Upcycle a Used Canvas witH Gesso tutorial
I have some inspiring art-related posts coming up soon and it got me thinking about the work coming out of my studio these days. This month, I plan to work on some improvisational paintings on paper and wood. It's this idea that has me feeling excited. It all started with a modern painting that I made for the Minted x West Elm design challenge. It was freeing to create something expressive and loose for a change.
Have you ever felt overly attached to the outcome of an art project?
To move past that initial hesitation, I decided to recycle some used canvases that I had lying around my studio. In a way, I feel less attached to a recycled canvas than a brand new canvas or a blank sheet of paper. To prepare each canvas, I needed to resurface them with gesso.
Here's how you can gesso a canvas and start a fresh painting.
For the full details, read on!
In this post, you will learn how to properly prime your own canvas using gesso. Even, if you have been painting for a while now, you may have never needed to prime something because many canvases are already primed before purchase.
Here are some instances when you may need to prime a canvas:
For this project, I used:
This is how the canvases looked after 3 coats of gesso. As for my technique, I paint in one direction moving the brush from i.e. side to side. Then, alternate directions, i.e. painting up and down as each coat dries.
One thing, that I learned as a studio assistant working for an artist who painted with oil paint on linen was to sand the gesso lightly after each coat. She showed me how to sand using super-fine paper and a random orbital sander. Another good option, would be using fine grit sandpaper on a sanding block and doing it by hand.
With careful preparation and dedication, soon your canvases will be good as new and ready to go! I can't wait to see and hear what you are painting in your studio. Let me know, if you have any questions or have tips on how to gesso.
P.S. Here is a peak below of what I have been painting in my studio. If you have the time to vote for my Abstract Mountain III in the Minted Design Challenge, I would really appreciate it. You can see my other artwork here, a 5 being the highest and best possible rating. I promise you will find loads of other great artists on Minted!
HI, I'M HILARY.
This is where I share inspiration for a hand-crafted lifestyle from natural dye methods, textile surface techniques, and the best of contemporary California design. I love dreaming up products for an artful sustainable home. I offer workshops to inspire you to live your best life by connecting you to your creativity and others. I hope to meet you in person at one of my current craft workshops for creatives like you! Join my tribe to receive your first free video on Shibori folding with me.
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