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oiling out on Gesso


To avoid matt and dull aspect on a final painting can I oiling out my Gesso layer before painting with oil paint  ?
Does it make a difference ?

thanks !


  • stef

    By applying a light coat of oil to the gesso layer you will notice the paint will flow very smoothly off the brush. Such a treatment is likely to reduce the "sinking" effect on the paint.

    Some gessos are acrylic skinned and impervious to the oil, other gessos are chalky and absorbent.
    I have no way to know the characteristics of your gesso.

    Another suggestion is to tone the canvas with bu/tw acrylic to provide an oil sink barrier.


  • I do that but frankly with one layer of gesso on market available canvas, I don't think it makes a difference. It creates further problem of gesso sucking oil and deteriorating the canvas.

    I put at least three coats of gesso and this makes paintings shiny. If you can access oil grounds or oil primed canvas rolls then you can prepare your own canvas or panels with it. There is no substitute of painting on oil primed canvas. It is different. I re-used three of my old oil painted canvases. These new paintings shine like a mirror. This doesn't happen even on thickly gessoed canvases.
  • I'm pro photographier and own a large printer with pigment inks.
    I want to use mixed technics and paint on a printed canvas...

    I print on a coton prepared painting canvas (not on a fine art photo canvas !) It works but with less detail and color saturation of course.
    To avoid problems with ink pigment included in the gesso layer I want to apply on this layer, a transparent Gesso before painting with oil.

    Do you think it'll works ? Do I need to oil out the transparent gesso layer before painting ?

  • dencaldencal -
    edited June 2017

    Reckon oil over ink should be OK providing you are using pro quality archival inks.

    Check out this book. Sounds like it was written just for you.

    Digital Art Studio: Techniques for Combining Inkjet Printing with Traditional Art Materials Paperback – August 1, 2004

    by Karin Schminke  (Author), & 2 more ing=UTF8


  • Just remember all printing inks and dyes are vegetable based after 2000 - 2001. I don't know how compatible they will be with gesso or oil paint. You will need to experiment.
  • Thanks, I'll buy this book !

  • Ink pigments are in the first white Gesso layer, if I put a second transparent Gesso layer over, oil paint will not be in contact with them. I think it is the best solution. I hope !

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