Sunday, February 20, 2011

Gesso...Try it for a new way of creating softies!

Gesso on Cloth: A technique you'll want to try!

After reading this month's issue of Stuffed magazine, I realized that there's a whole world of techniques out there that softie lovers can use to enhance their dolls. It may be old news to some, but to me, the light bulb clicked on when I saw an article about using GESSO and ACRYLIC PAINT to make doll faces.

What is GESSO?  Gesso is a type of paint that's thick and white. It's like a whipped icing. But it's really a medium that is used to prepare a canvas before an artist paints over it. It can be purchased at any art or craft store and online. It's usually in the paint aisle.

You can use it in the same way to prepare your softie doll's face. It works best on cotton. Don't try felt for the first time around as it soaks in too much and you may get frustrated.  

This technique is so easy to master. You may have seen some lovely dolls that looked like primitives. They are made of cloth, but their faces appear to have a cracked, textured surface. This is the gesso's magic. . You simply make the doll face with cloth and then you paint it with gesso. Allow to dry and paint the face with acrylic paints. 

The results will be a sweet, almost aged patina that looks as if your doll has been well loved for years. 

I'd love to see photos of anyone's projects using an acrylic and gesso face painting technique. Send them to Or leave me a comment here with your links. Happy painting.

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