topiary cats

topiary cats

Friday, July 24, 2015

In Which I Answer a Burning Question

In this blog post, I will endeavor to answer a burning question that I know has been on everyone's mind for a very long time.

Q: What is the difference between black gesso and black colorfix primer?


Since it just so happens that both live in my studio (surprise!), I can probably answer this question pretty fairly. Despite my extreme love for colorfix primer, and acrylic gesso* being, well, gesso- a basic substance on par with water, I will even try and be objective. Maybe.

*Acrylic gesso as compared to traditional gesso made of gypsum and rabbit skin glue. It is very brittle; must be used on rigid panels. I do not have any traditional gesso.

I have black and white, here they are. :)

Obviously, gesso and colorfix are both primers.  Colorfix, however, is way more expensive and hard to find than regular old gesso. So why bother?

A: TOOTH.  Colorfix has the perfect amount of tooth for pastels! It is intended for pastels and multimedia, and is the same stuff used to coat the ever-amazing colorfix pastel paper. You can use it under oil or acrylic but it will eat your brushes.

Gesso is gesso. It won't eat your brushes, and that is a good thing. 

Think of it like this: Colorfix is like a cat's tongue.  Gesso is like a dog's tongue.

I guess you could add marble dust or pumice to your gesso...but would have to make the effort to add the marble dust or pumice in, and worry about proportions and that kind of thing. 

And just because...... fyi I built this collection over years. That's the great thing about many art supplies...with few exceptions, they last forever or until used up, whichever comes first.


  1. This is all moonspeak to me, lol :-)

  2. Very nice. :D

    I love colofix and have been thinking of priming some things soon...

    Oh, I really want that aubergine, though......


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