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Priming with Gesso.

Started by warmcanofcoke, May 02, 2017, 01:09 pm

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I bought some Art panels, which are basically sheets of wood. The side of the package says prime with Gesso before painting for best results. So I turned to my old friend Google and found this link: https://www.art-is-fun.com/what-is-gesso/

Quotewhat is gesso?
If you are new to acrylics, you may be wondering - what is gesso and why do I need to know about it? Step right up - this page will tell you all about the glories of gesso and how to use it.
Liquitex Basics Gesso

Gesso is an important art supply to get your canvas ready for painting. You can buy gesso readymade from any art supply shop. Gesso is very similar to white acrylic paint, only thinner. It dries hard, making the surface more stiff. Gesso prepares (or "primes") the surface for painting, making the surface slightly textured and ready to accept acrylic paint. Without gesso, the paint would soak into the weave of the canvas.

The word gesso is a noun, but many artists also use it as a verb. For example: "You need to gesso your canvas before you paint."

The beauty of gesso is that you can apply it to nearly any surface, and then you can paint on that surface with acrylic paint. For example, you can apply a layer or two of gesso to vinyl records, rubber duckies, or cigar boxes, and voila - you can now paint on that object with acrylics! What fun. The possibilities are endless!

Is this a substance that could improve weather proofing? (obviously used in tandem with proper weatherproofing.) Are their good reasons to use this product in a build? Will this product better adhere to the type of paint I would use for a Police Box Build?

Advise Please.
why doesn't the Guide mention them? - Oh, it's not very accurate.
Oh? - I'm researching the new edition.


HOLY SMOKES! Who knew my bachelor's in art would ever come in handy!? 

Short answer:  No.  Not really. 

Qualifier:  Even though I have an art degree, I never monkeyed with gesso.  Or stretching and stapling canvases.  Just go down to the art supply store and buy your canvas pre-stretched and ready to paint. 

OK, now that's out of the way, on to the exposition.  The thing is, "Prepped and ready to paint" in an art context is completely different from in a construction context. If you're painting in acrylic or oil, you want the paint to do what YOU want it to do, not to soak into your canvas; you want precision.  A porous painting surface takes that away.  But gesso isn't particularly durable.  It isn't really necessary as an undercoat for structure-type painting.  You'd be better off with a good primer appropriate to your paint (latex or oil). 

I'm trying to remember if I ever painted a panel.  (The Mona Lisa is on a panel.)  I know I've done a painting or two on Masonite.  I feel like I've painted on a panel but that was a long time ago, in another life.  If I did, I certainly didn't gesso it.  At most, I would have given it a coat or two of linseed oil.  But then I worked with oil a lot more than acrylic.  [optional material below this point--just senile off topic rambling] In the day before computers, craft-hobby type artists and commercial artists worked with acrylic because it is easier to work with and it dries a lot faster.  With oil, a painting could take a week to get dry enough to move and store--and even longer to REALLY dry.  This let you do different, more subtle things (I would argue) than acrylic.  It was also harder to work with, in that it was real easy to get everything gray/brown as the paints could be mixed on the canvas.  But I'd say oil has a warmer "feel" to it; like a vinyl record, compared to a CD. 
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.


Thank you Volpone  ;)
why doesn't the Guide mention them? - Oh, it's not very accurate.
Oh? - I'm researching the new edition.