recycling materials

Hello friends!   I have, as I wrote in my previous post, decided to recycle old canvases from terrible student artwork.  I took this as an opportunity to have a teachable moment, so bare with me.  During the process I photographed each step and planned on sharing them with those who have old artwork and new ideas.  It's a pretty easy procedure, but I know when I do something like this, I like to make sure that I'm doing it right so I didn't just sacrifice a piece of artwork I slaved over for nothing.   

Things you will need:

  1. old artwork
  2. gesso
  3. 2 inch brush
  4. drop cloth (old sheet)
  5. sandpaper
  6. sponge

I have almost all of these things left over from art school. (I had to buy new gesso about a month or so ago because I managed to make a gallon of it disappear the last time I moved) .  Now, before we start I should mention that if you are going to reuse a canvas, you need to make sure that the frame is strong and the canvas is in good condition.  



Step 1:  Wipe down old artwork with a wet sponge. 

Step 2:  Coat artwork with an even layer of gesso. Let dry.

Step: 3.  Paint another coat of gesso onto the artwork.  Let dry.

Step 4:  When completely dry (I let mine dry overnight), it's time to sand your artwork.  Dry gesso has a tooth to it.  I prefer to work with a smooth surface, if you're looking for a rough surface, skip to step happy painting.  If you prefer a smooth surface like I do, go outside or into a well ventilated area.  I like to be as cautious as possible with art supplies, because the materials are not always made with safety in mind and can cause health problems in the long run.  What we're being cautious with here is the dust from the sanded gesso. It is generally a non toxic liquid, but I don't want to breathe that in, and I don't really recommend you doing it either.  Also, it's going to be a fine dust and will make a mess.  

Step 5:  I usually sand lightly and periodically check the surface for rough spots.  This will ensure that you don't miss anything. 

Step 6:  Once you are done sanding the surface to your liking, you need to remove the gesso dust.  When starting a new painting you want to work on a clean surface.   

Step 7:  Let the canvas dry (should only take a few minutes) and then happy painting!   

I hope you enjoyed my very informative and extremely interesting blog post and recycling old materials.  And once again, Happy Painting!


Looove, Jamie