what is gesso

A tub of acrylic gesso

What is gesso paint?

Gesso is a mixture of chalk, glue, and white pigment that serves as a ground for paintings. Its most common variety is white, but it also comes in clear and tinted versions. If you intend to create an oil piece that will last a long time, gesso will stop natural fabrics like canvas from deteriorating from binders like linseed oil.

How to use gesso primer

Gesso is an excellent primer for both canvas and paper, and many acrylic and oil painting artists use it as a ground. It may also be used as a painting medium in itself, as a mixed media art technique.
When choosing gesso, it is important to consider what you intend to paint with. Acrylic gesso must be paired with acrylic paints, and oil paints should be paired with traditional gesso.
If necessary, acrylic gesso can be thinned with water, but traditional gesso should not be diluted with water.

See also: How to make gesso