Sunday, 14 September 2008

What is Gesso and Why Should I Care?

Here is something for your toolbox.

Gesso is your art journaling friend. Why? Because it's all about freedom!

Freedom to make mistakes (hey, who decides if it is a mistake? only you!).  Freedom to change your mind, freedom to hide stuff,  freedom to veil stuff, freedom to change bits on the page.

Gesso covers up stuff. It seems kind of like paint, but is thinner and more matt. It is a good primer to paint over the top of. You can use it on a lot of different surfaces so they will take paint better.

You don't have to gesso your journal pages. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. Just depends on what I feel like. 

Gesso can make pages a bit stronger if you want to collage bits. 

Click here if you want Wikipedia detail and historical info.

In the picture are two kinds of white gesso and black gesso. The container on the left is good gesso, rather expensive gesso ( A$16 - that's in aussie dollars) I use for preparing my wood before painting. I like it. The middle one is cheap gesso.  I bought it because I read that cheap gesso can actually work better in a journal. IMHO it is crap. Crap gesso. 
It stinks. It takes two coats to cover what my good gesso covers in one. It doesn't have the matt feeling of the good gesso. True, it is half the price of the first gesso - but what good does that do me when I have to use two coats instead of one? 
I am sorry I bought you, crap gesso.

The black gesso was not expensive (I think it was A$8.00) and I like it. Maybe I will try cheap white gesso again if it is Mont Marte. But I doubt it.
Black gesso is fun. It is like painting on a chalk board. Gives you a very different look. Here is a post where I used some black gesso. I am going to experiment with it more.


Walk in the Woods said...

I've not yet used black gesso and I may have to pick up some the next time I see some! I think I could have some fun with a deep, dark ground like that!


DeeDee said...

I have two pages that I painted with black gesso and then put purple over the top. They are really deep purple-black. I haven't taken them further yet, but I think I will black gesso two more pages for more experimentation.

I thought it would be cool to write something negative and then paint over it with the black gesso. Like thoughts that I don't want to have anymore.

Or perhaps I should do it with thoughts that I want to go really deep inside me?

carlikup said...

Thanks DeeDee.
It's a good thing to walk us through everything ~ I am a novice and really really appreciate it!

Carla :0)

nollyposh said...

Hi DeeDee X:-)
i'm baaaack!
just popped in to say Thankyou hunny for all your prayers
i felt them in my heart
i printed out your words (from your email)
and took them to hospital with me
and when i was scared i felt you there with me
with all the beautiful otherworld friends too
i was safe
~love you~

Walk in the Woods said...

Neat ideas deedee . . . good for got thought!

Sydney said...

Love this post. I had forgotten all about Gesso, I used to paint when I was in High School, though I gravitated mostly to watercolors. I know the word Gesso but couldn't REALLY tell you what it was for. I was thinking shellack over collages or the stuff that is the topcoat on paper mache. I will keep checking back for more! I liked that you said you were going to do the blog you'd like to read!