Textured Gesso Backgrounds

Welcome to Background Noise Challenge Number 5

These backgrounds are EASY!! Very EASY! So easy infact it seems an ‘art crime’ to call it a background technique! Not only are they easy to make they look stunning!

Read on for info…

What You Need:

  • Card Stock
  • Black Gesso -or- White Gesso & Black Acrylic Paint
  • Gold Acrylic Paint -or- any colour metallic or pearl acrylic paint
  • Credit Card

How To Create:

First of all if you dont have any black gesso dont panic as you can improvise – read on for details:

Step One:

Black Gesso Method:

Take a sheet of card stock and scrape a generous amount of black gesso into the centre of the card. Use your credit card to spread the gesso all over the surface of the card – you want it to be applied very thickly – imagine you are plastering a wall!

Once the gesso has been applied use the credit card to make ridges, lines and textures into the gesso and make it completely uneven and textured. Set aside to dry.

White Gesso & Black Acrylic Paint Method
(for those who dont have black gesso):

Follow the instructions above for applying the black gesso to the card only use the white gesso. Once the white gesso has dried, paint it with a layer of black acrylic paint and set aside to dry again (or use a heat gun to hurry it along)

Step Two:

Once the gesso has dried, take a small blob of gold acrylic paint and squirt it into a plastic cup or artist palette or plastic plate. If your paint is thick and gooey you may want to add a little bit of water to water it down slightly – some paints are naturally thin and may not need watering down.

Note: You can use any colour metallic or pearl acrylic paint for this.

Take your gessoed background and lay it on the surface, now dip your pointy finger into the gold acrylic paint and use your finger to rub the paint over the raised gesso ridges and textures.

Tip: Dont put too much paint on your fingers – less is more. You want some of the black gesso to be visible underneath, the gold is for highlights. See background samples below for a guide.

Continue until the entire surface is covered with gold metallic highlights and set aside to dry.

Your background is complete!

Now wasnt that just too easy 🙂


You can use rubnbuff or metallic rub ons for these backgrounds if you prefer – I chose acrylic paints because most folks have those in their collection!

You dont have to paint your white gesso black – why not paint it dark brown or burgundy or navy or forest green!

Textured Gesso Background Samples:


5 thoughts on “Textured Gesso Backgrounds

  1. Pingback: Swirls for TGIF «

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