Blog 31 : Tips on erasing that smudge

Yesterday I made a mistake which is an easy one to make when you’re rushing. I brushed my hand across part of my painting to remove a speck of dust when it wasn’t quite dry. This resulted in rather an annoying pale smudge on an area where I couldn’t possibly add anything in to cover it up!

The smudge!

It could have been pretty fatal had it been darker. I decided to try my Eradicator brush to remove as much as I could before letting it dry thoroughly overnight. The Eradicator brush is a super useful tool, you can buy them from Billy Showell or Jackson’s Art. There is a method to using it which I will explain under the photos below…

Wet the brush in clean water
Wipe the excess water off to make the brush damp, not saturated
To tidy edges : Rub the side of the brush gently just outside the edge of the painted area then dab with kitchen roll.
For bigger areas : move the brush gently in circles or strokes. Do not use force or you will break up the papers surface.
Important : Clean the brush and remove excess water between each stroke or you will rub more paint into the paper!
Dab with kitchen roll. The brush will have loosened the surface paint so dab it off. Don’t forget to clean the brush before doing more erasing!

If the stain isn’t fully removed (as it wasn’t in my case) leave it to dry overnight before attempting to try again. Don’t panic and keep erasing or you will ruin the paper surface completely.

You can use magic eraser to remove stubborn stains. This is a white foam which I cut into a small wedge shape. This for ease of erasing close to an edge of paint and it is more comfortable to hold whilst working with it.

Cut a small wedge of magic eraser
Dip it into clean water
Squeeze it dry, it only needs to be damp
Gently use small strokes on the area near an edge. Do not rub hard! Clean it in water and squeeze dry again before carrying on.
You can use the fatter end to do bigger areas. Once it’s removed let it dry thoroughly before burnishing it. This is described below.

Once it’s dry you can burnish the area to try and flatten any fibres which are still loose. They may not go away completely but it will feel a little smoother. A second attempt using this method proved successful on my painting, thank goodness! After letting it dry thoroughly I burnished the area again. This is described below.

This is my burnishing stone. You don’t necessarily have to buy a burnishing tool. So long as its very smooth and easy to hold, a smooth pebble will do. You can even use the back of a spoon!
Take a piece of kitchen roll, or even better a piece of silk, and place it over the area you want to burnish. Rub quite firmly in circles across the area. Remove the kitchen roll and check, with a clean finger, if it is smooth. Repeat if needed.

I used a very fine sanding block to smooth the paper again as the fibres were still obvious. This is only suitable if you don’t want to paint over the area again. If you do, then stick to burnishing and use dry brush method carefully over the area. Washes will lift the fibres again.

This is a fine emery block. It can be used to wipe away fibres which may have been left after erasing. Do it carefully and don’t press too hard. On thicker 300lb paper it isn’t such a problem but on 140lb you could rub a hole into the paper!
Only use gentle strokes to remove fibres.
Stain gone… yippee!

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me with a comment or via my contact details below.

For great information on erasing see Mindy Lighthipe’s video. She shows how to remove a larger blob of paint. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NBOC0rJad5Q

Happy new year all!






Email address:jackieisard@googlemail.com
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Blog: https://jibotanicals.com/
Web: https://www.jibotanicals.co.uk/
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