Sunday, 3 June 2012

Gesso patina

Still busy with the harvest, but don't want to abandon the blog totally. So here's a pic of a brass stamping I was playing around with recently.

Originally, I just wanted to give it a white wash using gesso. Gesso is a product I just recently discovered. I'd heard about it before, but just seen it as something for painters, not for me. But then I began to see it in mixed media works and on metals coloured using coloured pencils. So I got a jar -- and I love it: the versatility, the creamy white colour, the matte finish, the toughness, everything.

The stamping with its clumsy gesso patina had been laying on my worktable for months as I wasn't pleased with the result. So the other day, when I felt like torching something, I gave it a bit of a heat patina on top of the gesso, perhaps inspired by Victoria Altepeter's patina examples.

Not sure if it's a good idea to torch acrylic-based gesso... Don't encourage others to apply an open flame on anything plasic based, but that's what I did. Carefully and with (sort of) good ventilation, but still nothing to encourage. Probably better to get the heat patina first or go for a fumed/buried/immersed patina on top of the gesso instead.

Next time I might dilute the gesso -- as mentioned here -- to make it easier to apply and, most importantly, to wipe off.

PS! If you want some gesso inspiration, check out my pinboard Crackle and patina finishes on Pinterest.


  1. Hi Maneki, interesting results of gesso plus torching. Gesso sounds like a good idea to test. It is so easy to handle. And now to Pinterest to see your finishes. Anna

    1. Yes, do test gesso -- it's a lot of fun! I'm glad my experiment could be of inspiration to you. (Gesso patina will be featured on my other blog in a few days BTW.)

  2. Thanks for the tip that you were on Pinterest--I just followed a whole slew of your great boards!

  3. Hi I really love this gesso thing. I bought a sale pack of Trinity brass details and was thinking of how to treat them for a beautiful patina when I saw your lovely gessoed stamping. As I love to paint there was gesso at home. It is really nice to work with and the results are beautiful.They turned out really interesting without torching. Your Pinterest boards are just great. Anna


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