Mixed Media Art Surfaces-- To Prep or not to Prep ?

by Reba Kinney
(Crest Hill, IL USA)

Milliande,

Mixed Media Art Questions for Milliande

Mixed Media Art Surfaces-- To Prep or not to Prep ?
~~~~~~~~~

Love your artwork and have learned so much watching your videos. I am very new to mixed media but enjoy getting messy and exerimenting.

My question is: do you prep all your journal pages and canvases with gesso? And if not, when do you not prep them?

Thanks for sharing your techniques and art.
Reba Kinney

Mixed Media Art Questions answered by Milliande
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi Reba

an interesting questions .

For Art Journal Pages
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I rarely prep art journal pages with gesso ..I tend to use a good quality paper that can withstand a certain amount of layering and " rough handling " so the need for gesso is reduced .

However If I make a junk art journal, use a flimsy paper journal that needs a little strengthening I may coat with gesso first to give the art journal pages a bit of body .

Another reason for using gesso on art journal pages is the textural effect that can be created ... When wet gesso can be manipulated ,imprinted, textured so that the texturizing remains ..which can make for an interesting effect when watercolored over , crayoned over or raised effects for art journal edges etc


For Canvas Surfaces
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For me it depends again on what I am trying to achieve... If I use a pre-primed canvas ( eg a white surfaced one that has been primed before purchasing) then I do not necessarily use gesso .. again if as above I want to play with the texturizing effects I may add some

If I use an unprimed canvas ..eg linen colored , fabric colored etc.. then I may use gesso to prime it or a standard white primer ..

This will help as the canvas is a very absorbent surface and paints would behave differently , sinking into the canvas as they are being absorbed rather than sitting on top of the primer/gesso

Gesso can be heavier and chalkier than standard primer.. a little bit grittier too .. so playing around with small quantities pays at the beginning until one finds the perfect match for the art supplies used onto the canvas..

Hope this helps

milliande
Mixed Media Artist
milliande.com

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