Eliminating surface peaks

24 Feb 2009

Q: I sometimes get raised areas-points made of paint-on my paintings where I don't want them. Can I scrape these areas down with a pocket knife and the polish them with a burnisher?

A: These points or peaks are most likely the result of the way you apply thicker paint to the canvas and remove the brush. The best remedy is to avoid creating them altogether if possible, which can be accomplished by not removing the brush from the canvas at a ninety-degree angle. Instead, lift the brush off the canvas in the direction of the stroke. If at times you are unable to do this and a peak appears, eliminate the peak by flattening it with an unloaded brush while the paint is still wet.

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Alan Bateman wrote
on 7 Oct 2009 8:03 PM

Although this may not apply to oils (it might work on thin dry oil paintings) I always have a safety razor on hand as I paint.  I use acrylics in thin layers and with cats a dog and kids around there is often strange stuff stuck to my board.  Once my acrylics are dry I use the razor at a very shallow angle to remove bumps.  Experience counts; you can gouge your painting and with canvas this could be a disaster, having said that all of my paintings get scrapped at least a few times before they are finished.