"Why Red Gesso?"

Welcome Back to Another BobBlast!

Why do I prime my canvas and paper with a red-orange gesso? Well, frankly, I was taught this technique in art college. This was the beginning of my classical training. 

Recently, I found out that original gesso was a brick red color of... red lead (yikes!) - the lead acted as a barrier to prevent the oil paint from deteriorating the delicate cotton canvas. 

Looking at early European paintings, have you noticed bits of the undercoat of red gesso peeking through?  I purposely let some of the undercoat of my gesso peek through because I like the overall zing it adds to the artwork. 

Holbein Artist Acrylic Paints have twenty-two different colors of gesso. I use their Carmine Red as my gesso and the first layer of color. Every artist has different ways of doing things - this is what I do.

Watch the demo and you will see how I apply my gesso and start the painting. 
After this coat has dried,  I block in the darks and lights with paint, based on where the light is coming from. (please note: I decide at the very beginning of a painting where the light source is coming from.) 

This BobBlast demo shows how I paint-sketch a pear. It is all about the dark color against the light color. The red-orange ground of the gesso is my mid-tone. The painting begins to take shape when I use short, choppy strokes - I like to say get in - get out - the color stays  vibrant instead of getting muddy.

The surface for this week's demo is a new wooden panel from Cheap Joe's, called Joe Miller's Signature Series Extra Deep Gesso Painting Panels - finished in a beautifully smooth, double-coated acrylic gesso. My paints are Holbein Artist Acrylics.

Get the lead out!

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Here's a quick reminder about some upcoming workshops and dates. 
If interested, sign up now!

Featured Workshops :

Art of the Carolinas - Workshops & Art Materials Exhibition
November 9-12, 2017
Sponsored by Jerry's Artarama
Raleigh, North Carolina
Contact Sharon DiGiulio (800) 827-8478 ext 156 sharon@jerrysartarama.com

Abstract Acrylic Painting & Collage
November 15-19, 2017
Ocean Springs Art Association
Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Contact Carole Marie Stuart, carole1947@bellsouth.net

Abstract Acrylic Painting & Collage
January 9-12, 2018
San Diego Watercolor Society
Demo: Member Meeting, Tuesday 1/9
Contact Susanne Slater, slater12@cox.net

Abstract Acrylic Painting & Collage in Mexico
January 20-27, 2018
Casa de Los Artistas
Boca de Tomatlan, 10 miles South of Puerto Vallarta
Contact Robert Masla, (413) 625-8383

Abstract Acrylic Painting & Collage
February 5-9, 2018
Donna Downey Studios
Huntersville, NC 28078
Contact Bill Downey, (704) 948-4627 or
email bill@donnadowney.com

Loose, Impressionistic Sketching & Painting Workshop
International Trip to France!
April 13-24, 2018
Contact Dillman's (715) 588-3143

View Bob's Workshop Schedule, click here.

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Click  HERE  to view  BobBlast Issue 173
"Why Red Gesso?"

Why Red Gesso

Love, Peace & Happiness,
Robert Burridge

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