Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Wednesday, September 5, 2007 - Painting on Gesso

In class Tuesday morning we worked on gessoed paper to create a watercolor painting with some great texture effects. Here's how it's done:

1. Prepare a piece (or 2) of watercolor paper by slathering white acrylic gesso on it

2. Let the paper dry completely

3. Choose your colors (warm or cool dominant) and paint an all-over medium value

4. Let that dry

5. Sketch what you are going to paint over the painted paper - with a graphite pencil

6. Begin putting in all your darkest values, cutting out the shapes

7. Lift the whites from the paper - gessoed paper lifts back to white easily IF you don't use staining colors

Voila! After you gesso you paper, you can stamp into it to get more texture using little rubber stamps - I used a small leaf stamp for mine and then rolled the gesso out a bit to smooth it so it felt very leathery when I was working on it. You don't have to know what you're going to paint before you gesso, but if you do, you can choose colors accordingly and even texture by brushstrokes, etc. Here's the painting and the photo I was using as reference (taken by my husband, Jerry Carpenter).

"Genuine compassion involves analyzing the situation regardless of whether the person is close or not." --- H.H. the Dalai Lama


djd said...

I was "so inclined" and enjoyed seeing this work. It reminds me of the exercise Susie had us do for negative painting.

Watercolors by Susan Roper said...

Rhonda, how great this is! I love the techniques you used and will have to try that when I get back home. The overall texture is very appealing and your negative painting makes those chain links just sing!

Thanks for sharing the technique steps, it sure looks like fun to try.


Anonymous said...

Simply beautiful! You've made us see the rusty object with new eyes. Great job. You are a pro.

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks for your comments, Susan and djd :) Gessoed paper is fun - and easier to work on than yupo because there's more control. But you can still lift off back to white and that's great! I really liked the photo Jerry took of the links and wanted to try it for this.

RHCarpenter said...

Sandy, I have a loooonnng way to go before anyone would call me a pro - but I sure appreciate the compliment!

Anonymous said...

Tha passion you approach your work with and the continual honing of technique and composition are the things that you do that result in the professional look of this painting. The deliberate directness of strokes looks professional to me for sure! Keep it up.
The flower is really a beautiful subject to paint on gesso. Great start.

RHCarpenter said...

Thank you so much, Sandy, for your comments! How did you know that I needed a little pep talk today? Of course, I'll be fine if this blustery day will blow up some rain for our parched area.