me off painting on gesso boards which is disappointing because I have been told they are great for fine art. Being a mere apprentice I'm always hungry for more knowledge about these things.
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Old 02-05-2012, 06:32 PM
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Re: Gesso panels

I sincerely thank you for these suggestions. I will experiment with them and see how things go. The contrasting shines do not happen when painting on canvas. I like the various brush strokes to show up.
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Old 02-05-2012, 06:58 PM
DaveGhmn DaveGhmn is offline
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Re: Gesso panels

Quote:
Originally Posted by kadon
Dave: I really like the effect you speak of as I consider myself as 'painterly' and the effect is great on canvas. This is totally different however. The shine interferes with the harmony of tones...basically destroys them.

I wonder if in fact you're dealing with "bronzing," a nasty effect that usually afflicts fine color printers. Bronzing is the result of light bouncing off exposed particles of pigment, rather like the ugly sheen you get from very cheap bronze- or gold-colored paint. In 4-color printing, dark blue often bronzes, and it's very noticeable in weathered cheap paint. It's also an effect seen in inkjet printing on glossy paper.

If it is bronzing, that would fit in with a super-absorbent panel -- in effect, the oil is being wicked away from pigment particles, leaving the pigment coating the surface, but without enough carrier to enable that deep translucence that's meant to be part of oils.

If you can make the effect disappear with a swipe of linseed oil, that would clinch it.

Solution as above, many posts -- put more layers of gesso or primer down to reduce the absorbency of the panel. Some canvas panels are backed with porous cardboard, and inadequate or faulty gessoing would allow carrier oil to wick quickly into the panel.
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:06 PM
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Re: Gesso panels

I think you have hit the nail on the head Dave. You have described what I mean very well. So it would be 'bronzing'. I tried swiping it with linseed oil but it left a vacant patch where the swipe started...virtually removing the paint from the spot where the swipe started.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:21 PM
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Re: Gesso panels

This may too elementary, not what you are dealing with at all. I had a very large gessoed wood substrate that grabbed the paint and sucked up the oils, making it almost impossible to move the paint. I would have been turned off to using that type of substrate again but I was advised to use the "oiling out" procedure; I wiped all excess oil off with a soft rag, and presto, no more problem. I now routinely use that method when dealing with absorbant gesso treated substrates. An easy solution that requires notbing you don't have on hand.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:20 PM
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Re: Gesso panels

Thank you Aires...so this simply means giving it a coat of linseed oil then wiping off the excess like artists do when an oil painting is completed. Very grateful for this advice.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:45 PM
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Re: Gesso panels

Not all Gessos are created equally. Some are listed as absorbent (can actually be used for watercolors). Some Gesso if thinned with too much water can become absorbent. Some are very glossy and non-absorbent. I use Dick Blick, studio Gesso and thin it with about 10% water. I find it just absorbent enough to hold my paint without leaching out the pigments or fillers. I find that a very thin (Just damp) coat of Copal Medium before I start my work, makes the paints work better for me.

I also find that after the paint dries enough (Just tacky or dry), laying the artwork flat, and applying a thin spray coat of retouch varnish restores the paint's shine, color and contrast. Just don't apply it when the paint is wet or the paint can run.

Don
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Last edited by ddattler : 02-07-2012 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:57 PM
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Re: Gesso panels

Thank you Don for your advice. I do not have access to the various applications you mention. I live in Australia in a fairly remote area where I purchase most of my stuff online...and often from USA whence postage is horrendous (out of my league). It would be good if WetCanvas had a website or two with access to equivalent types of materials from Aussieland.
Some entrepreneur who could make the comparisons or even if Blick could establish an online store so that postage was reasonable for us. Just a suggestion.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:07 PM
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Keith Russell Keith Russell is offline
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Re: Gesso panels

I made several panels about a year ago, and primed them with Gamblin's Traditional Gesso--a combination of gypsum, marble dust, and titanium dioxide.

The resulting surface was absorbent to the extent that the first layers of oil paints dried within minutes--not at all what I wanted!

I wasn't sure putting a layer of oil over the Traditional Gesso ground, and then painting into a layer of oil, was a good idea.

So, my next panels will be primed with "regular" acrylic gesso...
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:49 AM
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Re: Gesso panels

Thank you Keith....learning a lot about gesso boards! And someone who actually manufactured them. So there seems to be a choice between oiling them or simply gessoing them. Will see how I go.
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