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Watercolor on a Gessoed Surface

October 16, 2007

This is an unfinished experiment. I’ve been playing around with watercolor on paper that I’d previously coated with gesso. The advantage is that nothing is permanent – and that’s the disadvantage too. As soon as you touch the surface with a brush the color lifts, making layering tricky. I’d like to refine this a bit, because the lines are too harsh, and it ages the subject (who happens to be my husband!) but now I’ll only go back in very carefully. I need to work on the background as well, but that’s less frightening.  As usual, the format of this blog has distorted this a bit.

I attempted a watercolor and gouache using this same reference photo a couple of weeks ago. You can see it here.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. christeenswan permalink
    October 16, 2007 1:16 pm

    I looked at this for a bit before I read your comments about it, and I thought the luminous sense of light you achieved here was really lovely. It looks fresh, and spontaneous. I don’t know what your husband looks like in person, or what you would have done with this to finish it, but I like it a lot.

  2. caseytoussaint permalink*
    October 16, 2007 3:46 pm

    Thanks Christeen! It’s difficult surface to work on – If I remember correctly, you do really well with it though!

  3. October 17, 2007 3:21 pm

    I really like this Casey. I agree with Christeen, I don’t knwo what you’d like to do with it, but I like it as it is

  4. October 18, 2007 6:28 pm

    I’d really love to know a bit more about watercolour on gesso, Casey. The result looks lovely. Would you care to expand?

  5. October 19, 2007 12:32 pm

    Thanks guys! Robyn, I don’t know much about watercolor on gesso myself, but what I did was take a stretched piece of watercolor paper and paint it with gesso, which I let dry. After I just painted on it with watercolor – they handle differently, and don’t run and pool quite the way we’re used to, but it still looks like watercolor. And the best part is that you can pick it up if you’ve made it a mistake. The down side is that you have to handle it with care because you might pick up something you like. I’m looking forward to working with it some more – this is my first attempt.

  6. October 26, 2007 1:59 pm

    Thanks Casey. I only have acrylic gesso at present, I guess you’ve used real gesso. When I get some I’ll try this. Looking forward to more of your adventures with watercolour and gesso.

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