View Full Version : How can I repair the imprint of pencil marks in the paper?

12-21-2001, 12:07 AM
I'm about four hours into a new still life in soft pastel on 18x20 Canson paper. I've just finished the first layer of underpainting and blocking in all the colors, and I noticed while blending I have three or four places where pencil was used during composition and erased. I've ALWAYS used charcoal for comp'ing a painting ... but tonight I suffered from a severe brain-fart and picked up a mechanical pencil instead of taking the time to bring out my sketch kit. Evidently, I dug harder into the tooth than I wanted and now there is a terrible sgraffito visible in the worst possible locations. Is there any way to salvage this?

I fix each layer until the last, so I thought I could try fixing it heavily and working in pigment to see if these places 'fill in', but I wanted to check with the pros first. Is there any hope at all? I've checked all my books and have gotten zilch.

Thanks, in advance, for any assistance.


12-21-2001, 01:11 AM
Originally posted by snakum
and I noticed while blending

Don't blend. :D

It sounds like the pencil has created a valley in the paper. I can't think of a way to get round that apart from filling it with pastel. I'm also a bit anti-blending.

12-21-2001, 10:00 PM
if you use very soft pastels in the final strokes it should take care of the problem, try a sennelier.:evil:

12-21-2001, 10:26 PM
As you are already using a spray fix, you can sprinkle the damaged area with powered marble dust and then spray fix the area. This will give added tooth even to the canson paper. Go lightly with the dust a little is all that is needed. Too much and the surface will look foriegn to the test of the paper.
Not that I have ever made a mistake of course!!
I must have read this somewhere.........
Terry Ludwig

raison d etre
12-21-2001, 10:35 PM
Boy have I been there and done that. I do alot of work in graphite, it was my first love. So I started my first pastel using it to sketch. I discovered that graphite contains some kind of "oil" substance, and no matter how much I tried to lift it off, the pastel pigment just wouldn't stick there. What I ended up doing was using a very stiff flat brush that I often use to make corrections on Hahnemuhle Velour. I made tight circular motions into the paper and then, as you described, repainted and layered. It worked.

Good luck.


12-22-2001, 08:14 PM
Thanks everyone for the suggestions, I really appreciate all the help you guys have given me since I started hanging out here.

I think I have a cure that is a combination of different pieces of advice ... I rather heavily fixed the area (I tried just one area to experiment) and while it was still wet I blended in soft pastel. Viola! I blend heavily anyway for the first three of four layers and I'm betting it'll be completely gone by the time I finish. :)

However, I pulled the piece off my easel anyway because I wasn't happy with where it was going in general and I need two pieces of the best I can manage for a show. So ... back to work, work, work ...

Rev. Thich Minh Thong
"King of the Dark, Amateurish Still-life"