Traditional Gesso

Working with traditional gesso is a labor of love for myself, using traditional materials, rabbit skin glue and French white chalk, to create a ground that is a luxury to work and paint on. Every ground I create through this method will give varying finishes that have tiny imperfections on the surface, every ground is as individual and unique as the painting I create on top of it.
The process stars with allowing the rabbit skin glue to soak over night to form a jelly, this is then gently heated in a double boiler to make it a liquid. I then use the rabbit skin glue to size my panel on both sides to prevent warping.
I can then begin making the gesso from the remainder glue and sifting in the french chalk carefully as to not get air bubbles or lumps. When the consistency reaches double cream, and my boards are dry I can paint on the gesso to my prepared boards. The boards will usually take three to four coats with sanding in between, the final result is a fine porcelain surface in which to paint on.

^ A final wash of raw umber to tone the board and get it ready for paint.