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Advice on paper for erasing paint

Discussion in 'Step by Step' started by Tenaka, Feb 19, 2016.


  1. Tenaka

    Tenaka Young Tutorling

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    I got some photopaper and its working really well, thanks for that tip, its not super expensive and takes the paint well, thanks for the tip.
  2. ferret

    ferret Needle-chuck Ninja

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    Glad to have been of service
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  3. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    gentle 'strokes' with a scalpel are the way to go on photo paper (and synthetic paper) if you want to 'scratch'.
    Holding it like a regular pencil seems to scratch to harshly. either hold the scalpel really softly or hold it further back. with the lack of pressure you can actually remove layers of paint rather than go right back to the white paper.
  4. Clive Stevens

    Clive Stevens Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Yep, photo paper, along with th liquitex inks will work well
  5. IPT

    IPT Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    for those using the Gesso, is it required to "varnish" or clear over the last coat? I thought you just sprayed it on and sanded it down with 400 for the final prep.
  6. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    No you don't varnish it. Otherwise you might as well just varnish a piece of paper and work on that.
  7. frowan

    frowan Needle-chuck Ninja Very Likeable!

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    Hi, I used to varnish with mate my gessoed surface, to make less absorvent the gesso and give hardeness at same time.
  8. IPT

    IPT Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    So lots of ways to skin a cat I suppose. What are the pros and cons of these with regards to scratching and erasing? Does seem like an extra step and if I was going to "varnish" (I'm thinking clear coat here) then why just do that and only that? Is the gesso alone very fragile?
  9. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    Gesso is not fragile. It's normally used to smooth canvasses. Its purpose is to be absorbent in order to soak up the oils and mediums in paint. Without sealing it, it will work like clayboard. Depending on the amount of layers you have, you can sand away errors back to a clean surface. If you're gonna seal it, you might as well just work on metal or wood.
    Ronald art and IPT like this.
  10. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    If you are going to use varnish on anything you want to work on so that you have a non absorbant surface to work on, you don't need gesso at all, gesso is an artist's primer used to prime or smooth out canvas, wood and other surfaces, it provides an ideal surface to work on on its own without the need for varnishes and other mediums, the properties it provides are completely cancelled out when other mediums are applied over the top of it, so basically if you apply 4 coats of gesso and then two coats of varnish you have simply wasted time and money.

    People should actually study gesso and indeed other primers and base coats to understand their purposes and attributes long before they consider even using them.

    As Andre stated, if you feel the need to change the properties of any type of primer, then it is clearly the wrong medium to start with.

    I would only ever airbrush on top of varnish if I wanted to entertain the grand kids with some cool spidering:thumbsup:
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  11. frowan

    frowan Needle-chuck Ninja Very Likeable!

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    Hi Madbrush, thank for your comments, you are rigth if you have paper for scrtching as a photographic one, use this and avoid failure. I think about varnishing an absorbent media like Gesso is to imitate the upper plastic coat that has a photo paper surface and i suppose it makes it more scratchable. The first coat of gesso for hardening and smooth.
    Here i cant found paper with Dru's Blair ones characterisrics, only cardboard and watercolor paper. Trying is part of making art.
  12. Tenaka

    Tenaka Young Tutorling

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    Thanks very much for all the replies, I am learning an awful lot.
  13. Strictly Attitude

    Strictly Attitude Air-Valve Autobot!

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    another meathod is coat the paper first with transbase to help
  14. basepaint

    basepaint Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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  15. pajonate

    pajonate Double Actioner

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  16. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    This has been posted before, but still interesting and the last time it was posted there were no links for the materials;)

    As much as I am into DIY this would be more work than I could be bothered with, for me it's easier and quicker just to blast in a few MDF boards with gesso and have pretty much the same effect:)
  17. pajonate

    pajonate Double Actioner

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    ... that's 1/5th of the process explained in the link, ;) since he is using acrylic base (gesso) to prep the boards before applying the clay mixture.

    It may be worth trying it your way, too, and if that's good, why bother all the way, unless maybe you want to commercialize the art piece, which I am far away, anyhow, lol.
  18. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    Adding the clay solution after the gesso makes it to easy to scratch, but in my own opinion maybe too easy since you could actually scratch it with your finger nail which to me means an artwork would be pretty vulnerable unless it was protected, gesso is by no means difficult to scratch but certainly not too easy so I just think my Gessoed panels are safer.

    From what I've read the clay board is used a lot for scratching designs into to make patterns and such and sometimes used to make fresco artworks, I don't know if you've ever been close to rabbit glue but it really stinks and I would say it's not something you would not want to attempt in your house.

    But as I'm always saying, it's more fun to just paint than to waste time trying make stuff that already exists, my panels don't take anywhere near as long as making clayboard, I can actually spray enough board to last about six months in half a day, but these days I don't even bother with that since my Schoellerhammer No.4 paper serves me well along with my E'tac paints which I find for me the best combination, I just scribble my design on and paint.
  19. pajonate

    pajonate Double Actioner

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    Good information, @Madbrush, I was not aware of the smell issue with the glue. My wife would not appreciate my experiment, :mad:.
    One question, though. You mentioned spraying the board with gesso. Can you explain in short how you do that?
    I have some Liquitex gesso, which is too thick to be airbrushed. Were you using some heavy duty air gun, and reduce the gesso? If you reduce the gesso, what are you using for reducing?

    I was thinking to apply it with a brush, and than sand the imperfections, but spraying is probably better, but I am not sure if I have the equipment to do so.

    I tried posterboard that I've found in local office supply store here, Staples, and it was quite easy to scratch Detail Black Wicked paint with exacto knife, and little bit harder with electric eraser. The eraser was removing some paint but would not go down to the white of the paper.

    Thanks.
  20. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest


    Well first of all I don't use an airbrush for it since trying to do that would ruin any detail brush, I have a cheap airbrush with a 0.8 nozzle I use if it's one or two small boards, if I do a lot of boards I have a mini HVLP gun, you can get these fairly cheap, around $40 just for doing gesso, mine has also has a 0.8 nozzle but you cane get them with 1.0 or 1.2 because they can work around 25 psi you can use it with your airbrush compressor.

    The gesso can be thinned with just water, I do it one to one but you can add more water if you wish, but be sure to strain it before you put it in your gun, there is usually dried particles stuck to the sides of the bottle and these will cause clogs, you cabin use old panties/tights/stockings for straining.

    If you can't get hold of a gun I believe you can get spray can gesso maybe in your area, spraying these panels creates a lot of dust so it's wise to do it outdoors on a good day and/or wear a mask, the gesso dries very quick, if you did 8 A3 panels, by the time you first coated the last one, you can go straight back to the first, just keep going till you have a good build up, 4 - 6 coats is usually enough depending on thinning, and if you did it right you shouldn't be need to sand, if you want to decrease absorbancy you can add a small amount of PVA sealer to the last coat, this is similar to wood glue but thinner.

    You can also apply gesso to poster board or you could apply a light dusting of Matt varnish to make it more workable.
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