Sunday, January 11, 2009

My first gesso wooden panel

In pursuit of making as many things for painting myself, here is my first effort at a wooden panel. It is baltic birch plywood coated with rabbit skin glue, then with a piece of linen applied with rabbit skin glue, followed by six coats of gesso which are sanded with sandpaper up to 1000 grit.

I was very intimidated by the idea of making and applying my own gesso.  As a shortcut I used the "Easy Gesso" from Natural Pigments which is mixture of chalk, marble dust and rabbit skin glue; add water and allow to set for a few hours, then use.  It really was easy, and now that I feel less intimidated I feel up to the task of making my own gesso from scratch.

A really good wooden panel will have up to 20 coats of gesso, but fewer coats can be OK.  I would have used more coats but I made five boards at the same time and did not mix up enough of the gesso.  Next time I'll make more gesso and apply more coats.  The linen I used was handkerchief weight leftovers from making a chemise, nothing special.  I couldn't find any information about what type of linen to use but I figured lighter weight was better.

The orange in the picture is the first one picked off the tree outside my bedroom.  I've been watching them grow and ripen for months now and they are finally ripe! 

No comments: