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‘Paint It White’: Gesso Workshop

A closeup of an artist's hand demonstrating Gesso painting technique

Directed by Markéta Poskočilová

When: Wednesday 05 July: 19.00-21.00
Where: University House: Beechgrove Room
Price: £24.50

Gesso is a traditional mix of an animal glue binder (usually rabbit-skin glue), chalk, and white pigment, used to coat rigid surfaces, such as wooden panels, as a permanent primer for further painting. Its absorbency makes it work with a wide range of painting media, including different types of water-based, tempera, and oil paints. Mixing and applying gesso is itself a skilled craft, as it is usually applied in multiple thin layers.

In this workshop, participants will learn about the steps involved in creating a medieval panel painting, including making pigments, gilding, and the application of colour using medieval techniques. Participants will also learn the technique of applying gesso to wood, before having a chance to experiment with a wooden panel of their own. This panel can then be painted or decorated at home.

All materials and tools will be provided. Due to the nature of the materials, it is not possible to offer vegan alternatives.

Markéta Poskočilová studies the book culture of the late Middle Ages. She is completing her PhD focusing on the Olomouc chapter library in the Department of History in Palacký University. Inspired by the artistry and craftsmanship of medieval books, she studied medieval painting techniques at the Accademia Santu Jacu School in Sardinia.

This workshop can only accommodate a limited number of participants. Early booking is recommended.