Short Gesso Lesson - Why and How...

Welcome Back to Another BobBlast!

Bob paints on gessoed paper, canvas, board - all surfaces! Why?

First of all, gesso is a paint primer. Simply put, gesso acts as a barrier and a great base for your paint to adhere to any surface. 

Your store-bought canvases already have a thin coat of gesso sprayed on it. This is very convenient but is generally not enough of a coat of gesso for me. Personally, I prefer a thicker, more textural coat of gesso... whether it is on canvas, wooden panel or paper.

I believe this goes all the way back to my art school days, where we were encouraged - out of necessity, really - to establish an all inclusive routine when it came to working on canvas. Pre-stretched canvases were decidedly a luxury! As art students, we were trained to stretch the canvas, mount it on the stretcher bars and prime it with gesso... a good routine to get into before painting!

Today, it's all about paint bonding with my substrate (the canvas, wooden panel or paper) and getting my DNA all over it. Weird, I know... but it is my routine!

And that's why I also gesso my beautiful Kilimanjaro or Fabriano Watercolor Paper... because I expect the paint to react the same, whether it is on canvas, wooden panel or paper. Gesso makes the substrate/surface the same... levels the playing field, so to speak. A coat or two of gesso will produce the same expected results on all surfaces.

Apply the gesso either with a wide brush or spread with a cardboard scraper trowel. Then throw away the cardboard scraper. 

Being a professional, it is important for me to use professional materials - good paint, archival based materials, including the canvas, wooden panel and paper. I do not paint on "student grade" surfaces, cardboard or industrial waste.

Spread the Gesso... Then the Love!

To view more of my favorite art materials, go to my website and click on my "Studio Resource List" - you can download it as a PDF.

Thanks again for watching and telling your friends! All my BobBlasts are archived on my website and my YouTube Channel. We post new studio tips weekly that offer real content, substance and useful techniques that work for me. And they're free!  We appreciate your interest, questions, comments and support!

Here's a quick reminder about some upcoming workshops and dates. 
If interested, sign up now!

Featured Workshops :

Abstract Acrylic Painting & Collage
January 8-11, 2018
San Diego Watercolor Society
Demo: Member Meeting, Tuesday 1/9
Contact Susanne Slater,

Abstract Acrylic Painting & Collage in Mexico
January 20-27, 2018
Casa de Los Artistas
Boca de Tomatlan, 10 miles South of Puerto Vallarta
Contact Robert Masla, (413) 625-8383

Abstract Acrylic Painting & Collage
February 4-8, 2018
Donna Downey Studios
Huntersville, NC 28078
Contact Bill Downey, (704) 948-4627 or

Abstract Acrylic Painting & Collage
February 18-21, 2018  
The Studios at Key West
Key West, Florida
Contact Erin Stover-Sickmen, Artistic Director or call (305) 296-0458

Abstract Acrylic Painting & Collage
March 9-11, 2018
Art Box Studio
1302 Monte Vista, Unit 9, Upland, CA
Contact Sylvia Megerdichian (909) 981-4508 or 

Robert Burridge 5-Day Instructional Studio Workshop
March 26-30, 2018
Bob's Arroyo Grande, CA Studio  (Wednesday-Sunday)
Contact for fees and details.
Click HERE for more info. 

View Bob's 2018 Workshop Schedule, click here. 
...Check out his 2018 Studio Workshops!  click here.

Hope you have enjoyed these short, weekly blasts! Sign up on my website and keep watching. There are lots of them! 

Click  HERE  to view  BobBlast Issue 183
"Short Gesso Lesson - Why and How..."

Gesso Lesson

Love, Peace & Happiness,
Robert Burridge

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