When I studied Art + Design at Red Deer College in the mid-1980s, we were taught how to mix our own gesso. I haven't done it in years so I contacted my alma mater recently, I asked for the recipe again and thought I'd share it here:
1. 1/4 cup taclum powder.
2. 1 tablespoon white glue.
3. 1 tablespoon white paint.
4. water to desired consistency.
It's pretty simple and the ingredients are readily available. In the past, we also used a dry mix of drywall plaster (Plaster of Paris) in place of the talcum powder and, if I remember correctly, both have that nice chalky texture. For the white glue, I used Elmer's school glue though I wonder if you might try making your own...I used to do this with the girls when they were young though I'm unsure how effective it would be: flour and water heated to a boil and then cooled, apparently you can also make variations using cornstarch or gelatin. I tinted mine a warm grey using Natural Earth Pigments and used an old gesso bottle to shake everything up really good. I really like the consistency.
AIRdirondack Art Project
Alberta (above) +