Monday, September 6, 2010

The Gesso-ing!

Here's the first picture of the hero wood panel after a gesso grosso (a thicker undercoat of gesso) layer and five coats of gesso sotille (which is a thinner, surfacing gesso). I'm hoping that it'll dry nicely. There's a bit of grit in the gesso sotille that I'm not crazy about. If it sands out well, then I'll be satisfied. If not, I'll be removing the gesso and starting again! The panel as shown has been cut and shaped to the right size and put into a pine frame constructed like the flexible oak frame the actual painting is supported by. And of course the test panel is seen in the background. from this point if all goes well, the panel will be smoothed to a totally perfect surface and primed with lead white, and the drawing of the subject transferred to the panel. Then it's ink and underpaint time!


  1. Lead white? You can even get stuff like that still?

  2. You wouldn't believe the stuff that the Old Masters used to use David! Mercury in Vermillion, Lead in white and yellow, Arsenic and copper in greens. Of course they're most volatile in powdered form, so the paint is comparatively safe! I promise not to eat the paint flakes...