Did you know you can paint with watercolor on gesso? I learned something new this week in my online class with Junelle Jacobsen. She spread gesso on old book pages for some of the projects she has showed us. I have used gesso many times for multi-media projects, but I din’t know you could paint with watercolor on it. What a great thing! I love the texture and look of the book print under the gesso with a watercolor sketch over it. I was surprised the pages dried flat after brushing the gesso on them. I suggest you spread gesso on a bunch of old book pages. That way you have plenty to create with. I used a sponge brush to apply the gesso. Make sure you do it thick enough for a good base to paint on, but thin enough for some of the book print to show through. I did a variety of book pages that were different sizes and colors.
After the gesso is completely dry I lightly draw my sketch with pencil. Then I go over the pencil with a waterproof pen. I like the black sharpie pens, not to be confused with sharpie markers. Next I carefully erase the pencil if it shows. You can’t erase very hard or you will damage your gesso surface. Watercolor as you usually would. When its dry I usually add a few more pen details and some splattered paint in watercolor or acrylic. Splattered acrylic paint is much heavier and gives the look of a grassy field. Splattered watercolor is just little specks and dries quite light unless you use a lot of pigment mixed with the water.
Here’s a couple of watercolors I painted on gesso spread on old book pages.
Purple Cone Flowers splattered with watercolor paint.
Pumpkin journal page before the splattered paint….
Watercolor pumpkins in a field of splattered acrylic paint. I splattered dark green and brown first, then a variety of lighter greens followed by orange, yellow and white.
If you are new to watercolor painting or want to take a great watercolor check out this one on Craftsy. If this class had been available years ago I could have saved a lot of money on paint. I now use the Daniel Smith Essentials Set (a limited palette) plus a few favorite colors for most of my watercolor projects, but there are times when its nice to use premixed colors like the ones found in the Koi Watercolor set.
I’ll be sharing Watercolor on Gesso on : Tweak It Tuesday, Inspire Me Tuesday, Wow Us Wednesday, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Tutorials, Tips and Tidbits, Be Inspired Friday, Show and Tell Friday, Inspiration Gallery, Feathered Nest Friday, Art Journal Every Day, Paint Party Friday