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 handmade lifestyle from natural dye methods, textile surface techniques, and the best of California design. I love dreaming up products for a sustainable artful home. I offer creative 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 workshops for creative people like you! Join my tribe to receive your first free video on Shibori folding with me.
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