Acrylic gesso is a key ingredient to any painting. Artists spread the material across their canvases before applying paint to prime the surface and ensure that the work will have a long life. Put simply, gesso makes a canvas more hospitable for acrylic paints. There are white and transparent gesso products, and we’ve got the rundown on the best options available.
1. Liquitex Basics Gesso Surface Prep
This gesso surface prep is perfect for priming your canvases before applying acrylic paint. It’s a great product for artists at all levels, especially those just learning the ropes of color theory and mixing. The gesso works seamlessly with acrylic paints, and you won’t run out of it anytime soon with this product, 16 fluid ounces of thick material that will give your works a lustrous satin finish. This #1 bestseller will give your paintings a shiny, showstopping look.
2. Sargent Art Gesso
A full gallon of white gesso will fuel your practice for months to come. What’s more, this product is certified a non-toxic. It’s also lightweight, so your canvas can be primed easily and quickly, and water resistant when it dries. This no-frills gesso is a necessity for any painter who creates large-scale pieces or alternates among multiple works-in-progress at a time. Whether you’re finishing a new body of work or just learning about painting prep, this gesso is a great tool for you.
3. Handy Art Gesso
This 32-ounce container of high-quality white gesso is an excellent choice for art students focusing on painting. It gives your canvas a matte finish that works beautifully with acrylic paint, making your work stand out. It’s also good for application to wood, linen, and other materials. This gesso is water-resistant and non-yellowing upon drying. It can be tinted with acrylic paints if desired, and you can clean it up easily using just soap and water.
4. Winsor & Newton Professional Acrylic Gesso
This transparent gesso gives absorbency and texture to canvases before paint is applied. Aside from works on canvas, the product can also be used on paper, making it useful for artists whose practices span both. You can also use this gesso to create different-colored primers using opaque paints. Moreover, this product is quick drying, so you can be painting in a matter of minutes after applying it.
5. Prima Marketing Gesso
With this 8.5-ounce container of clear gesso, the sky’s the limit for your painting practice. It mixes flawlessly with paints, so you can experiment and create stunning effects on your canvas. The quick-drying gesso is water-based but remains permanent after drying. It will give your work a clean matte finish, and its versatility allows you to mix colors and create new primer shades. Indulge your creative and experimental impulses with this multipurpose gesso.