Properties of Gesso.


GPP Street Team Crusades are all about learning, exploration and sharing. Between Trish Bee and Michelle Ward, I have learnt so much in the last 12 months, which has transformed my creative life, that there’s no going back now! I thoroughly recommend the GPP Crusades if you like to experiment with paints, backgrounds, tools, etc. This is where I first learnt to carve stamps, make paper casts, cut stencils… and much more!

As per the title, this month we are encouraged to learn more about the ways in which gesso works in combination with paints, water, stamps… Here are 4 pages of lovely bright backgrounds from my art journal:


I used the gecko foam stamp with gesso because it makes lovely patterns and left good texture too! It’s just stamped over fairly thick acrylic paints and then I applied a light wash of green acrylic over them. The stamps are Paperartsy minis (more playing around!!)


This is paint, gesso spritzed lightly, wiped and more paint and wiping… really moody background – I love it! I shall use this page to stamp and journal in the future…


I painted the whole page with gesso, let it dry for a few days and then applied paints. The texture is quite evident I think from my brushstrokes… and this page begs for a skull pic in the future!!


I really like this one too! This is the gecko stamped with gesso, left to dry, painted and then wiped off to reveal the resist effect. Interestingly, the baby wipes I was using to wipe off the paint were really moist and I was able to wipe the excess paint along the paper and blend with them. I couldn’t resist outlining and highlighting 2 of these geckos – I just think they’re so cool!

I absolutely loved this challenge and shall be using what I’ve learnt on my next canvass… and all the time I was sitting playing around this afternoon/evening, DD was busily drawing a cat and a fire-breathing dragon from her new “How to Draw” book. I was thrilled – she’s so gifted! She doesn’t think so because she hasn’t yet learned that art isn’t perfect, it just is. And hers is far better then mine ever was at her age! *sighs contentedly*

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  1. rosie – these are fabulous! LOVING that blue purple and black page, and the layer of texture. The gecko is perfect with the gesso and I really like how you outlined them. I cracked up that you said “you couldn’t RESIST” doing it *grin* THanks for sharing with the team, and for your kind words about the the crusades.

  2. pat

     /  November 19, 2008

    Blimey Rosie, you’ve been hiding your light under a bush, on these ones Rosie, gesso seems to have caught you and your art by the b…s. stunning is not the word for it. keep going sweetheart. love Pat xxxxxx

  3. Marci

     /  November 19, 2008

    These are wonderful. I just love that Gecko stamp and your color choices are fabulous! The moody background looks like there is a face underneath, just peeking through the paint. Great job!

  4. wow!!!brilliant x

  5. Hi Rosie !

    Beautiful job with the gesso play ! I think I like the “moody blue” page best myself – the wiping technique and the multiple layers to the color just does it for me !
    How great that you and your girl take the time to create side by side ! Beautiful !
    Cheers, Crusader !

  6. I just love that gecko one! It’s fabulous!

  7. Elizabeth

     /  November 21, 2008

    I love the page before the Gecko!!!! The gecko is great but I think that the preceeding page could easily stand alone!!!! I LOVE it!!

  8. How great!! ALl fo the backgrounds look favorite is the moody page! Delicious!

  9. That gecko stamp is brilliant – I bet you get a lot of use from it. I really like the bright page you want to do a skull on; the colours really sing.

  10. Very cool Gecko stamp! Lovely pieces.
    Michelle Brown
    Melbourne Australia

  11. I love those geckos, especially the resist ones.

  12. hello co-student !!

    Me too I learned a lot from Michelle and Trish the past months ! And you may bet these teachers learn us great things !
    Look what you’ve achieved ! I really like the blue/back /purple page for all the texture that’s in it and the colorcombination is dark but also has a great impact. The gekko stamp is awsome ! I really like the gekko you did on the first page , but your outlining of the gekkos in the last page are a great idea and work perfect !!

    greetings from Belgium

  13. I would love to use the two test pages to decorate my living room! I see a waterfall in the blue one. SUPERB!

  14. I’m so grateful for these crusades and to meet others like you who enjoy playing and experimenting and creating. Your use of color is awesome. I’m always working with such earthy tones. Your colors are so vibrant and full of life. I’ll have to break out of my routine and try working with a new palette.

    The gecko stamp is so cool.

  15. I really love your *moody* page. Excellent colors! 🙂


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