Do I Need to Varnish My Painting?

Some of my learners ask me if they need to varnish their paintings.  I don’t think varnishing is necessary for beginners, but some like the idea of protecting their work for the future or like the look of the varnished finish.

The main reason I don’t suggest varnishing your painting as a beginner is because you are still learning and producing work that is improving all the time.  It can also get expensive to varnish every piece of work.  I like to save varnishing for the one off pieces of work that I am very proud of or if I know the work is going into an exhibition.  However if you are still keen to varnish your work, I will offer some tips on how to go about it.

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What is Gesso?

I got asked this question and it made me think of the time I was an art student and I kept hearing the term gesso.  I had no idea what it was and felt to embarrassed to ask because I felt it was something I should know.  Several years later I found out that it was a primer and it is used to prime surfaces for painting.  I use it often and wouldn’t be without it now so it seems funny that it was such a mystery to me for so many years.  This is why this site is so useful for so many, there are no silly questions!

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