Priming a canvas

Acrylic gesso

  • a polymer emulsion paint.
  • dries quickly to form a strong hard ground that is resistant to moisture, thus eliminating the need for a preliminary application of sizing.
  • impervious to the acidic action of oxidizing oil paint.
  • apply 2-3 coats
  • depending on the brand, the gesso can be thinned down with water to a more manageable consistency.
  • too little gesso – surface will absorb the paint too much; if u turn the canvas over, you’ll see the paint bleed thru to the other side.
  • too much gesso – covers up the canvas texture and creates a slick, greasy surface that doesn’t accept paint properly.
  • 2-3 thin coats r better than 1 thick coat –> also more likely to crack.
  • use a 3-inch house-painting brush
  • 1st coat needs to be scrubbed in to make sure it completely covers the fibers of the canvas, and then brushed out.
  • brush the 1st coat in 1 direction and the 2nd in the other, so that it reinforces the tooth of the canvas.
  • make sure to allow sufficient drying time – overnight is always sufficient.

[Links]

  • http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2015/09/how-to-prime-a-canvas/
  • http://www.art-is-fun.com/what-is-gesso/

[Video tutorial]

 

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