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sanding/scraping advice

I'm working on my first oil portrait and I've noticed some bumps. I've seen some demo's of people sanding or scraping their paintings. Any advice on how to clean up the surface? I'd hate to loose any important colour/value definition. 


  • Barbara

    A photo would be helpful for accurate advice.

    Have you started drawing? Have you started painting the portrait.

    Where is the bump? In the canvas weave, in the gesso layers, in the staining layer? Can you easily start afresh?


  • yeah, what Denis said. My best advice for you on this matter (and practically everything else) is to post a picture of your problem and wait for @Dencal to respond.
  • BOB73

    Thanks for your recommendation. We'll have to wait on a pic of Barbara's bump.


  • Not going to respond to that one Denis. Even though my brain is about to explode with snarky asides and possible jokes I'm restraining myself.
  • BOB73 said:
    Not going to respond to that one Denis. Even though my brain is about to explode with snarky asides and possible jokes I'm restraining myself.
    Me too--haha.
  • Folks

    A pregnant pause ensues.


  • Okay folks, tried to capture the bump but it just doesn't read. The painting is in progress, don't really have time, or inclination, to begin again. I may just decide to love the bump.
  • Barbara

    i see no bumps. Side lighting would have shown any surface problem.
    Can you mask the bump with thick paint?
    Watch that the bump is not made more apparent with varnish.

    Looking good BTW.


  • SummerSummer -
    edited July 25
    @Barbara   If I'm reading the photo right, I call them nubs or slubs and I've even heard them referred to as seeds (probably because they are or once were).   I think they add character to paintings sometimes.  They are caused when the end of the yarn was reached in the weaving process.  I've heard of people using a razor blade to remove them from the canvas before the gesso stage.  They are something to look for when buying canvas if you want or don't want them.  Some weavers make sure that slubs don't happen in their cloth by making sure the warp and weft yard are long enough before the weaving process begins.  This linen is more costly.

    If you are talking about the canvas surface not being taut resulting in some areas have bumps, you can re-stretch those areas, so to speak, by gently applying water with a washcloth from the back of the painting and when that area is dry, it will be taut again. 

    Hope this helps and that I have understood the problem correctly.  Summer
  • My wife would give me Noxzema for my bumps.
  • Couldn't help it.
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