The art of Jo Potocki

DIY Gesso

make gesso at home
Just mix up what you need for the day or the week!

I had to take a journey this morning I didn’t plan on. I went to start a canvas, as usual. I went to coat it in gesso, as usual. And my awesome tub of Bob Ross Gesso had turned into weird, gelatinous marshmallows. I actually did try to use and it basically smeared marshmallow-like lumps on my canvas. I like a little texture but this is ridiculous. So, I want to paint on this canvas before the idea and inspiration is gone. I looked to the Internet and found several ways to make it.

My first attempt using glue and baby powder as in another online gesso recipe was a total fail. The baby powder is way too assertive texture-wise.

This is my favorite from Instructables. you will find full instructions there – ¬†they seem to have updated the link and I can’t find a new one for it – here are the ingredients you’re gonna need:

  • 1 part white glue (if you don’t have any on hand you can use this awesome tutorial: http://sustainableecho.com/homemade-natural-glue/)
  • 2-3 parts water
  • 3 parts cornstarch
  • 3 parts baking soda
  • A bit of acrylic paint (Optional – will change the color of your gesso, or add white if you want it brighter/better coverage)

You can use this recipe for any amount of gesso you need, just change the measurement for the parts. For example, if you need a ton of gesso, use 1 cup white glue, 2-3 cups water, etc. For a small amount, use teaspoons or tablespoons.

How cool is that? I am here to say this makes a nice, smooth gesso and the nice thing is I can just make what I need for the week and keep it in a large, glass jar.

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