Layering with Gesso Stamping

This week’s Life Book lesson was another exploration of layering, this time tutored by Kristin Van Valkenburgh.  I took careful notes while watching the videos and followed the directions for each of the layers.  I was forced to improvise a little since I do not own all of the materials used.  Maybe that is where I went wrong because I did not manage to pull this piece together very effectively.  I ended up with what looks like a puddle of brightly coloured ice cream as opposed to the lovely piece Van Valkenburgh ended up with.  Oops.  That said, the piece is incomplete.  I am supposed to add a heart shaped pocket to the background to hold a letter written to my younger self.  However, I don’t have any suitable material for constructing the pocket at present so that will have to wait until a future date.  This piece, therefore, is the background.

This was a great learning opportunity though and I have a few things I can take away from this piece and apply it to future art projects.  One layer involved stamping with and into gesso using a tool constructed from a cardboard tube.  That is responsible for the textured circles in this piece and I liked the technique so I can see me using that again.  The second layer was a liberal spraying with Dylusions ink and, because it can be reactivated, it was a bit of a pain to work with in subsequent layers.  I am sure more experienced mixed media artists can manage with that quality of the product but in my case that is why everything became so overwhelmingly pink.  I think, therefore, if I am to use Dylusions ink in a layered piece then it has to be one of the last layers.  I feel as though I am taking one step forward and two steps back when it comes to layering but at least that means I am making some gradual progress, however plodding.

Week 41 - Layering with Gesso Stamping

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16 thoughts on “Layering with Gesso Stamping

    • Ha ha! It’s a mess, I completely agree. I don’t think layering and I are ever going to get along. I think I do best when I keep things much simpler. However, I did learn from the process so it’s all good on that front.

    • Thank you, Amy. The bright pink is ink that was in confined areas and had nice spatter but the additional layers kept deactivating it so the pink puddle spread. It’s too dominant. I’m writing it off to another learning opportunity. Thanks for your kind comment. I appreciate it.

  1. You did your best and I think you are learning albeit slow as you have said. I can’t take the ice cream thing off my mind when I read through the whole post and as always pink ice cream with gold toppings always always makes my day.

    • Ha! I actually hadn’t thought of the gold as the topping. I like that idea. Layering just isn’t my thing. I’ve got no feel for it. But as long as I learn something each time then it’s all good and stamping with gesso was good.

  2. Given that you are experimenting with something you haven’t done previously, you’ve used the materials to great effect. I can’t imagine being able to create such a glowing piece first time round. Props to you:-)

  3. I really like the vibrancy of this. You don’t need to follow a tutorial slavishly. You might be able to spray the ink with fixative when it is dry to avoid mixing. Try it on a spare piece of paper and see if it works. It is something you can do when collaging ink jet works. When the fixative is dry, you can then use a thin coat of gel or medium on it as barrier to protect it and then paint over that when it is dry. 🙂

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