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March 01, 2016

Tuesday Challenge #8: The Joys of Gesso

The Joys of Gesso

Hey crafter's! Shirley Pando here for another installation of our Tuesday Challenge. This week our challenge is to use gesso in, on, or under a project.

Not sure just how to use gesso? No worries, I'm here to help. Read on...and check out the video!


Gesso is an acrylic ground. It is the stuff you use to prime a surface before you paint on it. By priming with gesso you can paint on porous and non-porous surfaces you might not be able to otherwise. On porous surfaces, without gesso, color mediums will sometimes soak through the surface - like canvas, fabric, or paper. For non-porous surfaces, like metal or a magazine page, paint just won't stick without a good coat of gesso. Think of gesso like latex primer for the walls of your house. If you don't prime your walls, you will need to use lots of paint to get good coverage as the walls will just soak in the paint. Add primer, and you can probably get away with only one coat of paint.

But where latex primer has only one use, gesso is so much more than a one trick pony. One thing it can do besides prime a surface is tone down dark, busy, or "loud" backgrounds. With just a thin coat, gesso can bring everything down a notch...or two.

This week I'm sharing a look at one of my art journal pages...start to finish. I've created this page for the January 2016 prompt from the Facebook group, "Mission: Inspiration", hosted by Mike Deakin. I recently joined the group (since I'm kicking perfection to the curb, remember?) and I am having loads of fun. It is a very active and encouraging group and they accept new members, should you be inclined to come play along with us. (hint, hint!)

Gesso can be used for a multitude of things besides priming surfaces. It's true. If you want to learn more about gesso and how it would be beneficial in your art, check out my upcoming workshop, "Understanding Gesso: The Multitasking Medium". Class starts Tuesday, March 8th and I'd love to "see" you there.

And don't forget...March is National Craft Month! Purchase any workshop during the month of March and attend "Embossing Essentials" workshop for FREE! Click here for all the details!

Will you accept the challenge? Wil you use gesso in your crafting this week? Please be sure to share your adventures with us. We love hearing how you translate the weekly challenges.

Until next time...Happy Crafting!

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