1/4/09

GESSO AND WATERCOLOR

Before YUPO 'paper' was available, painting on gesso-ed watercolor paper seemed like the best thing going, at least in my opinion. Even after the paint dried, it was very easy to lift it off, almost back to white, and the colors also appeared more intense after they'd dried on the gesso-ed surface.

The birches in this ten year old painting were lifted out with a thirsty brush, as were the highlights in the stream and some of the highlights on the stone bridge. Now days, gesso is often used to resurface a painting-gone-bad. Some artists paint several layers of gesso over the old painting, sanding the surface lightly between coats of gesso. Some like the brush strokes showing in the gesso, and some artists like to create textures purposely on the wet gesso, even stamping or embossing items into the damp gesso. It's great that anything goes. Give it a try.

"HOMEWARD BOUND" Transparent Watercolor on Gesso-ed 140#CP Arches 20 x 14" COLLECTED

12 comments:

Vicki Greene said...

I enjoy seeing your gesso-ed work and really would like to give it a try.

Ces said...

I am learning so much just reading your blog. Academically I mean, information-wise, terminologies. I see you use terms that mean different to a layman like me, "lifting" for example. As always, beautiful!

shicat said...

Sandy do you need to use 300lb paper when using gesso or is 140lb adequate?

Sandy Maudlin said...

140# is fine because the weight of the gesso makes the paper even heavier. In fact, I've not ever used 300# for gessoing.

Watercolors by Susan Roper said...

There is that bridge again! Using that for my classes was such a hit I may do it again, it was a great painting for learning values. I have a "few" disaster paintings that I have saved for using the gesso on and as soon as I finish my current Indian painting I am going to do it. I'm not sure what I will do with it, but it sure looks like fun. Anything that behaves like Yupo is something I want to try. Thanks for sharing some of your earlier works with us and for your continued guidance on this blog.

Dawn said...

very nice Sandy, I have experiemented with it I think along time ago, I should try again.
hope your holidays were wonderful!

Chris said...

Lovely painting and a great new technique to try.

Sandy said...

Love it!! Enjoyed catching up here.

Sandy Maudlin said...

Hope you all try this and enjoy the possibilities. Thank you so much for the comments, too.

Annette said...

Hi Sandy!
Newbie here. Don't like water paper so much. Is it possible to use gesso on paper as my foundation? And use my watercolors on it? I am reading thru your blog to find out more. I have to know! LOL!!!

Anna said...

I have been looking at using a book as an art journal and saw that some are using gesso as a foundation. I had no idea I could also use waterwolor!!!! How exciting for me since that is my medium of choice. I think I could take my altered book art journal to a whole new level. One question, If it was something that might be handled like a book would I might want to spray or paint a sealant of some sort over top? I am also excited to think that the paintings gone bad could be salvaged. (helping me to not stress over ruining a piece of paper- the fears of failure locking up my creativity) I cant wait for little one to nap to search your posts. thank you for the inspiration!

Sandy Maudlin said...

Anna, thanks for stopping by my blog. Watercolor on gessoed paper must be sealed with Krylon satin finish clear or with Blair fixative, applying several coats of sparay, allowiong each to dry before respraying. Both Blair and Krylon are the same thing, but Krylon's cheaper. Several coats of gesso should be applied to a ruined watercolor to make the surface usuable, unless you want the soft undercolors to show through. Enjoy!