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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • Cutting Absorbency of Traditional GessoApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2019-09-12 07:37:23 ... Most recent comment 2019-09-12 14:26:12
    Grounds / Priming

    When painting oil on top of a traditional chalk & glue ground, to cut the absorbency I generally recommend first applying a thin layer of shellac or rabbit skin glue on the gesso.  Any other recommendations?


    Koo Schadler  

Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    Koo, Shellac will certainly work although it introduces an alcohol soluble size in addition to the water sensitivity inherent in chalk-glue ground and true gesso (this is not a huge issue and is equally true of the b-72 isolating layer that we have discussed here on MITRA.

    When I a practicing painter and wanted to paint in oils on a glue based ground, I would sometimes rub in a very thin application of a quick drying alkyd medium. When applied thin enough and covered with oil paint, no yellowing of the medium could be perceived.

    I am not convinced that this was the perfect practice and it was dependent on making sure that no more than the necessary amount was added to the ground.

    As a historical note on this subject, the Early Flemish oil painted often coated their chalk-glue grounds with a few applications of animal glue before beginning their underdrawing than then cover that with a translucent layer of oil paint (usually light gray or pale peach. The glue made the application of the oil layer. The oil preliminary layer is what the Italians would call an imprimatura.

    Brian Baade
    2019-09-12 13:58:59
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​Thanks, Brian - helpful info, as always.  Koo

    2019-09-12 14:26:12

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