Three or four days ago I set up a messy table and started to experiment with gelatos and gesso. In the picture above all the examples (except one, the purple flowers mid left) use a combination of these two media. I’ve had a small pack of gelatos for a while and really liked them but wasn’t really happy with the colours of the set I’d purchased. The first photograph below shows my existing set, the second the pack I treated myself to at the beginning of the year.

As you can see, the second set is softer and more pastel but in actual fact since using the two sets I have been mix and matching a lot. The set above comes with some stamps, brush and a palette knife as there are all manner of ways to use gelatos, but I have simply combined them with water and used gesso to layer. This afternoon I decided to stop for a while – I’ve made fifteen samples – but am really happy that I have tried them on a range of papers. They can be used on a variety of surfaces including wood, canvas and fabric and at some time I intend to experiment on the latter.

The pictures below show some of the variety obtained using the gelatos with gesso. I haven’t experimented with that much before either but it allowed me to mute the gelato colours, stencil on top and add layers or apply thickly and then scratch into it with a feather or kebab stick. Sometimes I added more colour onto the gesso with koh-i-nor inks and on a couple of occasions I was rather heavy handed with some embossing powder! I also did some stamping/stencilling with acrylic paints – in some cases throwing everything at the piece. Khadi paper stood up to all of this very well, although I also experimented with watercolour and cartridge paper too.

If you have been interested enough to scroll down this far you will have seen that there is a good deal of variation both in technique and quality. It’s the way to learn! Only the last one didn’t use gesso and I must confess that I copied a greetings card for this picture. The one above that looks as though I copied an Angie Lewin if I dare suggest that, but I didn’t! The tulips are bonkers and the red flowers above that are part of a long coastal landscape piece where I applied the paint thickly and scratched in the coastal plants. And that’s what I would like to continue with next time I get my messy table ready!

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