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Gesso is wonderful stuff - but let me tell you say it first! It's a soft 'G'...so say it like this - jessoh.
This handy bottle holds enough gesso for many-a-journal's worth of page prep!
Liquitex gesso, is "The" standard for gesso - which is a fast drying acrylic based primer.
It's the best Gesso for Journals - bar NONE!!!!
Gesso and Journals:
I use gesso to prepare my Art Journal pages to give them strength and a textured surface. Generally, I apply one coat of gesso, wait for it to dry, and then decide if I need to add another coat. If I want it smooth I give it a light sanding, but I love the texture it gives the page, so I usually leave it. I also use it to transfer images and as an eraser to cover up words, add layers and generally make a lovely arty mess! Cheap gesso has more water in it and will take longer to dry. Some brands have alot of 'grit' and are too rough in my opinion, others dry very shiny and are hard to use with journaling. The Liquitex Gesso is smooth, lovely to write on and draw on top of.
Gesso is different from paint. Generally, it's thinner and creates a slightly rough surface and holds the paintbrush strokes.
Originally, gesso was a mixture of calcium--like chalk--in a thin base of rabbit glue. The gesso kept the paint from sinking into the wood too much, and it made the paint stick better if the wood surface was really smooth.
But, gesso changed in the 20th century. In 1955, Liquitex developed the first water-based acrylic gesso. It provided a consistent and inexpensive primer layer for both acrylic and oil paintings.
On what types of surfaces can I apply gesso?
This is the info from The Martha Stewart people about this gesso:
Gesso works well to seal, size, and prime stretched canvas and canvas floor cloths. It also works well to seal dark stained, heavily grained, or dark knotted wood.
How shall I prepare the surface?
Wood – Sand smooth with fine grit sandpaper, wipe away sawdust.
Canvas – Wipe unprimed canvas clean with water moistened paper towel.
Should I shake the bottle to mix?
Yes. Shake gesso well before using.
Can I tint gesso before using?
Yes. Use any Acrylic Craft Paints to tint. Squeeze gesso onto palette. Also squeeze a little paint separately onto palette. Using a palette knife, gradually mix medium and paint together until desired color is achieved.
What type of tools should I use to apply gesso?
Use a bristle brush.
What is the best way to apply gesso?
Brush onto surface using smooth, even strokes. Let dry.
Can gesso be used on outdoor surfaces?
Yes. Gesso is safe for any outdoor surface which will then be painted afterward, except concrete.
How should I clean my tools?
Clean tools while still wet. Wash with soap and water or with Martha Stewart Crafts Brush & Stencil Cleaner: apply cleaner; work into lather, rinse in cool water and let dry.
Matte Medium ( more info here)
Matte Medium and Journals:
I use Matte Medium as a glue, transfer medium, glaze, paint extender and surface prep for my journals. It adds protection to my pages and I can isolate colour layers. If you have shiny acrylics that are difficult to write on top of, try adding in some Matte Medium. If you want to write on top of chalk pastels, crayons, oil pastels or other media, try a thin layer of matte medium over the top!
I use, recommend and sell Liquitex because it dries absolutely clear, perfectly matte and is non-sticky. Also the squeeze bottle is very handy to use!
About Matte Medium