Pastiglia A word with Italian origin for the technique of duplicating the effects of carving. It is thus low relief or repossé on a surface, and can be built up by layers of gesso. The gesso is then modelled or tooled and later enriched with gilding or painting. Pastiglia was very popular in the Middle Ages and the Rennaisance. The technique is still being used today and works well on rigid supports such as wood or plywood, but is inflexible and near impossible to use on canvas.