Welcome to Lesson 9 ¾. Make sure that you have your ticket ready as we begin the magical journey of how to prepare your panels. (Sorry I could not resist) You can use either Masonite or Birch cradled panels for this lesson.
The first thing to use is a product that Golden makes called GAC 100 or 200. GAC 100 is a universal sealant that is flexible which means it can be used on canvas as well. If using a rigid board, then GAC 200 would be perfectly admissible. The difference between the two GACs is flexibility (100) and rigidness (200). According to Golden GAC 200 will crack if used on a flexible surface. This is a good thing to know.
Why use GAC? GAC protects against Support Induced Discolouration happening as the painting ages. Common painting supports such as canvas, linen, masonite, MDF and birch boards contain water extractable materials that can cause discolouration.
Seal the front, back and edges of the board with two coats of GAC before we move on to finalizing with Gesso.
There are boards that can be purchased that are already primed on the front. These boards will still need to be sealed on the sides and back. Moisture penetrating into the back of boards can cause damage as time goes forward.
Now let’s create a sampler of different Gessoes by Liquitex and Golden. I am certain that other companies create Gesso but these are the two brands that are readily available in my studio.
Using a 15x15cm (6x6in) board draw a grid to make 9 squares on it. Each of these squares will be a different Gesso. It is surprising how many kinds of Gesso are on the market.
I used the following brands and types of Gesso:
1.Liquitex Gesso (Regular and Flexible)
2.Golden Gesso (Regular and Flexible)
3.Liquitex Super Heavy Gesso (Holds it shape is Flexible)
4.Golden Sandable Hard Gesso (Inflexible)
5.Liquitex Clear Gesso (Dries translucent and is Flexible)
6.Golden Clear Gesso (Dries translucent and is Flexible)
7.Golden Black Gesso (Flexible – can be thinned ulp to 25% with water)
8.Gesso Sandable Hard Gesso mixed with Raw Umber Paint
9.Clear Gesso mixed with transparent Quinacridone Magenta
Why would Clear Gesso be used? If you have drawn on your painting surface and want to keep the paint from picking up graphite or charcoal, Clear Gesso will secure the drawing in place.
If you are a texture person, then using the Liquitex Super Heavy Gesso might be the perfect way to add subtle textures to the painting. There are several other products that allow one to really create big textures for painting on top of.
When the sampler is done, feel each one of the different Gessoes. This will help you to understand which one that will become your favourite go-to Gesso.
There are a few ways to put Gesso on a board. I choose to use a roller but, you are certainly able to use a brush. If using a brush, choose a larger one that can be obtained from the hardware store which will certainly make doing larger boards easier.
Above are the tools I use for painting Gesso on the boards.
Handle of Paint brush, Foam Rollers, Sanding block & Tack cloth to clean up the dust from sanding.
Starting with the edges, roll the gesso all around 4 sides, then elevate the board on wooden blocks and do the front (back) side. After 16 hours, lightly sand, use tack cloth to remove excess dust, add a new later of gesso and let dry again for 16 hours. I repeat that three times, then on to the other side of the board. Let the boards dry for a few days before working with them. I do a lot a the same time to maximize efficiencies.
Yellowknife watercolour and acrylic artist Shawna Lampi-Legaree’s latest venture can best be summarized as capturing moments of beauty from the world around her.
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