I belong to several Facebook Groups that focus on mixed media and /or art journaling. Predictably every so often someone poses the question about whether they should gesso every page. Answers invariably differ and quite honestly the answer depends completely on what you are creating, what techniques you are using and what effect you want to achieve. So, in a way everyone is right and each person must experiment and decide for themselves.
In my YouTube series Mixed Media Technique Tags I recently focused on the technique where you lift or remove paint through a stencil. It may go by a different name. I believe it originated with Dyan Reaveley and her Dylusions Sprays, but I’d seen it done with Distress Inks as well.The question I wanted to explore was if this technique worked with other color mediums; those that were water soluble and those that are not.
Normally I gesso every page I do. I like how it works. But to be honest I wasn’t always gessoing the tags for the MMTT videos. Since I wanted to ensure the actual technique worked with the various color mediums I did a little experimenting first. I painted half a tag with gesso and then applied each color medium on both the gessoed and non-gessoed sides and proceeded with the technique.
You can check out this Mixed Media Technique Video by clicking on this link
Now for the results. For each product the left side is ungessoed and the right has a coat of gesso. Each product went on way easier and smoother on the gessoed side. The technique definitely worked better on the gessoed side for all mediums as well. Whether you chose to gesso or not as a rule is up to you, but if you want to do this technique I would highly recommend using gesso. The results will be worth it.
Here are the pictorial results.
Inktense Blocks and Distress Ink
Distress Crayons and Gelatos/Gel Sticks
Liquitex Basics and Dylusions Paints
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