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I am new to this forum and need some advice regarding a mask I'm making. I am attempting to learn how to make venetian masks would like to know if I should seal the chalk gesso layer before painting on the decoration. I used Jonni Good's method of blue shop towels and substituted thinned wood glue for the joint compound. After 3 tries I finally got a usable mask base (talk about a lesson in patience and perseverance) and have managed to make a remarkably smooth finish using a homemade modeling paste to smooth out any lumps in the chalk gesso however I am worried that the chalk/gesso will crack if I paint over it. Any advice is much appreciated!
p.s. I recently bought some Carta lana as well to try and man does that make a smooth mask!
What was your ratio of chalk to gesso? Did you use modern acrylic gesso? Is it completely dry?
I suspect that the most likely point where the surface would crack is during the drying of the chalk/gesso layer, esp if too much chalk had been added. I don't know why it would crack AFTER it dried completely. If you used modern acrylic gesso, you would just be adding another layer of acrylic (paint) on top of the acrylic-based gesso, more or less like adding another coat of paint.
Tip: Make your layers of paint thin, and do two or three coats, depending upon the effect you want.