View Full Version : Fixing a tear

05-19-2008, 05:15 AM

I'm in the process of drawing this cosmos and was removing some pigment from the flower with sticky tape. Unfortunately, it lifted a small layer of paper with it centrally in the flower, which you may be able to see here. How do I deal with the now roughened area of paper?

Will it be noticeable if I go over it with cp or should I sand it down a little to a smoother surface. The paper is Bristol Vellum, so it has a little texture already.

Any advice would be welcome.

05-19-2008, 06:50 AM
Hi, Jeanette! It`s really a pity - such a beautiful painting ! Although,I cannot see,where the tear you are talking about is... I`m sorry,I cannot help you ,I`ve read here about somebody having the similar problem,and as far as I remember,the solution was to go over the damaged place with a white pencil (or colourless blender ? :confused: ) to even out the area... But I am not sure,that it will suit the type of your paper...Well, as you see,I am of no help,sorry about that,hope,somebody more expierienced will pop in and help you .

05-19-2008, 07:18 AM
I can't see where the area is on the paper, and I haven't used that paper before so I probably wont be that much help either. When this has happened to me on other surfaces I have had to try to stay away from that area because the CP act differently on the ripped surface, and that area stands out like a sore thumb. You could try sanding it down, but I would think that even doing that might change the surface too much and it would be more noticeable. Hope someone can help, so that we can all get some advice :)

05-19-2008, 07:55 AM
Jeanette, I am also just throwing out a suggestion. I do work with Bristol, but have not yet (only a matter of time, I imagine!) had this problem. My thought is try to smooth it out with a colorless blender (lightly, you don't want an indentation there, as well), and then spray the whole thing with workable fixative. You will likely have to go very light on that area just to get the color that you want, but *hopefully*, you will be able to smooth the surface so that it doesn't appear different.
I would also suggest that you replicate your problem on a scrap piece of paper and try the solutions you have been given. Your drawing is beautiful! I love the background.
Please post back here with the solution you went with and how it worked for you. (I, for one, would really like to know, for future reference! :) )

05-19-2008, 08:33 AM
Try what Elaine (ocmd123) said, and yes, try it out first on a scrap.

I don't work on Bristol and I don't use tape to lift color precisely because of what happened to you. I prefer poster putty for lifting color and a small battery powered eraser when I need it.

Also, some folks suggest using Frisket film to lift cp color since it is low tack and you won't run the risk of tearing your paper surface.

05-19-2008, 09:35 AM
Thanks for the suggestions which I will try on a scrap first to see what happens. The tear has lifted a thin layer of paper and perhaps luckily, it is on the white section of the flower. I'm now wondering if I can just work around it and use the torn section as pure white.

I usually use poster putty or an electric eraser too Judy. I was being lazy this morning and didn't want to go upstairs to my studio and get them. Sigh.

05-19-2008, 09:40 AM
Hmm, yes you could just work around it if you can, if it's in the white "white" of the flower. Do you have a colorless blender pencil? You could lightly fill a little in the empty tear area with the colorless blender pencil and leave it alone don't add anything else... it wouldn't show if you do it lightly - but test that first too!

Good Luck! it's a lovely drawing, btw.

05-19-2008, 09:55 AM
IF that doesn't work, I'd try lightly sanding that whole section, coat with colorless blender, then spray with workable fixative, and several layers of white. If the borders of the damaged section hit natural borders, I don't think it will be as noticable.

05-19-2008, 09:56 AM
I never use tape anymore either, it happened to me on stonehenge.

05-19-2008, 10:00 AM
You know I had never heard of the poster puddy being used that way until the class with Ann Kulberg. That idea is genius!!! It lifts the color well and you can roll entire sections.

05-19-2008, 10:15 AM
Jeanette, I have repaired damage to my paper (that was caused by using tape to remove color) by burnishing with white until the area is smooth. If that is a white area anyway, that is probably all you have to do. Otherwise, I would spray with workable fixative before adding another color over the area.

Thanks, Scott and Judy! I will definitely buy some poster putty and give it a try. I bought a battery operated eraser a month ago, and it works great! It removes color all the way down to the paper. It is a little hard to handle for me, though.

Your flower is beautiful, Jeanette! I hope you save the drawing.


05-19-2008, 10:21 AM
Jeannette-- Your flower is *so* lovely, I hope you'll be able to save it!

Anything I would have suggested has been mentioned, so I'll just 2nd the idea of posting your tests to show what worked and what didn't!


Mary Woodul
05-19-2008, 05:42 PM
Jeanette, I don't see the tear, of course I know it is different when you look at something IRL but it is a gorgeous piece. I wouldn't fool around with it too much. I think Judy's suggestion of the colorless blender sounds good, although I am surely no expert.

05-19-2008, 06:20 PM
Thank you all for your wonderfull suggestions. As the tear was in the white section of the flower, I lightly went over it with colourless blender and it worked perfectly! You'd never say there was a problem.

A light spray of fixative and I can seamlessly blend it in with a little shading on the sides. Phew!!!

What a great place this is to have so many kind people willing to help out. Thank you all again. I'll post an update when the piece is finished with a closeup of the 'amended' area. :)

Poster putty and eraser close at hand from now on!!

05-19-2008, 06:36 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Yeah! So glad it worked! This is a beautiful piece!

05-19-2008, 07:09 PM
I`m very glad, that there`s no harm done to your painting ! :clap: Will be waiting for an update !

05-19-2008, 11:32 PM
I am glad you saved your work. Thank you for shareing the results.Rick

05-20-2008, 07:25 PM
I've finished the drawing at last and here is the final image which is pretty close to the original colours.


Here is a close up of the area that was torn. The tear was right next to the middle green sepal? of the flower and is barely noticeable unless you really hunt for it.


Finally, I thought I'd add a view from a normal viewing point. We always see images close up on computers but not as much from where we'd normally view a drawing or painting.


Again, thank you for your comments and help through my 'crisis'. :)

05-20-2008, 08:05 PM
It's beautiful! And no sign of the repair. Thanks for sharing this!

05-21-2008, 12:37 AM
WOW, Miss Jeanette (snicker..hehehe) its georgous!! I just can't believe you made a boo-boo on your paper like that??? Here I thought you was the perfect one, for shame (you do know I an teasing you right?), I still love it and can't see the mistake area though. Is it for a show or are you hanging it at home?

05-21-2008, 07:45 AM
Thanks Elaine, I appreciate your help.

Venus, you imp! That illusion of perfection is shattered now huh? LOL I have a whole drawer full of 'boo boos'. :) But I kind of liked this one and wanted to try to save it.

I'm not sure of its fate yet. It may go to a botanical exhibition in July unless someone else has their eye on it first.

05-21-2008, 08:56 AM

I can't see where you had trouble at all! This turned out so lovely. :thumbsup:

Question about the background: What did you use to blend it, if anything? The colors have such nice soft edges to them...


05-21-2008, 11:52 AM
Hi Rosemary, thanks. The 'patch up' isn't noticeable unless you really really really look for it. It luckily happened in a section of the drawing that blended in nicely without much pencil work.

As for the background, I didn't use any blending. I did a base layer of colour, then kept adding other colours on top randomly. My layers are very very light to keep it almost transparent. I use a scumbling or circulism technique. I hope that answers your question.

05-21-2008, 12:05 PM
Yep! That answered it! Thanks!

I struggle with soft edges on things and am *always* looking for a short-cut/trick that doesn't require my being patient and working lightly... :rolleyes:


Andi Rebirth
05-22-2008, 07:47 AM
Jeanette, didn't get a chance to tell you how lovely this painting is, Lovely background. You did the right thing with the blender, I used to work exclusively on this paper and it is easier to tear. Glad you saved it, al great piece:clap: Andi

05-22-2008, 06:35 PM
What a lovely painting Jeannette. I'm glad you were able to save it.

I use scotch tape to lift my mistakes but I always use scotch magic tape, not the regular kind. It is low tack because it is removeable. I've never had a problem.


05-22-2008, 08:05 PM
I struggled with that background Rosemary. It seemed to take forever to get it done. I may try a watercolour background in another piece with cp added and see if that speeds up the process.

Thank you for your kind words Andi. I usually use stonehenge paper but didn't have any on hand when I started this piece so used bristol vellum. Its ok, but the texture doesn't give me quite as smooth a surface as I'd like.

Thanks Anne. Yes, I won't be using any kind of tape in the future I don't think. :) This kind of threw me as I should have known better.