The importance of applying a number of coats of gesso is, I think, not always appreciated. But it is the foundation upon which we work, and there are good reasons for spending a bit of time to get a number of coats of gesso down before we’re starting to paint.
- It is not the canvas or the board we paint on, but it is the gesso.
- Gesso enables us to smooth over small irregularities in the canvas.
It can be a bit annoying, wanting to paint a minute detail or a thin line, only to find that the tip of the brush is being diverted by the structure of an unprepared canvas.
I apply at least four coats of gesso. And then I apply another three to four coats!
Gesso, incidentally, is a specially prepared gypsum, or plaster of Paris. Should you have a question about gesso, just fill in the form below and I’ll get back to you.