Other Creative Goodness > Mixed Media

Gesso cracks?

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I layered some gesso over a page in my art journal to "start over"…but then as I did so, I noticed and remembered that many of y'all said it lightens things up and I thought this looked neat, so I let some of the gesso be thinner in places so BG shows through and then thicker in other places.  I was thinking about Yankee mentioning adding dimension when it dries….but now I am thinking she was talking about another product, b/c after it dried overnight, the parts that are thick cracked.  Might still be neat to work with, but that wasn't what I expected (though not sure what to expect anyways since not used gesso before).

So gesso cracks if it's applied thick in places?  (I did google this and many talk about when used on their canvases and how they get tiny cracks over their canvas/painting….but mine are large cracks…like I used Tim Holtz's crackle paints! lol!)

Far North:
Hmm-I have never gotten cracks before....so can't help much.  I don't think I used it as a "cover-up" on layers of paint/ink. What products were underneath the part that cracked? Was your thick layer thicker than painting a layer of acrylic paint?  I have done some texturing into gesso while it is initially wet with household items and graphic style stamps which add some dimension.  Or wonder if Yankee was speaking of gluing dimension items onto the gesso...like beads, button etc??  Hope she shares more here. 
Gesso can be used as a resist. 

One technique is to stamp images with gesso on to cardstock and the ink over the area and wipe ink from gesso.  Wonder if some coloring product caused the cracking. 

I'll be watching to see is someone has a clearer understanding of what happened. 


I have never gotten cracking in gesso.  I have used gesso over other products to tone down or start over and never gotten gesso cracks.  What brand did you use?  How thick was the product under the gesso?  If the under product was not dry yet before you put a coat of thicker gesso on top I wonder if that made the cracks?  Each coat has to be really dry before you put another coat on the top or strange things happen.  If you use heavy coats of plain acrylic paint on paper even thick paper you get different results than if you do it on canvas.  Most times I "thin" my paint and gesso out with a little water.  I have never used gesso for heavy texture though so maybe one should use molding paste for texture and not gesso......so many questions and really no answer to your question.....LOL!

I am thinking the gesso cracker b/c it was so thick in places…  I was covering over parts of the page----and all that was on the page (the page is made out of watercolor paper) was a stencil that I brushed distressed ink over using a cotton ball and then there were a few places I heat embossed a stamp using glitter EP and VErsamark…I accidentally smeared the EP before it was dried so I decided to start the page over by painting gesso over it….then decided that the dimension would be neat from the thicker places of the gesso so left those to dry.-----so there were thinner places and thicker places of gesso on the page.     

I am using Michael's brand "Artist Loft" gesso….I wonder if that is why it is cracking; maybe it's not a good product?   Wonder if I can ask the company…I think I may write and send them an email to ask about the cracking after lunch here….

I don't think you can cover up embossing powder with guesso.  That may have been why it cracked.
Take a small scratch paper, put embossing powder down the same way and then guesso and see if you get the same results.  I think you will!


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