Tuesday 7 July 2015

Prima Art Basics Gesso and Pastes - All that you need to know!!

Hello everyone!
This is Jaya here.
Today I am going to discuss about the Prima mediums

The Prima mediums by Finnabair come in three lines-
Art basics
 Art extravaganza
Art ingredients 

Image courtesy-Google


1. White
2. Black
3. Clear

Modeling paste Opaque matt

Light paste Opaque matt

Soft gels- 

1. Soft matt gel transparent
2. Soft gloss gel transparent

3D gels- 

1. 3D matt gel transparent
2. 3D gloss gel transparent

Today I am going to talk about Art Basics Gesso, Light paste and modelling paste

Art Basics- Heavy Gesso
What is Gesso ?

Gesso actually is a white paint mixture consisting of  binder mixed with chalk,gypsum,pigment or any combinations of these.
-It forms the layer between the surface you are working on and the paint mediums.

The Art basics Heavy gesso line has 3 colors of geso- Black, White and Clear

-It is an opaque polymer that dries permanent and with a matt finish and is flexible after drying.
-It slightly resists non permanent  color products. 
-Non toxic,archival safe
-It provide a smooth, non-yellowing chalky surface.                                             
-Water-based. Archival-safe. Non-toxic.

What Heavy Gesso does?

- As gesso is a primer for most of the surfaces ( paper,canvas,fabrics,metal,wood etc) it act as the layer between the surface and art mediums.

-It gives the surface tooth and therefore helps the paint or art mediums to better adhere to the surface. 

-It is great for covering background and unwanted designs/patterns,neutralizing colours or toning down and preparing for next steps without bleeding through.
Tone down colours /patterns using gesso

-Gesso does not absorb so good for very porous surfaces as chipboards,wood, unprepared canvas

On paper-
Absorbency on printer parer

Reverse side of the sprayed paper

On wood- 

Notice the bleeding of spray and ink on the area without gesso.

After washing off the paint with water

- It can be applied with palette knife(thick application) or brush(thin application). You can water it down to get thinner consistency

-You can stamp with gesso or on gesso-ed surface,draw,spray, stencil etc on top

-It Resists, Covers up. Seals!

-Dry between coats

-No need to use gesso on watercolor paper

Art Basics-Heavy Gesso

Picture courtesy- Google

It is opaque,permanent when dry, gives a matt finish.
Quick drying but can also be heat dried with heat gun
It is non -yellowing
Flexible when dry
Slightly Resists non permanent mediums
Heavy, white and  thick body so requires more than one application to give full coverage. Give multiple layers for full coverage.
Dry between layers.
Can be mixed with Archival ink,distress stains, distress paints, acrylic paints or sprays  etc to get your own custom coloured gesso
Custom paste using Heavy gesso and Prima mowed lawn chalk edger

Art basics- Heavy Gesso
Picture courtesy- Google
-It is opaque,permanent when dry, gives a matt finish.
-Quick drying but can also be heat dried with heat gun
-Flexible when dry
-Gives complete coverage in a single application
Complete coverage

-Gives tooth to surface- can be coloured using chalkboard paints, pastels,chalks etc,

Painting/highlighting with gold after using black gesso

Black gesso vs  Black Acrylic paint

1. Dries faster than acrylics

2.More tooth in black gesso therefore it hold paints, chalks, chalkboard paints etc better.

3.Black gesso gives a chalkboard,matt finish unlike shiny finish of the acrylics

Art basics-Clear Gesso

Picture courtesy- Google
1.It is transparent.matt finish polymer.

2.Quick drying but can be heat dried with heat gun.

3.Provide light tooth to the working surface.

Using gelatos and pastels
Here you see the background is still visible after the application of gesso. 
B. The area with gesso since has toothed surface holds onto the colours better

4.The colours on the area with gesso are easier to rub and buff
Using gelatos and pastels

5.Can be mixed with sprays,paints,distress stains etc
Custom paste with clear gesso and mowed lawn chalk edger

6.You can use over any image before re-colouring it.

Tips when working with gesso-

 1. When working with gesso you may use-
Palette knife,
 Soft flat edge brush (less bristle stokes visible),
 Hard bristle brush- flat edge (textured surface),
stencil brush (though stencil)
Old credit card etc

Comparison of strokes
2. Paint onto objects- old and new and recolour when the gesso is dry.
3. Neutralize colours of the background or embellishments

4. You can mask mistakes or spills of paint to an extent with white gesso application

5. Use gesso through a stencil and spray when dry. It will give beautiful resist effect.

6.  Create custom pastes with heavy white and black gesso by mixing Stains, paints,archival ink etc.
Custom made paste with Prima heavy gesso and Prima mowed lawn chalk edger

7. Always remember to clean your brush,stencils etc with water and saop or wet wipes  after using them with gesso.

Modeling Paste- Opaque matt
Picture courtesy- Google`

-It is Opaque and thick polymer paste.
-Dries permanent with white matte finish.
-Even though it is hard,rubbery, permanent on drying and is flexible at the same time as it does not chip off/break.
-Creates great 
texture and dimension. 
-Can be used as base for paints and pastes. or can also be mixed with paints, pigments, or inks to create custom pastes.
-Water-based. Archival-safe. Non-toxic.

What modeling paste does?

-It is more opaque and thicker than Light Paste and thus adds lots of texture and dimension to the surface. The texture added is semi white/ bit transparent and opaque.

- Use with stencil and palette knife to add great dimension and texture. For more dimension add a thick layer and do not scrape and spread.

- Modelling Paste also acts as a resist which enables you to create beautiful patterns with inks and sprays!
The resist effect of texture paste and gesso when using non permanent colourants.

 Tips when working with Modeling Paste-

1.The Prima modelling paste- Opaque white create great dimensions and textures when applied with palette knife for random application or then applied though stencil to create patterns. Remember you can create designs of varying thickness. To create less 3D effect scrape and spread the paste while working on stencil and to create thick 3D effect ..just be liberal.

Comparison of thickness

2.Use modelling paste on coloured backgrounds for better visibility.

3.-Extract the most out of your paste. Do not use just for dimension. As this paste also consist of a binder you can actually sprinkle Art ingredients- microbeads , place buttons and charms on top of the applied paste when it is still wet and all the stuff will adhere to the paste when its dry. Just give a few flicks to remove any excess/unstuck elements

Art ingredients- glass beads adhered to paste

4.-While it is best to let it dry on its own you may speed up the process a little bit with heat gun, Although you may get puffed up effect with prolonged heating.. But then it adds up to the texture as well if you love it!

5.- It is a perfect base for creating custom-made pastes. Add Inks (archival,dye,pigment,chalk), sprays, Pigment powders( Lindy's magicals, Ken Oliver color bursts), Distress stains and distress paints, Acrylic paints to create the custom made paste of your choice!

Custom made paste using Prima chalk edger- Mowed lawn

6.- As Modeling Paste is permanent after drying do not forget to clean the tools and stencils with water and soap or wet wipes-  just after using.

Art Basics- Light paste

Picture courtesy- Google

-Opaque and thick but light and airy due to lot of air incorporated while preparation of the polymer. 
- It is permanent when dry with matt finish
-Can be used to make custom made pastes with Inks,sprays paints,acrylics or pigment powders.
-It adds light dimensions to the surface with a little transparent look.
-Water-based. Archival-safe. Non-toxic.

What Light paste does?

Very similar in uses to modeling paste... Such as
-Airy and dries white.
-When dry light paste is a great surface to add colour on-Use watercolours,sprays,pigment powders,water based paints etc.
- Adds texture that is a bit transparent in look.
- Good for dimensions when using stencil and palette knife.
- Works as an adhesive for charms,art ingredients,glitter etc when elements stuck onto it in wet condition and dried.
- Custom pastes can be made using inks,sprays and pigment powders etc just like gesso or modeling paste

Tips when working with light paste-

- Create custom made pastes  with this paste. It will change the intensity of the colour of the paints making them more whitewashed/lighter. 

- Light Paste holds dimension, but is light and airy. Along with this it is white and bit of transparent which makes it good to give snow like effects or puffed up textures.

- Surface with light paste accepts water based paints and inks better.

- Mix with acrylics to not just create custom pastes but increase the volume of paint as well.

- Light Paste need a bit of time to dry perfectly. You can speed the process with heat tool but if the layer is thick only the top most surface dries while the inner layers are still wet.

- Clean your tools after using paste with water and soap or wet wipes as the paste is permanent.

Supplies used-
Prima Art basics Heavy gesso white by Finnabair
Prima Art Basics Heavy gesso Black by Finnabair
Prima Art Basics clear gesso by Finnabair
Prima art basics Light paste opaque matt
Prima Art basics-Modelling paste opaque matt by Finnabair
Rangers Bricked stencil
Prima Art ingredient Clear glass beads
Prima mowed lawn chalk edger
Ken oliver inks- Ultramarine blue
Ken Oliver ink- Pthalo green
Rangers -Alcohol ink-Sunset orange
Rangers-Alcohol ink-Raspberry
Palette knife
Prima color bloom spray- Sultry shimmer cobalt
Distress ink- Picked Raspberry

I guess this much is more than enough for the day!

I will be back soon with more on the Prima mediums soon!
Please let me know in case you have any questions regarding these mediums. All supplies can be found at Crafters corners


  1. Wow jaya...what a power packed informative post..TFS...xx

  2. Jaya dii thank you for sharing all the info. on Mediums can't wait to try these . :)

  3. Omg !! Jaya what a bumper post ! My jaws just dropped and loved your post to the core ...
    Fantabulous post dear

  4. Wow, Jaya... Love this post. You have covered every minor details about product. It is like Wikipedia for newbies like me. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this mam. It's a great help for me as i am going to do my first mix media thing im a day or two. I am about to receive all the stuff today from crafters conrner and ur previous tutorial is gonna be my inspiration as a beginner. Thanks a lot and you are awesome. 😃😃

  6. Loving these post about basic art helpful!Thanks a lot Jaya!

  7. Absolutely awesome post Jaya!!!
    Very Informative & well explained !
    Thanks for sharing

  8. Super informative post and very well explained.

  9. WOW! What an amzingly informative post Jaya di! Love it! Thanks for sharing such a informative and well explained post!


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