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Hianna 10-01-2013 07:06 PM

Prepping canvas for ink
I've been using SU Classic ink as a color base on a pre-primed canvas (on a frame). The color dries but doesn't cure - if I try to add collage elements with Mod Podge the base color smears and smudges. I've tried a spray fixative and that seems to help but it's not perfect. Any suggestions from mixed media specialists? (Besides the obvious - not using the ink - I am trying to stay in the SU color palette)


Angelnorth 10-02-2013 03:17 AM

Your problem is basically that a primed canvas is a semi-slick surface so any die based ink (not just the SU! ones) are unlikely to dry properly on there. I'm not sure what look you're trying to achieve - I guess you could try adding a few drops of reinker to gesso for a pastel version of the colour or to ModPodge for a more translucent finish and painting that onto the canvas. The medium should "lock" the colour so it stays put when you add more elements on top.


stamphappy1650 10-02-2013 03:17 AM

I coat all my canvas with Gesso, even the ones that say they are coated. It will make a huge difference in your results.

Hianna 10-02-2013 01:00 PM

Thank you both. I've been struggling to get a good answer and these are very helpful suggestions. stamphappy, will the ink dry on the gesso? are you using a thick coat?

Joanne, the re-inker in the gesso will definitely help to get the soft colored background I'm looking for, and I'm thinking that stamping over that layer once it is dry will also work. I want to use both techniques to give color and texture to the project. How long do you think the gesso will need to dry before I add paper (collage?) Can I use mod podge on top of gesso?

You two have given me hope!! Thanks!

stamphappy1650 10-02-2013 03:54 PM

Anne, yes the ink will dry on the gesso. You may want to heat set it to speed up the drying time. You just need to cover the entire surface and it doesn't have to be super thick. The Gesso soaks into the canvas so the ink sits on top instead of soaking into the canvas.

You can use any number of mediums on top of Gesso: ink, acrylic/oil paints, mists, mod podge, etc. What I mainly use are acrylic paints to get the background colors I want. I buy the cheap bottles of paint because in the long run it's less expensive than using ink. You might want to consider buying white acrylic paint and then color with reinkers to stay in the SU color palette. If you don't want the colors to blend, heat set between each color.

Here on SCS there is a mixed media challenge - you check it out to get some ideas. Mixed media is addicting but so much fun.

Angelnorth 10-03-2013 12:29 AM


Originally Posted by Hianna (Post 20357975)
How long do you think the gesso will need to dry before I add paper (collage?) Can I use mod podge on top of gesso?

Gesso's a pretty quick-drying medium. I'd say walk away and get yourself a cup of coffee, drink it and come back and you should be about ready to go. It will feel dry and slightly chalky under your fingers. If you're tempted to speed it up with a heat gun, just be careful not to get too close as it will scorch and potentially bubble too.

As Stamphappy says, you can use all kinds of stuff on top of gesso so adding collage elements with Mod Podge will pose no problem at all. Mod Podge combines with just about anything by its very nature I think, there's not much it won't stick to!

HeatherHolbrook 10-03-2013 05:40 AM

I agree with gesso-ing the canvas first, the ink will be more likely to dry completely. Also try heat setting your ink with a heat gun. You might also try sealing the inked area with a matte gel medium to prevent it from smearing. It will dry clear and then you can continue to work over top of it.

JoannaLees 10-09-2013 04:46 AM

Preparing canvasses
Hi Anne

I've done a few canvasses in the past (and got a bunch more waiting to start on!) and I've just taken a look back to see what I did. Like the others recommended, gesso is a great base and seems to accept all other mediums quite happily.

Looks like I didn't bother doing that on the bathroom ones but I didn't actually paint on top or do anything too 'arty' :). The other one - a small decorative piece - wasn't gessoed either and the ink did bleed a lot!

If you'd like to take a look then at my blog you can search for 'canvas' and they'll show up there.


Have fun, Joanna

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