Art & Design Magazine

Gesso Vs Oil Priming

By Ingrid Christensen

Gesso vs oil priming

Red Scarf
24 x 12

My favorite surface is stretched, oil primed linen, but, it's a tricky surface to ship.  Where I live, it's so dry that you could mummify a body just by wrapping it up and putting it outdoors.  There's absolutely no humidity in the air.  That's the environment in which I stretch my linen.  The galleries that show my work are, for the most part, in more humid climates (less humid isn't possible) which means that some of my work gets loose on the stretchers after hanging for a while.  I had to restretch a few the last time I was in Rendezvous Gallery in Vancouver.  The solution is, of course, to find a different support.  
Commercial canvases don't seem as affected by changes in climate, so I'm giving them a try.  The painting above was done on acrylic-primed canvas and I'm ambivalent about the result.  I like the painting, but I miss some of the marks that I can get only on oil priming.  Acrylic priming gives a softer, melting look to the marks; they don't sit up on the surface, and they don't break to allow complex color layering.  It worked for this subject, but I wouldn't want in for everything.  I remember reading a blog post by the excellent landscape painter, Marc Hanson, in which he said that he used acrylic primed supports to capture the softness of a misty day.  It's a good strategy since it doesn't attempt to fight the natural limitations of the material.  
You can tell I'm on the fence about this. 
I know I can put a layer of oil priming over the commercial canvas, and I may start to do that, but I do find the oil primers to be very stinky in the studio, and they take a week to dry for use (I'm thinking of the Gamblin Oil Ground). 
Before I go down that road, I'm going to experiment with adding layers of acrylic gesso to the commercial canvases, and with gessoing rigid supports.  I've got some aluminum-surfaced Alupanels in the studio that I've been using to glue linen on to.  That works fine for pieces small enough to fit into my 24" heat press, but isn't practical for larger panels.  So I'm going to gesso one and see if the working properties of the gesso are different on a rigid support.  I'll also add texture in the form of crossed brush marks as I apply the gesso, in the hopes that it will simulate a weave and give the paint something to break across.  
Painting isn't so much about the image for me as it is about the paint quality and the edges.  I'm looking for something that allows me to make both of those things interesting and varied.  I'll let you know when I find it.  
Happy painting!

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • GoGoHares!

    GoGoHares!

    Following the flight of camp dragons, the parade of vivid jumbos and the troupe of panto gorillas in our midst comes an assortment of big-eared, bright-eyed... Read more

    11 hours, 46 minutes ago by   Jackscott
    DIARIES, EXPAT, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Brew the Perfect Iced Tea by TE-A-ME

    Brew Perfect Iced TE-A-ME

    Be it any season, staying hydrated is important and what better way to do so than by enjoying a nice cold glass of tea. Yes, make your water interesting by... Read more

    11 hours, 57 minutes ago by   Dr.jenifer Sayyed
    LIFESTYLE
  • I'm Back and the New Camera Is Here!

    Back Camera Here!

    It was waiting for me when I arrived home from Wildacres but I resisted even opening the package till I'd unpacked, done my laundry, watered some plants,... Read more

    14 hours, 46 minutes ago by   Vickilane
    CREATIVITY, PHOTOGRAPHY
  • To Kill a King, To Kill a Black Panther.

    Kill King, Black Panther.

    Can anyone really begin to recall a year, or summer without a comic book based film? I'm beginning to forget, and in the foreseeable future it doesn't seem... Read more

    21 hours, 5 minutes ago by   Jamesswezey
    ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • Content, Conversations and Conversations as Content

    One of the most important things you can do as an individual in this scene is focus on creating a broad variety of content. This is not just on a band level... Read more

    21 hours, 13 minutes ago by   Indiemusicpromo
    ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC
  • Five of the BEST Places in Edinburgh for an Ice Cream

    Five BEST Places Edinburgh Cream

    64 total views, 36 views today 5 of the Best Places in Edinburgh for Ice Cream Whatever the weather, Ice cream is always a top choice for a snack, dessert or... Read more

    21 hours, 46 minutes ago by   Emma
    DESTINATIONS, DINING OUT, FOOD & DRINK
  • Men Reportedly Caught Sharing Money To Voters In Ekiti, Bundled Away By...

    Some alleged party agents have been dealt with after they were reportedly caught sharing money at polling units in Ekiti state. Read more

    The 14 July 2018 by   Naijapary
    SOCIETY, A-CLASSER