Do I really need gesso in my painting?
Gesso is the most important part of painting any surface. The reason why is that it gives your work depth, texture, dimension and color. It also provides a canvas for you as an artist to create your masterpiece.
If you are new to painting or just starting out, then this article will help you understand what gesso is, the benefits of using it and how to apply gesso onto your paint by numbers canvas.
What is Gesso?
Gesso is a medium that can be used to create an even surface for painting. It also has many other uses, such as adding texture and dimension to surfaces. Gesso is available in various grades from very thin to thick and it’s usually applied with a brush or palette knife. In this article we will look at some of the benefits of using gesso on your paintings.
Why Use Gesso On Your Paintings?
The most obvious benefit of using gesso is that you get a smooth canvas ready to start painting. If you are new to painting, then you may want to use gesso to get started. You don’t have to wait until you feel confident enough to paint without any preparation. Once you do decide to go ahead and paint without gesso, you will find that there are still more benefits to using gesso.
A smooth canvas surface makes it easier to apply layers of paint. This means that you will not have to worry about applying too much or too little paint. By having a smoother surface to work with, you will make sure that all of your colors blend well together.
Gesso helps to prevent unwanted bleeding and blobs of paint. If you are working on a rough surface like sandpaper, then you will probably see lots of small blobs of paint. These blobs can easily be removed if you use gesso.
Gesso prevents dust particles from sticking to your canvas. Dust particles can interfere with the way your paint mixes together. Having a clean canvas surface will also allow you to mix your paints more efficiently.
Gesso gives you a flat canvas surface that allows you to achieve a nice level of detail. The key thing here is that if you are going for a realistic looking piece, then you will need to pay attention to how light reflects off of different objects in your scene. A flat surface will give you a better chance of achieving a believable reflection.
If you are interested in learning more about gesso and its benefits, then keep reading!
Benefits Of Using Gesso
1. Preparing A Smooth Surface
One of the main reasons why people choose to use gesso is because they want to prepare their canvases for painting. They often want to add texture to a canvas and this is where gesso comes into play.
2. Preventing Blobs Of Paint
Another reason why you might choose to use gesso is to avoid getting blobs of paint on your canvas. These blobs of paint can be hard to remove once they dry up. However, if you use gesso, then these blobs of paint won’t stick around for long.
3. Keeping Dust Out Of Canvas
We mentioned above that gesso helps to keep dust out of your canvas. This is especially helpful if you are trying to paint something outdoors. There are certain types of weather that tend to leave a lot of fine dust floating around. If you are planning on doing a lot of outdoor painting, then you should definitely consider using gesso.
4. Adding Texture To The Surface
There are times when you want to add texture to your canvas. Whether you are creating a rustic landscape or a detailed portrait, you will need to add texture to the surface. One way to do this is to use gesso. Gesso adds depth to your canvas and provides a unique textured surface that will really stand out.
5. Creating A Flat Background For Painting
It is important to understand that gesso does not cover every imperfection on your canvas. You will still need to fill any gaps between your brush strokes with some type of filler. In order to create a flat background, you will need to use an even layer of gesso.
6. Giving Your Paints A Flatter Surface
The last benefit of using gesso is that it will help flatten out your canvas. This means that you don’t need to worry about uneven surfaces when painting. All of your brushes will lay down smoothly and evenly across the entire canvas.
7. Helping You Achieve A More Detailed Look
Finally, we wanted to mention one other reason why you may want to use gesso: helping you achieve a more detailed look. Gesso will help you get rid of those blotchy areas on your canvas. It will also make sure that your brushstrokes aren’t too thick.
8. Making Cleanup Easier
Finally, another reason why you may decide to use gesso on your canvas is because it makes cleanup easier. When you apply gesso to your canvas, you can easily wipe away all of the excess paint. Afterward, you can simply wash your canvas with water and let it air dry.
Choosing the Right Gesso
Choosing a good quality product is extremely important. We recommend buying a high-quality product from a reputable manufacturer. You can find many brands online. Make sure to read reviews before purchasing anything.
Always ensure you use clear Gesso for paint by numbers! If you use white or colored gesso you will no longer be able to see your paint by numbers template.
What Is Gesso Made Out Of?
Gesso is made out of natural ingredients. It contains clay, linseed oil, and gum arabic. These are all common materials used in other types of art products.
How to Prepare Your Painting Surface Before Using Gesso
Before applying gesso to your canvas, there are some things you should do first. These include cleaning your canvas, priming your canvas, prepping your palette and preparing your brush.
1. Clean Your Canvas
Before you start working on your canvas, make sure you clean it properly. This includes removing all dust from the canvas and making sure it is free from oil stains.
2. Pre-Prime Your Canvas
When you prime your canvas, you are basically creating an even base layer of paint. When you prime your canvas, it’s best to choose a primer that has been specifically designed for acrylic paints.
3. Prep Your Palette
Preparing your palette is another step you can take before you begin painting. This involves washing your brushes thoroughly so they don’t pick up unwanted debris.
4. Prepare Your Brush
It’s always advisable to wash your brushes after every session. Make sure you keep them away from water and soap until you’re ready to use them again.
1. Apply Gesso With Care
Apply the gesso carefully and evenly over your canvas. Avoid getting too much gesso on one area as this could cause problems later down the line.
2. Wait Until Dry
Wait until the gesso is completely dry before moving on to the next stage.
Why Does Gesso Dry So Quickly?
When it comes to gesso, it dries quickly. This is due to the fact that it contains a lot of oils. Therefore, if you do not add enough water, then the gesso might dry up too fast. To avoid this problem, you will need to add a little bit of water when working with gesso.
How Do You Know When Your Gesso Has Dried Enough?
To determine whether or not your gesso has dried enough, you should wait until the surface starts to feel tacky. Once it feels like this, then you know that you have reached the right stage.
How Long Should You Leave Gesso On The Canvas?
When applying gesso, you should always allow at least two hours for the gesso to fully dry. However, it is recommended that you leave it overnight. This way, you will ensure that you won’t accidentally smudge your new masterpiece.
Getting Rid Of Excess Gesso
Once you have finished painting your canvas, you can remove any excess gesso by rubbing it away with a soft brush. You should only rub the area where you painted. Doing this will prevent you from damaging the canvas.
Finally, it’s Time to Paint Your Canvas!
Once the gesso is dry, you can start to add color to your canvas. Remember to be careful not to get too much color on one area.
Work on small areas at first. This way you won’t end up wasting too much time trying to cover large areas. Keep going back and forth between different colors until you’ve created the desired effect.
Remember to remove excess color from your canvas once you’ve finished painting. This helps prevent the canvas from becoming discolored.
Finishing Your Paint by Numbers
1. Seal Your Finished Product
Sealing your finished product protects it from fading. To seal your canvas, simply mix a little bit of acrylic medium with a drop of water. Then spread the mixture across the entire canvas using a sponge applicator.
2. Let Dry
Let the final product dry overnight. Once dry, you can frame your piece.
If you’ve purchased an unframed canvas, ensure you frame your piece right away. This ensures that it doesn’t become damaged while waiting to be hung.
4. Hang Artwork
Hang your artwork immediately after framing it. You may find that your artwork needs a few days to fully dry.
Now that you know how to prep your canvas and apply gesso, you can finally get started on your own masterpiece!