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Create an Antique Surface on Ampersand Gessobord

Caitwen Willis Demonstrates How to Create an Antique Surface on Ampersand Gessobord

final art

Experimenting with Daniel Smith Gesso, I hit upon this easy layering technique which gives the effect of an aged patina or old gold leaf and works well with my figurative work. Ampersand's Gessobord is prepared with a lightly textured surface that grips the subsequent coats of gesso. It's practical to work with and takes paint beautifully.

Step 1
Coat the Gessobord with an even coat of Daniel Smith Venetian Red Gesso. Allow it to dry, then apply a second coat and let that dry.

Step 2
Apply Daniel Smith Gold Gesso over the Venetian Red. Using a clean, finely-woven rag (not linty) rub off some of the gold color to reveal the red beneath. How much you remove depends on the effect you want to achieve.

Step 3
Once the gold is dry, the panel is ready to paint with Daniel Smith Original Oils, as I did here, or acrylics. The slow drying time of oils lets me work reductively in some areas, pulling paint away selectively to reveal the ground. I also find that oil glazes glow when painted over the red and gold gessoed background.

About the Author
Caitwen Willis works primarily in intaglio and oils, creating figurative prints and paintings which reveal her interest in classical drawing and painting skills. She attended Seattle's Cornish College of the Arts.