Here is my DIY Black Gesso.
I used 1 part Black Paint to 1 part PVA glue. I added a 1/2 part of calcium carbonate or marble dust-which ever you prefer-and then 1/4 part talcum powder.
So this is how it shakes out:
distilled water for thinning, if desired
1 cup black paint (OR black ink-you need less of the ink)
1 cup PVA glue– or cheap dollar store school glue/Elmers
1/2 cup calcium carbonate
1/4 cup talcum powder
Mix the PVA glue and distilled water together first, very well. (I didn’t actually use distilled water in this batch, as my gesso was runny enough.) Add half the calcium carbonate/talcum powder mixture to the PVA glue. Mix with a wire wish (or attach a mixer to a drill and mix it up that way). Add the rest, continue to mix. Be sure there are no lumps left from the calcium carbonate. Add your black paint. Stir/mix thoroughly. If your mixture is to thick, add distilled water. If it’s to thin, add more calcium carbonate.
The paint I used was some stuff I found in the back room. It was semi-gloss. I bought a gallon of flat black to make the gesso with, but I wanted to mix up a bit with left over stuff first to see if I needed to adjust my recipe.
I used this in my techniques art journal. I went over a page I had painted in rainbow colors with artist quality acrylic paints. It needed two coats. I think I’ll actually be adding some black water based ink to the recipe.
You can make your gesso using only waterbased black ink, if you prefer. Honestly, you have to use quite a bit of paint to make it dark enough to cover some really intense color. A shot of black ink will darken it beautifully and you will be able to paint one coat over anything you can imagine.
The tooth is nice. As you can see from my tests, the stuff really pops some of the media. The metallic pens were spectacular. The gel pens were nice too. Gelatos, Porfolio watersoluble oil pastels and pan pastels were pretty good too. The DIY metallic shimmer paint was not vibrant, but it does show up better now that its completely dry. I used a chalk pastel pencil to write the names of each thing beneath it’s spot and the pastel pencil worked very well. The markers didn’t show up at all. The acrylic and fluid acrylic paints look great.
Paint pens would probably work really well on this gesso, but I had a crappy paint pen which really didn’t want to write at all.
If you would like to make chalk paint, do the exact same thing-just leave out the PVA glue. The glue is necessary as a binder for the gesso, but you don’t need it for chalk paint. And you can make this in any color you choose. It is far less expensive to make this stuff than to buy it in the store, let me tell you! Some chalk paint calls for Plaster of Paris, rather than the Calcium Carbonate or the Marble Dust. That is your call to make, I’ve not used the recipe with plaster of paris. I added talcum powder because I like the smell.
If your gesso is to thin, add more calcium carbonate or marble dust. Using only talcum powder is not gritty enough for gesso. You need the other stuff to give it the tooth it needs for your art techniques. I made only a small amount of the black gesso this time to see if I liked my recipe. If this works out well, I’ll make more and put it into thoroughly cleaned out ketchup bottles. I like the kind with the flip-top lids, but any plastic squeeze bottle will work. Just make sure you label your gesso with the date, and if you would like, the recipe.