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Author Topic: Getting Dust Off the Paintings  (Read 8465 times)

patindaytona

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on: January 04, 2011, 07:55:25 PM
I noticed some of my paintings were collecting alot of dust. Even though I had varnished them with REtouch varnish weeks ago, when I used a paper towel to dust off any dust, it actually smudged the paint and dulled that area of it. I hope my paints are drying right!! :confused:    I think it feels dry to my finger touch. What do you think is happening? How would you get dust off without smudging the paint. It's mostly the darks I think.    I have so much dusk (not to mention dog hair!) incorporated into my paintings. Real nice.
The moment you find yourself mostly satisfied with a painting and think you'll "just quickly" do this or that, that's the moment to stop completely. Take the painting off your easel and put it aside for at least 24 hours, then reassess whether it really needs that tweak.


dennis

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Reply #1 on: January 04, 2011, 08:27:46 PM
Without seeing the actual original painting I can only make an educated comment.
First thing to remember is that oil as such takes a long time to dry out. It may feel absolutely dry to the touch and even after a time you may rub your finger over the painting without any visible effect. Still the painting is not actually "dry".

If you make an oil painting with even a thin layer of paint, you should NEVER varnish it before at least 4 months are up. What actually happens is this - the outer layer of molecules start drying out (oxidizing) because of the contact with oxygen in the air. This eventually effectively forms a skin over the other layers of molecules underneath it. This prevents oxygen getting to the under layers and allowing them to oxidized. Some oxygen , however, slowly manages to seep through to the underlayers and allows them too to dry out.

With thicker layers, or areas where the paint is thick, this takes a very long time. I made a painting of flowers with a painting knife impasto style and after 8 months parts of the paint, even though touch dry, were still very rubbery. It took a full year before it became hard. Only then was the top layer hard enough for me to apply the final varnish coat.

It would seem that you varnished your painting much too soon and on top of that the varnish had not dried properly before you tried to clean the dust off. A word of advice: when you varnish a painting ALWAYS do this in a  dust free area and then lay it flat also in a dust free area (wherever that may be). Another mistake was to clean it with a paper towel. Always use a lint free cloth because any loose fibres will cling to the painting and stick there.

On an absolutely dry painting you can carefully wipe the dust off with a damp cloth in one direction only and always with a clean portion of the cloth. If you don't then all you are doing is redepositing the dust on the surface again and making "mud".

Hope you can make sense of what I have just said.
You are what you THINK about - Napoleon Hill


patindaytona

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Reply #2 on: January 04, 2011, 10:18:46 PM
Thanks Dennis. I only used the Re-touch varnish, not the actual permanent varnish. I know I have to wait quite some time for that. When I put the retouch varnish on, sometimes I can see that it will disolve some of that paint that I though was long dry...because of the thinner in the retouch varnish.       So, I'm being more careful about things.  Painting the background of it again for the 4th time. Yes, 4th.     It's a simple black background, but still takes about half an hour. I'm going to put it in a very safe place after that free from dust.   Oh, when you put on the Permanent varnish eventually, will it add even MORE gloss to the color in the painting, than the Re-touch varnish will, or is it the same?
The moment you find yourself mostly satisfied with a painting and think you'll "just quickly" do this or that, that's the moment to stop completely. Take the painting off your easel and put it aside for at least 24 hours, then reassess whether it really needs that tweak.


dennis

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Reply #3 on: January 04, 2011, 11:46:34 PM
Retouch varnish is normally put on when a painting has been dry for quite some time - even after several years. Old paint can get quite hard and sometimes new paint in a touch-up will not adhere to it properly - like painting on glass! This is when the retouch varnish is used. It is formulated so that it will partially dissolve the top thin layer of old paint in order to form a binder for the new to attach itself to (glue itself to..) You normally do not have to use retouch if your paintings are relatively new as the oil base of the paint will do that.

What I often do is use my oil medium to carefully apply a very thin layer onto my painting (when dry) and       one can almost immediately go to work with the upper layer painting.  I use a large varnishing brush to do this. Make sure you cover ever square inch of the surface are other you will have dull spots

Years back when I built my own dingy (Mirror) the first coating put on the wood was thinners with only 10% of polyurethane. This soaked into the wood to bind with it. The following layers had progressively more and more polyurethane until the last few coats went on pure. This way the paint will NEVER peel off. Paint peels off when there is no correct binder between it and the layer underneath.
You are what you THINK about - Napoleon Hill


patindaytona

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Reply #4 on: January 05, 2011, 01:09:56 AM
I thought the retouch varnish was used for bringing back the luster of your dull colors in an oil painting. And to be used as a temporary varnish to protect it until the permanent varnish is used. I hope I didn't ruin all my paintings. I've worked unbelievably hard on every one of them. I just spend the past week on a one inch area doing it over and over till well.......I'm pretty much sick from doing it. I've done this many times with all the other paintings. I can't let it go for nothing. It's of course always at the very end when I think I'm done and it's that one thing that doesn't fit right in it. And it's an IMPORTANT part of it.   Anyway, I'll post the one I just finish, though I'll probably get it out a million more times. The important part I think looks muddy and murky...but not extreme. I'm hoping mayby in a week or so I can apply a very thin glaze of linseed on that part maybe and hope to bring out some luster...even a hint more.  By the way, I've been using Liquin. Is it ok to touch up that part on the surface using the linseed?
The moment you find yourself mostly satisfied with a painting and think you'll "just quickly" do this or that, that's the moment to stop completely. Take the painting off your easel and put it aside for at least 24 hours, then reassess whether it really needs that tweak.


patindaytona

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Reply #5 on: January 05, 2011, 01:11:27 AM
Oh, a question. The part that's giving me the pain is that it's too dark (it is a glaze) and i have to use of course WHITE to lighten that part. But of course, using white now makes it look smoky looking and dull. Can't do a thing for it i guess.
On that one painting that I scuffed...it was a dried black. Black always dries very flat and dull. That's why it scuffed. If it was a more rich color such as Alizarin, it wouldn't have done that.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2011, 01:57:18 AM by patindaytona »
The moment you find yourself mostly satisfied with a painting and think you'll "just quickly" do this or that, that's the moment to stop completely. Take the painting off your easel and put it aside for at least 24 hours, then reassess whether it really needs that tweak.


dennis

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Reply #6 on: January 05, 2011, 07:44:38 AM

Re-touch varnish is for re-touching only and only over the areas requiring re-touching, It should never be used as a final varnish at all. If you want to keep the painting in good condition then use only the proper varnish formulated for the job.

About the final varnish - never apply the varnish after you have cleaned the surface with a wet cloth. If the surface has any dampness at all then there is the possibility that the varnish will cloud over and completely ruin the painting.

Quote
It is also used when old paintings are restored. to even out the inevitable dull spot of the restoration, until time is right for proper varnishing.
This is looking for trouble. I don't recommend this at all.

Pat:   Don't use straight black in your painting because it does just that - looks flat and lifeless. Rather mix up a dark blackish color instead and it will give more life to the painting area. Have you never noticed that a black plastic such as the casing of a camera normally looks "black" yet seen at a certain angle and lighting it is actually a very dark brown? One good mix I often use is raw umber (brown) and ultramarine blue. There are many others that do the same.
You are what you THINK about - Napoleon Hill


patindaytona

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Reply #7 on: January 05, 2011, 07:48:35 PM
Here's what it says on the can....for use on a dull, sunken in areas on painting to restore the gloss of fresh color. Aids in accurate color comparison for further painting.   Anyway, the main purpose I use it for is to restore the gloss like it says. I don't want to have to wait for 6 months to see how my painting is going to be. It is dull sometimes. That's a long ways to wait to find out how much better or not it will turn out. Should I instead use the thin layer of pure Linseed oil on it?

I started a new painting recently. Today I got carried away and used the black straight from the tube. I have been obessed with color theory and all this about lowering chroma, etc. and here I am doing this.  Their's so much to juggle with when painting. If i had alot of paint colors all out i could dabble here and there to brighten with yellow, etc. but i just use what's there because it's too much to think about getting another tube out for a little touch here or there. But.....using the black (on a rough broken up road) turned out pretty well and i'm letting it dry. To bad it's going to look flat now. I will try to use another mix of black with Ultramarine and Burnt Umber and touch up the areas, but confining it "within" the areas edges. You have to decide if you want to be real spontaneous and just "go for it" with a palette knife........or be real careful. It always two different methods in that respect. I felt the first one for the road, but i should have used a better black and maybe even thought more on the tonal value,etc.
The road has a few puddles of water on it, so maybe if I'm extremely careful, I can use that flat black as an underlayer and by adding "GOOD" shiny black, the flat dull black beneath will act as "dryer" areas that are not wet, it might workout.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2011, 07:54:44 PM by patindaytona »
The moment you find yourself mostly satisfied with a painting and think you'll "just quickly" do this or that, that's the moment to stop completely. Take the painting off your easel and put it aside for at least 24 hours, then reassess whether it really needs that tweak.


bottleman

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Reply #8 on: January 06, 2011, 12:52:41 AM
Pat, is your varnish in a spray can?  Either way, check the ingredients.  Retouch varnish is often a significantly thinned damar.

I understand your desire to see the work glossy as quickly as possible, but I don't recommend putting any varnish on until the six or so months have passed.  To put it bluntly, that is a price of being an oil painter.  Also, as you gain experience, you will create less "dull" areas as you better control oil/medium levels.


ArtByG

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Reply #9 on: January 06, 2011, 01:39:30 AM
What happens to an oil or acrylic painting that doesn't get varnished? Also, is there any way to truly "fix" a pastel painting?


Kelley

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Reply #10 on: January 06, 2011, 03:38:24 AM
I have yet to varnish any of my paintings.  So far no adverse effects.  The mediums I use allow for some semi-gloss appearance but there are other mediums that can be mixed in for a glossier effect such as for painting water, flowers or such.  One of my paintings is over a year old and it still looks good, but does not have that "wet" look.  I suppose it can use a light coat of varnish, but I'm okay with the way it looks now.
Kelley


nolan

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Reply #11 on: January 06, 2011, 04:53:22 AM
As a rule I don't varnish an oil painting as it has it's own natural semi gloss and I am happy with that.

I do however varnish my acrylic paintings occasionally as the acrylics tend to dry mat so need the varnish to bring out their colors


ArtByG

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Reply #12 on: January 06, 2011, 06:55:50 PM
Ah. I thought the purpose of varnishing was to help preserve the painting. Thanks for clearing that up. I've been feeling guilty because I haven't gotten around to varnishing all of mine. I guess I can let go of that guilt trip.


ArtByG

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Reply #13 on: January 06, 2011, 07:00:43 PM
Any ideas about whether there is a way to truly "fix" pastels? I have done several pastels, but I worry that if I sell them and have to ship them the recipient will smear the image taking it out of the box. I'm flummoxed as to what to do about that.


patindaytona

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Reply #14 on: January 06, 2011, 07:08:42 PM
Yes Bottleman, my retouch varnish is in a spray can.   I've read somewhere, where you can use it as many times as you want with no adverse affects.   Going to try and limit it from now on though. If using a pure black as an example only.......everyone knows it's a very flat black when dry. Will ANY varnish make it more glossy again?
The moment you find yourself mostly satisfied with a painting and think you'll "just quickly" do this or that, that's the moment to stop completely. Take the painting off your easel and put it aside for at least 24 hours, then reassess whether it really needs that tweak.