Traditional Gesso on Wet Media Film

February 7, 2015

In my on-going tests of Grafix Wet Media Film, I wanted to see how traditional gesso (made with rabbit skin glue) would work on this surface. First, I got to this point after making up a batch of gesso yesterday in order to cover a thin wood panel that I had. Since I had some gesso left over, I thought it would be a good opportunity to test it on the film as well. Here’s a previous post on how I make my gesso; although, I didn’t use fabric this time, just brushed on the gesso directly to the panel.


Here’s the wood panel I made using 6 coats of gesso. It came out fine, without any cracks or bubbles. I still need to sand the edges down a bit to get it uniformly smooth. With a panel this thin it’s important to weight it down as it dries so the water doesn’t warp it. Once the gesso was touch-dry, I placed it under some heavy books for a few hours before sanding.


Here’s a sheet of the Wet Media film coated with 4 coats of the same gesso. To avoid the extra sanding this time, I decided to use a 9 inch trowel and scrape it on. I made the gesso a little bit thicker so it would trowel easily. The surface came out very smooth, but the adhesion is not very strong. It scrapes off pretty easily with just a pocket knife. It should still work out just fine as log as the surface isn’t damaged.


One feature of having the gesso on the clear film is that I can see through it. Here’s a sketch I made recently. When I place it under the gesso film, and hold it up to a window, you can see the drawing beneath. The film is thin and flimsy, so I’ll need to mount this to a firm panel to keep the gesso from cracking. I might even try using a thicker plastic sheet, perhaps ABS. I will need to sand the surface to improve the adhesion, but it should work well.



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