So, gesso pages in art journals are awesome in looks and texture and there are various reworkings of gesso overlays in digital format. They make cool additions to your stash in that they can breathe new life for backgrounds you’ve used over and over again, or even create new elements to personalize your pages!
Here are a few simple tricks to use the gesso overlays:
1. In it’s simplest format, throw one of the overlays (ViVa has several full 12×12 page overlays) over the top of any of your background papers. Try using one that is more of a solid rather than a printed one.
You can then go into your layers palette and change the BLEND MODE of the overlay.
2. In the layers palette, click on BEVEL and then change the SHADOW MODE color to a lighter one. A dark shadow sometimes is too harsh and doesn’t look real where a gray or brown color adds just the right amount to raise the gesso overlay to give it a slight texture.
3. Again, a different BLEND MODE gives a touch of different color and it doesn’t appear as harsh as the all white. Using the OVERLAY mode, the original overlay softens and seems more like part of the page.
4. Another way to change up the overlay is to use a brush as an eraser and delete some of the sharper edges of the overlay. Simply click on the eraser tool and select a type of brush. I like using something scattered and with random edges.
5. Use a light background and place a contrasting paper over the overlay and then clip the paper (CTL+ALT+G).
Here is the same background paper with the same overlay but different papers clipped over the overlay.
6. For creating elements, layer up in this order, shape, paper/texture, overlay. Clip the overlay and paper/texture to the shape, then, play with the blend modes on both the overlay and the paper/texture.
Don’t forget to add in the bevel for a more realistic texture to the gesso overlay!
You can find more page overlays HERE.
Here’s a page Vanessa created with one of the overlays: