Sunday, September 2, 2007

Traditional Gesso






I enjoy painting on traditional gesso. It is rabbit skin glue (I know- Yuk!) and marble dust warmed together and layered onto wood to create a panel to paint on. When I go to the trouble to get this done, I make sure I do enough for a long time. The crock pot my sister gave for Christmas was perfect for the warming and rewarming process. I sand the wood, paint on the gesso, let it dry, sand it again - 5 coats is typical. Labor of love. The smooth and absorbent surface cannot be had any other way. Rabbit skin glue is also a terrific way to adhere canvas to a panel of wood. Then gesso tops the canvas to seal it against the oils in the paint. Made a dozen of those too. Now, for the paintings!

4 comments:

Rico said...

I agree completely. I use oil priming white once I've sized with rabbit skin glue. Same process, apply, dry, sand. With typical canvases of 60" x 56", it takes weeks to prep a single canvas, but I love it.
Have you worked with dry pigments as well?

Ebb Tide said...

Haven't done something like this. Looks like lots of work but fun like frosting a white cake.

monica said...

Thanks a lot for sharing! I am about to start painting again, your website is so inspiring, just like your classes. Enjoy your studio.

Michel McNinch said...

Haven't tried the dry pigments, but they look like more fun that bunny glue.