Welcome To This Gesso Adventure

You’re about to embark on a fun journey with this Gesso class. It is probably one of the most used products in mixed media. Lots of people have it in their stash, bought once or got it as a gift from a creative friend. 
Maybe you have it too and you’ve never used it because you have no idea what to do with it. Or Mixed Media projects seem so hard that you don’t even start.
In this class, you’ll learn some basics about Gesso as well as different ways to apply it. You’ll learn about the different tools and techniques and that will give you various results.

You’ll also learn a bit about the Gesso basics as well as different ways to apply Gesso. You will also see what the effect is of Gesso when you use it with inks, sprays and other colour products. Enjoy this fun Gesso adventure, Let’s dive right in.


I do want to add a little message on a personal note, I have put a lot of work into this class and created it especially for you. If you do want to share your makes on Social Media, please only show pictures of the end result and keep the steps on how to get there to yourself.
Get ready to learn fun and easy-to-apply craft tips and tricks that you will be able to use right away.

Thank you so much for joining me here and allowing me to be a part of your creative journey! Are you ready? Let’s get started! 


Gerry van der Velden

What Is Gesso?

One of the most used products in Mixed Media is Gesso, but what is Gesso and why would you need it or how can you use it? Let’s dive into the world of Gesso.

Gesso is a primer, a base coat and is used to seal and protect previous layers. It’s a mixture of white paint a glue binder and chalk, originally it was white, but nowadays black and clear gesso are also available as well as coloured gesso.

With a primer, you can make sure that paint will not be absorbed by the surface you want to add your next layer on.

Gesso can be applied on many surfaces like 

  • Glas
  • Wood
  • Canvas
  • Metal
  • Stone
  • Plastic
  • and of course Paper

When you apply gesso to your project, the next layers of ink, paint or sprays will all react the same, no matter what you added to your project. With Gesso you can make all surfaces equal, from paper to plastic and cardboard to metal to name a few. This will give you the option to get the same colour on all surfaces when you apply ink, paint or ink sprays.

In Mixed Media, you can go completely over the top with different elements, layers, surfaces like wood, plastic, metal and paper and make stunning 3D projects. But you can also keep it simple and that’s what we are going to do with some cool Gesso resist techniques to make gorgeous backgrounds. 

Let’s go over a few of the tools you can use to apply Gesso and the different kinds of Gesso.

What tools And What Kind Of Gesso Do You Need?

The kind of Gesso that would be best for your project all depends on what you need it for, what is your next step. And the same goes for the tools your need to apply Gesso, it all depends on what you want your project to look like.

You can apply Gesso in different ways, with a brush, a sponge or a palette knife, these are just a few options. Using different tools will give you different effects and if the gesso is merely used as a base layer or if you want it to play a certain part of the design. In the video I will go over a bunch of tools as well as some of the different sorts of Gesso available. 

You can use real tools but there are also other options to apply Gesso. Tools are great to apply a nice even layer as well as create texture, this can all help to build the layers of your design, even when the project will be pretty much flat.

Gesso is available from cheap to expensive and one not necessarily being better than the other. The cheaper versions are often thinner and more diluted, the heavy body Gesso is thick often almost paste-like. 

For resist techniques, a regular Gesso will do, not too thin, like extremely cheap, as that will be barely visible and that would be a waste of your time and effort.

If you want to use it as a base layer on non-porous surfaces or on a multi-surface project I’d go for heavy body gesso. Because then you will only need one or two layers saving you a lot of time and frustration if you don’t have to do it 8-10 times over.

Here is the link to the visual supply list

Different Ways To Apply Gesso

Now you have seen the tools and different types of Gesso let’s try out ways to apply it to a card and see what effect you’ll get with the different tools.

I will walk you through the techniques you can use to apply Gesso and show you the result on the cards. There are multiple ways to add texture or reduce the amount of texture for a  smoother effect.

Adding Colour

All the Gessoed backgrounds are dry and ready for the next layer, it’s time to add some colour. Let’s try out different colour products and see the effect on the Gesso. 

You’ll also see a few comparisons between a plain card base and one with added Gesso.

Here’s the link to the visual supplies list

The Perfect Finish

Once we have some colour on those card backgrounds, let’s see what else we can do to make them stand out even more.

And that doesn’t need to be much, remember, this is Mixed Media Made Easy, so we are keeping it simple. I am going to give you a few ideas on how you can some more details without hiding a big part of the design.

These ideas are just the starting point in your creative journey, you can try and test them for your cards, art journals, mixed media projects, scrapbook layout and so on.
Make sure to mix and match the different techniques and ideas to get even more variety.

Here’s the link to the visual supplies list

Some Final Words

I hope you enjoyed this class, have lots of fun trying and testing out the techniques on your own craft projects. 


Here are a few handy resources for you to check out:

When working with sprays there are a few things to keep in mind, check out this video: SPRAY SAFE DIY TOOL

Stencils are so versatile, in the Embossing with Stencils video you’ll learn a great way to stretch them even further.

Visual Supplies List

Here are three visual supply lists with all the products that you’ve seen in the video. 

Different Kinds Of Gesso
Backgrounds And Colour
The Perfect Finish

These links contain affiliate links that may be used at no extra cost to you when you need new supplies. Thank you for your support, this will help me to keep creating affordable classes for you.

Note: availability of products may change due to some collections that are no longer available.