Archive for the ‘Painting Surfaces’ Category

The Gesso Foundation of a Painting

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

The painting “Past Perceived” by Ian Wells is painted on a panel with a covering of a traditional painting surface called Gesso.

Gesso is made from a mixture of white powder pigments with a hot gelatin and water glue.

The formulation and application of gesso to the surface of a panel requires a high level of skill but produces a surface that is unmatched in its optical beauty, permanence, and adaptability to the painting approaches of different artists.

Ian Wells has employed a range of techniques to the gesso such as abrading, burnishing, incising and masking to prepare the surface for the subtle and complex qualities he achieves with the painted forms.

The details of “Past Perceived” show something of the nature of these visual qualities. It is interesting to note that a painting with such a modern idiom is painted using a technical tradition that has survived over the span of history.

“Past Perceived”

Painting details below