View Single Post
Old 20-02-16, 05:00 PM
Koo Schadler's Avatar
Koo Schadler Koo Schadler is offline
Tempera Painter
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Alstead, NH & Zirahuen, Mexico
Posts: 316

Hi Zarina,

The durability of a particular painting practice is not always black and white. For example, it is clearly a bad idea to make red pigment from beet juice; it will unquestionably fade. But there are a hundred other, slightly-less-than-ideal practices that may contribute to problems in the future (either because of an accumulation of less than optimal choices, or a single especially bad circumstance) - but then again, because they are merely slightly-less-than-ideal practices, they may not make a wit of difference in the life of a painting.

I would put this topic in that category. From what I've read it is preferable to apply gesso layers all at once; a fresh, ever-so-slightly moist layer of gesso is a bit more receptive to another layer of moist gesso applied on top; there is better dispersion (and thus adhesion) between the two layers. But how critical is this? I don't know. I would guess not too critical (but I stress, I don't know for sure).

If the paintings being made are important (whatever the reason; aesthetic, sentimental or monetary value) and if circumstance permit (and they don't always) it's a good idea to opt for best known practices. But if it extreme durability isn't absolutely critical or you don't have the time, putting a fresh layer of gesso over an old one is probably not too great a compromise to the painting, particularly if your other practices are generally good.

For the fun of it (well, for those who have a strange sense of fun) try making a few such panels and then subject them to extreme circumstances; especially lots of moisture, which would probably be the greatest challenge to less-than-perfect adhesion between gesso layers. See what happens. (Report back, please.)

Another option (which you're probably already thought of) is to have more gesso layers to start with. Can you put on enough gesso from the get-go to avoid this problem?

Your landscapes are gorgeous (both oil and ET). Please do more in egg tempera! :-) Just kidding, of course you may paint however you's just nice to see someone creating loose, painterly images with tempera. It's so well suited to that but primarily attracts meticulous line makers (like me) because it is also so good at making lines.


Last edited by Koo Schadler; 26-02-16 at 01:27 PM.
Reply With Quote