Monday, March 7, 2011

Art on Black Paper 5: Painting it Black

Work in progress

Gesso is an flat acrylic paint primer typically used to prime canvases for applications of additional paint. I say typical because that's not really how I use it. I'm a big fan of working with light colored media on black paper but once I discovered the way art journalers use black gesso on a regular journal page, I knew this would be a great alternative.

I've tried the Bob Ross, Liquitex and Blick brands of black gesso. The Bob Ross & Liquitex are fluid while the Blick is thicker. Of the three, I prefer the Liquitex, a deeper darker black than the Bob Ross, and thinner and easier to use with small brushes than the thicker Blick product. The Blick gesso seems to take longer to dry than the other two and also has a fairly strong odor while the other two do not.

When painting pages with it, I use a sponge brush which allows me to apply the paint in a nice thin layer. I was kind of sloppy with some of the sketchbooks above and had to carefully separate the following several pages because they had been somewhat "glued" together at the edges. (Blick)

Mikey's Drum

While visiting friends in Virginia, my friend Mike Deaton asked me to paint one of his drums and I used the Liquitex and a thin liner brush to paint this design. The gesso is supposedly permanent on any non oil based surface and this Remo frame drum has a synthetic head. Mike was going to use the drum primarily for decoration so I can't say whether or not the paint is coming off through playing. If you want to paint a drum of your own, (or someone else's) please do a little research first to avoid disappointment.

Affirmation Word Mandala

An example of applying the gesso to a page in my Webbie journal and doodling with a white gel pen.

Purple Spirit People

Example of painting with the gesso and then doodling over that.

Before finding the black gesso, I worked with different media on black paper. Here are a few examples of that work: 

Art on Black Paper - Part 1
Art on Black Paper - Part 2 
Art on Black Paper - Part 3
Art on Black Paper 4 : Silver on Black 

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