I am including these shots of the beginning stages for the benefit of my extended family who have asked what is black gesso. Usually the ground is white and a thin wash of umber or another color is used to subdue the white because it sometimes is so overpowering that it interferes with color mixing. Whatever color the ground is affects the rest of the color, for instance a bright red ground will give a red cast to the entire painting, some bits of it will peek through.
Today the bowl was easier. I love its thin walls and the way it holds color in its edges. I poured in something called Big Red that I found in the back of my refrigerator, who brought that to my house???