street car scene

Trying a new surface brings an entire new experience to your watercolor painting. Gesso a heavier paper or prime a board that is highly non-absorbent will alter the way you work and achieving a quite different result.
Gesso is a sizing that will seal the painting surface, making it non-absorbent. Gesso is commonly used as a ground for oil, egg tempera and acrylic painting. Using gesso for watercolors is very unusual. Gesso boards are available if you do not want to gesso the surface yourself. I want you to keep in mind that gesso a heavier drawing paper to see why you can accomplish.
When you use watercolor paint on watercolor paper the washes absorb and spread . This technique will not happen when you gesso the paper. It will take more time to dry when using gesso because the water needs to evaporate. This will give you more time to push the paint around the surface. When dried you receive a crisp hard edge and the colors will dry darker.
When painting on a gesso surface you will have to mix your colors ahead of time because washes will not be able to be overlaid. There is an advantage to this technique since now nstead of going from light to dark you can work dark to light.
Errors can be corrected where before watercolor is not a forgiving medium.
Gesso will allow you to create texture to your painting.
If you choose to draw your image before painting use a hard pencil, such as a 6H.


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May 2015
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