Every once in a while we post some light instructions on how artists can further take projects into their own hands! This week: Priming Artist Canvas with Acrylic Gesso. Provided by: Tara Fredrix Canvas
How to Prime Canvas with Acrylic Gesso
· Fredrix® Acrylic Gesso
· Fine Grit Sandpaper
· Fredrix® Unprimed Cotton or Linen Canvas
· Brush, Paint Pad, Squeegee or Painting Knife
· If a thinner gesso is desired, it may be thinned with up to one-third water without adversely affecting performance.
· For increased paint adhesion and flexibility thin with equal parts water and acrylic matte medium.
Single vs. Multiple Coats
One layer of gesso on cotton duck may be adequate, but could expose pinholes or uncovered areas. At least two coats are recommended. A second layer evens out the gesso and produces a smoother surface. Three coats results in even less texture for smooth painting with watercolor or for artist portraits. Two or more layers are recommended if oil paint is to be used over acrylic gesso. Once dry, the gesso can be sanded for an even smoother painting surface, if desired.
1. Using a half-circular motion, apply gesso with a large gesso brush, painting knife, squeegee or house paint pad to stretched unprimed canvas. Brush gesso into weave of the canvas from center –outward- then sides – then overlap on the backside, covering the staples and cut canvas edges. Clean up with warm water.
2. Let dry, Canvas will tighten during gessoing, and will relax slightly when fully dry.
3. Lightly sand with fine grit sandpaper. Apply second layer. Let dry.
4. Repeat light sanding. Let dry 24 hours before painting.
Sagging and Wrinkles after Gessoing
5. If small ripples or indentations occur, dampen the affected area with a damp sponge (do not saturate). Let dry n a well-ventilated area.
6. Large wrinkles should be removed by using canvas pliers and re-stretching the affected area, or the entire canvas if necessary.
*Avoid using pegs (keys) to take out wrinkles of unprimed stretched canvas. It may throw frame out of square or damage canvas. Remove staples or tacks in affected area and re-stretch the wrinkled portion. Pegs are used to tighten slightly sagging canvas after it has been sized, gessoed or painted.