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Acrylic Gesso | White, Clear and Tinted

To prevent your oil paint from sinking into the support, you should always prime your canvas; here we will demonstrate using white, clear and tinted gesso to prepare a canvas. Best practice is to use 2 to 3 coats on stretched canvas; when using white gesso you will have a brilliant white surface to start your painting. Clear gesso allows the natural colour of the canvas to show through, and a tinted gesso will provide you a coloured ground to start with, which can have a dramatic effect on your work. Here we tinted white gesso with Acrylic Mars Black to provide a neutral mid-grey. Leaving one area of the canvas raw, we ran a swatch of colour across all three prepared areas, the white, clear and tinted gesso, as well as the unprimed canvas. You can see how the oils sink into the canvas rather than sitting on top as it does on the prepared surfaces.