I’ve heard Larry Elmore give his passionate speech on his love for Liquitex gesso. He’s given this speech multiple times and he has given his warnings about using cheap gesso. Apparently there has been a change in the formulas for gesso. For those who don’t know what gesso is, it is the base, primer coat that artists use for their canvas or boards. The purpose of priming your boards are to seal your base to prevent your oil paints from soaking into the boards or canvas underneath, to give you solid undercoat and to give it some tooth if you want it. I prefer to sand down my boards and have a uniformly smooth texture.
Over the past two day’s I’ve been working with two types of gesso. A cheaper brand I bought from Michael’s craft store, and after hearing Larry’s speech, I went out and bought the more expensive gesso. I can attest to the differences between the two gessos.
I used the cheaper gesso for my first two coatings. Tonight I went over those with the Liquitex. I can definately tell the difference. The Liquitex is whiter and is brighter. It is thicker as well. I used both undiluted straight from the bottle.
Tomorrow when the top coat dries I’ll begin by sanding the boards down to a smooth finish and then begin to transfer a drawing onto the board. If you are new to working with acrylic or oils, I would also recommend that you spend the extra money for the Liquitex. I think you’ll find the results better than using your cheaper brands. My guess is that they are watering them down and you will end up needing more coats to get the same coverage with the Liquitex gesso.