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Do you have paintings that you have overworked, or that you have struggled with endlessly? Do you have paintings stuck in your storage pile waiting to be worked on?
You are NOT alone! Sometimes an idea or a project will come to my mind and I am so pumped and just so eager to tackle the project and work on it. Sometimes, the project sees itself to completion and happy surprises, yet sometimes the project finds itself in limbo, or the creative spark has faded.
To get out of the rut so to speak, I personally like to wipe it clean! There is nothing wrong with taking out the knife and scraping the paint away (if wet) or if the paint is already dry, I re-gesso the whole wood board or canvas. For me this is not a defeat, but rather a new beginning.
Taking off the old paint frees up your mind and allows your creative soul to dream of a new project and start fresh once again. The beauty of Gesso is that you can apply it to any surface. Applying a layer or two can eliminate the old painting that was not working and opens possibilities of a new one!
I usually use the traditional white gesso, but you can also buy black or coloured gesso. Some of my paintings have a lot of texture and you can also sand this down if you prefer, but I like texture, so I usually keep it.
There are two different grades of gesso: Artist grade and Student grade. The difference between the two is the quality or ratio of good acrylic pigment and filler. The Student grade has more fillers that colour making it less opaque and more fluid, while the Artist quality has more pigment and quite thicker and opaque.
I usually like to brush my gesso on, rather than spraying it (Yes, it comes in spray applications!), and sometimes I use a brayer to apply on. Just take note that if you have texture already underneath, the brayer may just go on top of the texture and not cover the whole work. Applying gesso with a brush, allows you to go into the grooves created by texture.
So once again, do not be afraid to wipe the slate clean! Out with the old, will usher in the new… which could reveal masterpieces that would live on happily ever after!
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