Hi friends! Gesso has traditionally been a primer for raw canvas but recently with the popularity of mixed media it is being used a lot to create interesting textured effects in art journals and on canvas. You can see a variety of colors and textured gessos here at SimonSaysStamp and Blitsy (affiliate links in case you are in the mood to shop.) 🙂 Many years ago I got a great deal on a gallon of Pro-Art economy gesso, it worked well for priming raw canvas after stretching it. You see, it used to be WAY cheaper to buy stretcher bars and stretch your own canvas back then (it still is now if you are making odd or large size canvases) but now I often use smaller standard sizes that come primed so I don’t need the gallon of thin gesso. What I wanted is gobs of luscious thick gesso to use liberally on my mixed media projects. At first I thought of adding something to my gesso to thicken it such as plaster of Paris (I have used it before to make chalk paint) but I was afraid it would harden the entire batch. So I asked my friend Clive over at Clive5art who has an awesome DIY gesso recipe on his YouTube channel (tell him Lindsay The Frugal Crafter says “Hi!”) what he thought and he says he uses calcium carbonate and the only place I could find that was the health food store and it was more expensive than just buying good gesso. So, if I couldn’t add stuff to my gesso to thicken it maybe I could take some water away….see my results in today’s video!
Not bad huh? So my tip of the day is to buy thicker gesso and if you want it thinner to prime raw canvas then pour some in a cup and add up to 30% water to thin it and use that. You have more versatility in a product and more bang for your buck. Who wants to pay for water in their paint? I don’t. I hope you found this tip useful and if you have a favorite brand of gesso let us know in the comments below! Or if you plan to make some homemade gesso let me know that too (especially if you know where to find cheap calcium carbonate in the USA. I have never tried DIY gesso because I could not make it for less than I could buy it and oh yeah, I had a gallon of the cheap stuff hanging around but I am really curious about it, please let me know how yours turns out if you make it! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!