Sunday, August 5, 2012

Priming Miniatures: Gesso Update

This is an update to my earlier post on priming miniatures using gesso. In that post, I discuss the pros and cons of using gesso, along with my recent problems using Liquitex gesso and my decision to switch to Golden gesso. You can read the full post by clicking on this link.

This afternoon, I finally got around to priming some miniatures using the Golden black gesso I had bought a couple months ago. These are the Old Glory/Blue Moon Zorro freebie set and some OK Corral figures. They are pretty simple figures without too many doodads, a style I appreciate.

Minutes after glopping on the gesso.
So far I'm pleased with the Golden black gesso, though the real test will come in a couple days when it thoroughly dries. That's when I'll see how durable it really is, unlike my last batch of Liquitex.

The Golden black gesso is quite a bit thicker than the Liquitex. Whether that's a good sign or not, I can only hope. It seems to apply like any other gesso would, and has all the pros and con of gesso, like leaving some bare spots when it dries. However, those have been few and far between so far!

I have noticed that the wet Golden black gesso seems to adhere to everything better than the Liquitex. In fact, it takes some effort to get the stuff off my fingers! It really stains fast, unlike Liquitex. I got some on my painting lamp (don't ask!), and really had to work to get it off, eventually using Windex instead of plain wet paper towels. So be careful using this stuff! Don't be a klutz like me!

About 1.5 hours of drying time. You can see the gesso shrinking. Looks okay so far!
My only real complaint is the wide-mouth jar. Yes, I realize it's so artists can dip in their wide brushes they use when priming their canvases, but the wide lid makes things a bit messier for me. I didn't want to keep the lid off for over an hour, fearing the gesso might skim over like paints do, so I poured it into a small medicine cup I had been saving. I always did this with the Liquitex. This time was a bit messy, but ok. I really miss Liquitex's squirt bottles! If I can remember, I'll see if the art store has a better, less-messy bottle for the Golden gesso.

So there you have it. It's like the guy who jumped off the 50-story building said every time he passed by a new floor: "So far, so good!" I'll see what happens when we hit the ground later this week. :-)


  1. Wow its dried better than I thought it would. Seeing the first photo I was like where the detail gone. But wow now its dried that really surprised me!

  2. Yeah, it really is shocking when you see it happen! I just checked on my babies here and the gesso has dried totally tight to everything. From globs to looking like it's been spray painted. Still, I dare not rub them yet lest the gesso rubs right off.