Why use Gesso?
Gesso acts as a primer and barrier, providing a tooth to trap pigment and also reducing absorption into your chosen work surface. Gesso can be applied thickly to create a textured surface, or thinned down and applied in multiple coats.
Use it to prime paper, cardboard, canvas, wood and more. Some canvases can be purchased pre-gessoed.
You can buy white (and sometimes also black) pre-made gesso from your local art store - or save yourself some money and make your own by following the simple recipe below.
Approximately 1 cup of each, or equal parts -
- Pigment - Acrylic Paint
- Binder - White Glue (PVA)
- Tooth - Talcum Powder or Calcium Carbonate (Whiting)
- Warm Water
- Pour the warm water in a suitable bowl.
- Add in the same quantity of talcum powder, mix thoroughly.
- Add in the same quantity of white glue, mix thoroughly.
- Finally, add in the same quantity of paint (usually white, but whatever colour you like) and mix together well.
- Transfer to an air tight container or jar, stir again before use.
- Can be made thicker or thinner depending on your preferences, add more pigment for more coverage.
- Can be applied in coats and sanded smooth, or leave thick and textured for added interest.
You can purchase Calcium Carbonate, or alternatively Casting Plaster, from Jackson's Drawing Supplies
Horror buff, animal lover, skull collector & long time Tomb Raider gamer.
Geraldton, Western Australia.