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The Magic of Spray Ink On Gesso

It’s amazing the amount of different kinds of art mediums that are available to us right now. And what’s even more amazing is when you use them together.

I heard that new products are made just by mixing various mediums together. I’m assuming the risk of accidentally concocting a toxic mix is pretty low.

Today, I want to show you what happens when you spray ink onto dried gesso. It really is pretty cool.

Try the cool effects of ink and gesso

Supplies needed:

Ok. Let’s start. I used pieces of card stock so that I could later use them for artist trading cards - I’m addicted to making them.

I also chose to use small background stencils; tho you could do this with any stencil.

Gesso and ink background tutoriall

Then, I placed the stencil over my piece of card stock and started to apply white gesso over the stencil.

I used a sponge brush and pounced the gesso to cover the whole design and piece of card stock.

Making atc backgrounds

Here‘s what it looked like after I pulled off the stencil. Don’t forget to clean your stencils afterward. I use a toothbrush when I rinse mine.

‘And then I let it dry.

Gesso through a stencil

After my gessoed paper was dry, I started doing the colorful part.

I sprayed my ink sprays over my gesso design. I used a few different colors.

Technique for artist trading cards

When I was done, a puddle of ink was left on my card stock and design. But I could already see what a difference there was between the gessoed parts and the plain paper.

ATC background technique

As it dries, the difference becomes more stark. It almost seems like something is magically appearing. I made a few more, and in one of them, the gesso design wasn’t evident at first, and it took time before the design emerged.

But look how cool this one ended up being.

Technique for art journals

And here are the others.

Background technique using gesso

I hope you all have fun trying this. And don’t forget that you can upload pics of how yours come out in the comments section.

Get the supplies on Amazon:

Ink over gesso mixed media technique
ink over gesso background technique

background technique ink over gesso


Jul 23, 2022

Love this idea! Looks like you make your owns ink sprays. Care to share your recipe?

Heather McClelland
Heather McClelland
Jul 11, 2023
Replying to

There are so many ways to make ink sprays. I plan on writing a whole post at some point. But recently I had fun purchasing an inexpensive tie dye kit with lots of colors, putting the dye in spray bottles and adding colored mica powder to make them like glitter mists.


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