Mia Tarducci Tests Utrecht Professional & Studio Series Gessoes
Utrecht was the first to introduce a revolutionary single-step archival acrylic gesso for priming canvas. Offering a level of quality that rivals the world’s leading brands, Utrecht Artists’ Acrylic Gessoes come in a range of specialized formulas that deliver outstanding absorbency and archival stability on a variety of supports.
To test coverage, I painted a large canvas panel with Carbon Black, one of the new Utrecht Artists’ Acrylic colors. After the panel was completely dry, I used pre-wetted gesso brushes to apply each gesso to the canvas at a slight angle, pulling straight down with an equal amount of pressure.
Undiluted straight from the tub, the Professional Gesso is very thick and smooth. It has a slightly stiff application that holds brush marks—perfect for creating textured grounds. It’s also brilliant, bright, and opaque thanks to high concentrations of top-tier titanium white pigment. The coverage and hiding power is outstanding. When you want total archival coverage with the sweep of a brush, this is it.
The Studio Series Gesso is perfect for artists who prefer a pourable formula. It’s very creamy, spreadable, and easy to apply. It dries quickly to a crisp, even surface with minimal brush marks—great for anyone who wants a smooth painting surface without sanding. The coverage is clean and bright, but for maximum opaque coverage two or three coats would be needed. Luckily, a gallon goes a long way. This is a great option for artists who use a lot of gesso—I use it all the time in my studio. You can’t beat the price.
After mixing well, I used a palette knife to pull the color down. In the middle, you’ll see the undiluted Primary Cyan, which I’ve added here as a baseline for comparing the tint strength of the two mixtures.
Wow. The Professional Gesso produces a much brighter tint than the Studio Series Gesso—it contains very high concentrations of superior-grade titanium white. You can see how bright, thick, and rich it is. It’s also incredibly absorbent.
The Studio Series Gesso does not offer the same high tint strength as the Professional Gesso, but it’s super spreadable and perfect for when you want to use many thin layers. I also enjoy the matte finish it creates. It’s a great economical choice for artists who want extend colors this way.
Utrecht Artists’ Acrylic Gessoes & Mediums
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Photographer credit for all images: Adam Milliron https://adammilliron.com/