View Full Version : Removing pencil marks - help!

04-20-2010, 01:49 PM
Ok, this will most definitely show myself up as a complete beginner:rolleyes: but hey ho, lol.

I've used a grid system on textured canvas (ok, in hindsight, would probably have been much better to use carbon paper and not draw the grid directly onto the canvas), sketched out the design and am now left with a grid I cannot seem to erase. Its ok on the actual portrait I will be painting as the acrylics will cover it but I need the background to be completely clear. Any idea how to remove pencil marks? They are faint but they are there! Help greatly appreciated x

04-20-2010, 02:44 PM
You could paint the background white before you paint the portrait?
I am sure you have already thought about that though:D

04-20-2010, 02:48 PM
I presume you haven't started painting in the background area yet. If erasing with a variety of erasers, like a kneaded eraser or one of those nifty white plastic ones doesn't remove enough of those pesky lines, you can always resort to trying to cover them with some additional layers of gesso. Keep layering on the gesso until you can no longer see the pencil lines. Keep the gesso thin as you go around the area of the figure so you don't have a built up ridge that shows an obvious dividing line.

Next time, if you want to put a grid on your canvas, try a pastel pencil or piece of hard pastel stick like Conte Crayon. Draw it on lightly. When you are ready to begin the painting, you can remove it with a damp cloth.

Maybe some others will be able to help?


04-20-2010, 02:48 PM
Hi, Can you explain you situation a little more? Is it raw canvas, have you primed the canvas, exactly what, beside the pencil marks is on the canvas? Have you tried a kneaded eraser?
More information would really assist in finding an answer to your dilemma.

04-20-2010, 03:14 PM
Thanks for the help so far - really appreciated ;-)
Hi James, I've not primed the canvas at all - its just pencil on it so far. I was wondering whether a kneaded eraser would do the job but sadly I do not have one. I really am very new to all this and to my shame do not fully know what gesso is either ((blush))

04-20-2010, 03:52 PM
Panic over! All traces of pencil has been succesfully removed.....with a babywipe!!! Cool, lol!

chammi kaiser
04-20-2010, 04:26 PM
Glad you managed to sort things out. I always sketch with a watercolour pencil. This just disappears and leaves no smudgy marks at all.