Gesso solutions


I have recently purchased the Natural Earth Paint gesso and mixed it according to the instructions given. However, I find that when I try to put paint on the canvas, it absorbs way more paint than it should and gives off little crumbs, like as if the powder part is coming loose from the gesso. Is that a common problem with your gesso and how should I fix it? Will adding more glue to the mixture help?

Also, if I already applied one layer of paint to the canvas, is it okay to re-gesso it, since I still cannot paint on the canvas or should I just start over?

Answer: Yes, it sounds like you need to add more glue (Methyl cellulose). In the future, add more glue to the mix and you can also brush a clear layer on top if you wants it even more non-absorbancy. This Gesso is modelled off of gesso made in the Renaissance which was purposefully more absorbant because the paint absorbed into the gesso and bonded with it, which makes it more archival and solid. Today most people use acrylic gesso which is a completely non-absorbant plastic layer so the paint just sits on top. It's a different experience to use absorbent gesso but it is very archival.

To save your existing painting you can brush on a coat of the pure methyl cellulose and let dry fully.