A week or so ago i was asked about my thoughts on clear gesso versus matte medium. i promised as an explanation and today is the day. i created some tags using gesso (white), matte medium, and clear gesso. i want you to see how they look as a base and with color.
Gesso is a way to prep a substrate (think base of the piece...canvas, wood, etc). It readies the piece for acrylic paints or other mediums. White gesso is common but there is also black, grey, and clear.
Matte Medium is a good all-purpose medium used for extending paints, increasing transparency, cutting down on gloss, or as ground instead of gesso. Between clear gesso or matte medium, i prefer the matte medium. The clear gesso is really gritty and shows a lot of brush strokes. Sometimes i want those brush strokes but not usually when i am working on paper.
Can you see the grit?
Here is the Matte Medium tag. Less brush stroke marks and way less grit. i wish you could feel the two of them. So why do i have clear gesso in my stash?
i bought this vintage atlas in January. i knew i wanted to preserve the map as a background but still needed to prep the pages for acrylic paints & spray inks. i heard about clear gesso and bought a small bottle. i thought perhaps since it had gesso in the name that it was better than the matte medium i was already using. i was disappointed with first use. i talked to some friends and they had the same conclusion as i did. i went back to using my matte medium as a primer & glue for my patterned papers and collages. So if i had just one of these two in my stash (clear gesso or matte medium), it would be hands down the matte medium. Skip the clear gesso and buy a larger matte medium. it's worth it.
For more ideas on how to use Matte Medium in your art, check out this blog post.