Experiment with Gesso and Watercolour

Back to my studio at last! And I have moved to a much bigger space .. across the landing:) More room to swing paint though!

I know I tend to harp on sometimes about the fact that I do miss the textural effects I could create with pastels ... so I have been experimenting creating a variety of textures with watercolour this week.

The land area is painted onto random layers of gesso applied with a palette knife. I first painted an underwash of burnt sienna so that it would 'break through' some of the areas where the gesso skipped the paper. I then painted several watercolour layers on the dried gesso, allowing to run and puddle. I also spattered with water to encourage further movement of the paint.

I do like the resist the gesso provides to initial washes. Sunsequent layers will eventually cover the gesso but still keep the texture. I need to experiment more with this technique!

Close ups (click for larger images)


vivien said…
interesting effects - and a lovely sky
Theresa Evans said…
Thanks Vivien :)
Caroline said…
Hi Theresa, what a lovely sky!
Theresa Evans said…
Thanks Caroline:) From someone who's a master of beautiful and dramatic skies :)

Have a look at Caroline's blog if you have a minute or three to spare - http://simmill-arts.blogspot.com/
love the way you're experimenting with gesso and watercolors. very interesting textures and colors.
cioa from Italy
Theresa Evans said…
Ciao Alessandro.

I like to experiment but often the results don't get taken into my painting armoury! The jury's still out on gesso LOL.

Grazie molto ...
Nick G. Swift said…
I enjoy the atmospheric effect in the first one, and the textural effect in the second (which is more evident).

I like using gouache/bodycolour on top of watercolor and then applying sequential washes to integrate the medium.

with heavier paper I really enjoy scrapping with a dull pocket knife... or sand paper (150+ grit). If you paint on top of that you can get some great effects with the fibers.

Love your blog & work,
Keep painting,
Theresa Evans said…
Hi Nick. thanks for stopping by my blog and for your comments.

Scraping pack paint with a knife is not something I've tried but it sounds like something I should give a go ...thanks for the tip :)
Anonymous said…
I like the gesso experiments. I am experimenting with gesso and watercolor this week after purchasing Ann Blockley's book "Watercolour Textures." She use gesso to great effect. You should checkout her book.
Theresa Evans said…
Thanks Jean. Yes, I like Ann Blockleys work very much. She really pushes the boundaries of the medium doesn't she? Her father, John Blockley was also an inspirational watercolourist.

I'm just experimenting with various techniques, trying to find my own voice in the medium at the moment....