Hello everyone and welcome back to the craft room. We are taking a trip to the kitchen today and creating some DIY Clear Gesso.
The other day I watched another fascinating tutorial on YouTube and just had to try the technique. In this video, a piece of regular tissue paper had been stamped on, glued to a book page and then water colored. To test out this idea I was only missing 1 key ingredient, clear gesso. Living in a rather small town, I only had a few options; drive 50 miles to the nearest craft store or order it from amazon. While making my decision, I wondered about making my own so, back to YouTube.
I did find more than one recipe for creating gesso; here is a link to one of the videos that I watched: How to Make Clear Gesso for Your Handmade Art Journal. The recipe I chose to follow added 1 item to my weekly shopping trip, PVA glue. Most of the recipes I watched talked about using regular Elmer’s school glue while some used glue they bought at the Dollar Store, and others used Aileen’s Tacky Glue. I decided on the latter for my attempt.
Let me show you how I put this together.
To make this version of clear gesso you need:
1 Part Corn Starch
2 Parts cool water
4 Parts white PVA glue
For this attempt I started out with:
1 Tablespoon of Corn Starch
2 Tablespoons of cool water
Mix this together well.
Then add to this mixture:
1/4 cup of white glue
Mix this really well and store in an airtight container.
Clear Gesso Test Run
Since I have never used clear gesso before, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. While mixing the ingredients together, I looked around the kitchen to see what I could test it on. Grabbing a piece of junk mail I gave it a try. The first picture is just the piece of mail, as you can see, the entire card is slick and shiny.
The next image shows the gesso painted on the right side of the owls face. Because it had white ingredients, I was curious to see what color it would be when applied. It went on just a little milky, not at all what I expected. What looks white in the image below is really just glare off of the under counter light.
This last picture really shows how well the DIY clear gesso worked. There is a very slight texture to that portion of the owl’s face. However, as you can see, the sheen from the slick paper is completely gone.
Clear Gesso and Tissue Paper
While I was in the testing mood I wanted to try this on tissue paper as well. Using two different stamp sets and GinaK’s Amalgam ink I stamped two images and let them dry. Then I used a glue stick to adhere the images down to coffee/tea dyed papers that I made a few months ago. After the glued images were dry, I grabbed an old paint brush and applied a thin layer of my DIY Clear Gesso over the top. I set these aside to completely dry, which didn’t take long at all.
I pulled out my Jane Davenport water colors, a couple Royal & Langnickle brushes and got to work. For the first set of images I used the small flower from Waffle Flowers Peony Notes. When I started water coloring I was amazed at how beautifully the tissue paper was holding up. Just to have a comparison between coated and non-coated tissue, I glued another image down, but did not add the gesso. I’m not the best water colorist, but these two images really show the difference.
This first image does not have the gesso on it. When applied, the paint soaked right in and really didn’t move. I was surprised the tissue paper didn’t deteriorate though. The moisture also seeped through to the back of the paper as well.
This image had the light layer of clear gesso over it and the difference is unmistakable.
For another, test I stamped the Cosmo bouquet from Technique Tuesday and used the shimmer paint from the Glitz-Sea set of Jane Davenport paint.
Thank you so much for joining me today. I can’t wait to test this clear gesso out on my project. Do you use gesso on your projects? Have you ever made your own? Let me know in the comments down below.
Have a wonderful week and I’ll see you in the craft room again real soon!
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