Donna Clair

Southwest Contemporary Artist

PREPARING TO SPEND THE WINTER PAINTING!  GESSOING CANVAS.  For large and medium paintings I usually use a double-primed linen canvas.  I mix up gesso with Payne’s Grey.  This creates a “grisaille”, or a grey ground, much favored by the Renaissance painters.  Letting each coat dry thoroughly between applications, I apply two or three coats, depending on the coarseness of the canvas.  Personally I like to smooth out the brush strokes on the gesso.  Because I work with glazing, I find that this is the best preparation for my paints.   Let these canvases “cure” for a week or so — don’t stack them together until they have dried thoroughly.  This is the first step to good painting — once I start, I don’t have to worry about “white spaces” and this “toned ground” mellows out my colors.  Stay tuned!  DC 

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