©2004 - 2006 by Aisling D'Art Gesso is a useful option for art journaling. It's also used for painting and mixed media art. I use gesso often. However, many (perhaps most) artists never use gesso in their journals. Here's what gesso is and tips for how you can use it. Gesso can go under paint or heavy collage or embellishments, to make your journal pages stronger. Gesso is a primer. Originally, gesso only came in white. Gesso makes the surface a little stiffer. Today, gesso comes in many colors. It's useful for mixed media work as well as fine art paintings. Gesso is different from paint. Originally, gesso was a mixture of calcium--like chalk--in a thin base of animal glue. When you see religious paintings and icons on wood, they were probably painted over gesso. But, gesso changed in the 20th century. In recent years, some artists have begun to question whether or not acrylic gesso is the right product to use under oil paint. When I journal, I use white gesso as well as black gesso.
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