Donna Clair

Southwest Contemporary Artist


PREPARING MY PAINT SURFACE (Canvas, untempered masonite panels, birch panels, Italian Gessoed panels) – All my paint surfaces are prepared with two to three coats of toned gesso.  What I like about the gessoing is that it fills up the interstices of the canvas and the toned ground softens the final layers of paint.  (Toned Ground:  Renaissance painters used a “grisaille – or a sketch in various shades of grey).  I also don’t have to worry about covering all those darned white spaces at the edges of trees, buildings, etc.  I mix a large amount in an old coffee can, apply with a regular “trim” paint brush and tone many canvases of different sizes at one time.  Gesso “days” can easily turn into a “gesso week” – but once this is finished,  I am free to think of the painting, rather than the preparation.  Recipe:  Liquitex gesso (amount depends on how many canvases you want to cover) – small jar(s) of Liquitex Payne’s Grey (mix to desired tone) – small amount of water to loosen gesso (I don’t want it to leave brush marks once it is applied).  Apply in a loose fashion and try to have the canvas positioned in the same direction as the final painting.    10/30/14 

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