"Gesso"?! [Archive] - Artist Forum

: "Gesso"?!

05-18-2015, 03:58 PM
Hello, once I read about "Gesso" to paint the background in an acrylic painting and I was wondering what Gesso is. Can any answer me? And do you know if Gesso can be used also with oil painting?

05-18-2015, 05:43 PM
I paint oil paintings over Gesso all the time. Gesso is acrylic paint that seals the surface of what you are painting on. Make sure it dries before you apply any oil paint. It dries very quickly. It makes the paint flow more smoothly when applied. It's also good for toning the canvas, just add a little acrylic color to the white Gesso and you can get the nicest base color under your painting.

I'm still very new at painting and I'm sure someone here knows more about Gesso.

05-19-2015, 09:03 PM
Terry explained it well. Gesso is a primer, when you hear of priming a painting surface for artwork, they're talking about applying gesso. Here's something I didn't know, canvas doesn't need to be primed for acrylic paintings but it does for oils.

Many canvases already have gesso applied to them when you buy them. The label will usually tell you if it's been primed and with how many layers.

05-19-2015, 11:46 PM
Something else Gesso so is used for, I learned just a couple of days ago. A friend of mine paints Mandalas on old records she finds at flea markets. Because of the grooves, she uses Gesso to prime them for a smooth painting surface. :cool:

05-20-2015, 07:53 AM
Oh yes, I'm using it on pine and it makes it nice and smooth...takes about three coats.

05-20-2015, 09:53 AM
Thank you :) but I would have other questions: is Gesso alike any other white acrylic? And do I have to lay it after or before drawing with the pencil? I read that it has to be laid after the drawing, but actually I find it very strange, because I think if you lay the Gesso after the drawing, the graphite marks will be deleted!

05-20-2015, 10:58 AM
The Gesso is opaque you will not see the drawing if you draw it first. I've always drawn after the Gesso is dry.

05-22-2015, 04:59 PM
Gesso contains chalk and some other additives that seals the surface and adds texture so the paint will adhere better. I read that some artists paint with gesso instead of white acrylic paint.