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Old 18-02-07, 01:37 AM
maplebrush maplebrush is offline
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Default Acrylic Gesso on Board and preprepped Boards

Hi folks!

I just discovered this forum (let's hear it for google!) and want to get a little feedback. Though I'm an experienced illustrator, I'm a real rookie to et. I read somewhere that painting on acrylic gesso is an absolute no no, that it can't be done. I'm currently on my second piece using acrylic gesso as a ground and can tell you it can indeed by done. However, it is a bear to control, more temperamental than gouache and I am wondering, is that because of the gesso or in spite of it? Also, after spending hours on this monster of a painting, will it crack and turn to dust anytime soon because of my ignorant choice?

Thanks!
[www.artwanted.com/maplebrush][/url]
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Old 18-02-07, 06:30 AM
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Bert Congdon Bert Congdon is offline
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Default gesso

In my opinion, the first layer of ET should be applied to a porous surface. I was taught this, and rhat is what I have always done with no such problem as you describe. I do know, however, an artist who successfully puts ET on acrylic gesso, but he thins the gesso and adds a lot of chalk. I have no interest in such. I believe in using what has been proven. We have ET on glue-chalk gesso paintings that are hundreds of years old, and the colors are still bright and true. I don't think acrylic is 60 years old yet, and I have heard that already there are problems with it.

So many people are afraid of chalk and glue. Why? Once you have learned the mechanics of how, you will find it is quick and easy...and cheap, and there is plenty of instruction on this web site. At one time, my wife was afraid to bake a pie. Then one day she tried, and tried again. After a few failures and switching to the right shortening, she had a success. After that we had one or two pies a week , and they were great.

If you insist on going the route you are on, you might try adding a little linseed oil to your ET.
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Old 18-02-07, 07:28 AM
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Salamander Salamander is offline
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By all means use real gesso. If you absolutely can't, then try the Golden absorbent or sandable grounds. Shellac and whiting also works well.
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Old 18-02-07, 03:44 PM
Alessandra Kelley Alessandra Kelley is offline
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I think when people say it can't be done, they mean it shoudn't be done. Tempera can be painted on a variety of surfaces, but some have considerably less permanence than others.

I understand that many illustrators are more concerned with present effect than archiving their work, but if longevity is a consideration it's probably better to stick with proven methods.
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Old 18-02-07, 05:10 PM
maplebrush maplebrush is offline
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Upon re-reading my post, I think I wasn't clear. I probably came across as an arrogant boob. My apologies. What I wanted to say is that it IS possible to lay ET on acrylic gesso, but it ain't easy and I won't do it again. I wonder if the problems I've had laying on the layers of paint are because of the acrulic ground or if et does behaves like gouache (more like gouache on steroids) and it's my technique that is so miserable. I can paint over a dried layer, but not as a wash. The under painting comes up so easily, I have to be so careful and it just takes forever.

I think you answered my questions about longevity. I think I need to trash this portrait I'm doing and start again.

I love the effect of et- the warmth and vibrancy, the control, the organic feel to the yolk. I really want to get good at this. Thanks for your help!

-M
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Old 18-02-07, 08:43 PM
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RobM RobM is offline
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M
I didn't find you arrogant.
I think that the transition from any other medium to ET is quite a difficult one. I found that you just have to discard the majority of techniques used with oils, gouache etc.
I know that when I embarked on ET I basically took a year out, researched as much as possible about ET....did trial runs....filled loads of waste bins....tried to straighten warped panels....the list continues. But.... :idea: ...it suddenly all comes together. Maybe it won't take so long for you to get up to speed with this great forum and the loads of advice available.
As Bert says, start with the tried and tested methods before venturing into the unknown. The main site (www.eggtempera.com) has loads of information re making up panels, techniques and a demonstration.
Rob
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Old 18-02-07, 09:04 PM
maplebrush maplebrush is offline
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Thaks, Rob. It was an article in Artis Magazine and the egg tempra web site that got me started. I appreciate your advice and encouragement. I'll keep you all posted on my progress.

-M
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Old 19-02-07, 02:48 AM
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Bert Congdon Bert Congdon is offline
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Neitherr did I find you arrogant, and I hope my responce didn't sound like a put-down. Unles you are a professional writer, it is hard to convey real meaning lacking voice inflection and all. I would not advise you to throw that painting away unles you want it to be archival. I know a very wealthy and successful artist that paints oil on cheap store bought canvases because he doesn't give a rip if they last beyond his own death.
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Old 19-02-07, 06:30 AM
maplebrush maplebrush is offline
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Hi Bert,

The painting is for a friend of mine. She's paying me for it so I want to make sure it doesn't fall apart in a couple of years. Ah well, live and learn.

-M
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Old 20-02-07, 01:20 AM
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DLH DLH is offline
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The difference in absorbency between traditional and acrylic gesso is do more to the ratio of stone dust to binder than the different character of the binder itself. I have made gesso with acrylic medium and marble dust that behaves just like the real thing. PVA glue works even better. You can lay on a single coat that dries 2mm thick and is self leveling. It doesnít crack as it dries and itís got to be tougher and less brittle that traditional. That said, I still paint on panels covered with traditional gesso.
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