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  #1  
Old 21-11-06, 09:08 PM
raphaelarts raphaelarts is offline
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Default Metal leafing and paint layer

Hi...I have a question about adjusting the absorbency of the gesso and ink wash layer (for metal leafing and the paint layer respectively). Starting with calcium carbonate as a gesso base with RSG.

This gesso is absorbent and it should nicely take the bole layer and the subsequent metal leafing ... however I find it too absorbent for the wash drawing in ink. What can I do to solve this problem?

Also is it safe to I paint over the ink wash or should the wash be protected by an imprimatura?

What was traditionally used to adjust the absorbency of the gesso if no imprimatura was used? Was it shellac?
Thanks
R
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Old 21-11-06, 11:24 PM
turlogh turlogh is offline
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I've never had a problem with gesso being too absorbent for ink. What kind of ink are you using? What was your gesso recipe?

Generally, there is no need for an isolating layer between ink and paint. Egg tempera doesn't disturb an ink layer. If you are going to guild, you definitely don't want to put anything on the gesso. Shellac is not (to the best of my knowledge) a traditional material in tempera painting, although Koo Schadler uses it as a barrier between an egg tempera underpainting and oil glazes.
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Old 22-11-06, 01:57 AM
David McKay David McKay is offline
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In my experience with ink (india ink), and I don't use it as much as I use to, it is absorbed into the gesso rather than laying on top of it. This to me is an advantage because it leaves a smooth gesso surface on wich to start the painting. The first few layers of paint also were partially absorbed giving lots of adhesion between the gesso, ink, and paint.

More recently, I have been giving the gesso and any ink drawing a coat of egg water before starting the painting. This is a very dilute mixture of egg and water and it definitely cuts down on the absorbancy of the gesso. I have no experience with using metal leafing but my guess would be that you could apply it over the egg water layer.

David
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Old 22-11-06, 05:41 PM
raphaelarts raphaelarts is offline
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Gesso: I am using Fredrix gesso mix, which contains marble dust, chalk and rsg. Followed the instructions on the container.

Drawing: I used silverpoint, then went over with india ink and water. What I don't like is the fact that the gesso fights the brush and it's difficult to apply the wash evenly.

I read in an article that Shellac should be added to the india ink/water solution to make the ink layer water-proof to the subsequent water base tempera paint layers.

Leafing: I left the gesso areas alone...nothing, no alum, no shellac, etc.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 22-11-06, 06:28 PM
JanMoore JanMoore is offline
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Just a quicky -- I have tried Fredrix gesso mix and found it to be too "hard" a surface -- very difficult to sand. Gamblin makes a mix that is prepared the same way but is "softer."
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Old 24-11-06, 12:50 AM
Alessandra Kelley Alessandra Kelley is offline
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Gesso does fight the brush. Actually, it acts like micro sandpaper, so definitely don't use your good brushes. I use a cheap nylon "rigging" brush for the ink drawing (Sold for artists who paint ships, to paint the rigging, these brushes are round and small but with very long hairs) and thin the ink down a lot so it's pretty watery. You can also use a nib pen, but there is a risk of scratching the gesso.

I'm not sure how waterproof you want the ink layer. Doesn't India ink already contain shellac? If it's too waterproof, there might be adhesion problems.
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