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Painting over a painting can it be done?

 Artists,
I painted this painting that I literally abhor and was wondering if I could just simply paint a different painting right on top of it... I was watching an art documentary on Cezanne and the art historian was saying how he painted over a painting he had done of his father... they found this out by using xrays... if you could paint over a finished painting, what about the fat over lean rule? how would it apply? will it crack badly over time? any thoughts?  

Mark Alexander

Comments

  • Of course - all the old masters did all the time 
    BOB73
  • Mark

    Yes. But I would want the painting to have a year of drying time, in warm conditions, before repainting.
    If the paint is thick or textured a light sand with coarse grit may smooth it out.

    Don’t use acrylic over oil.

    Denis

    jswartzartBOB73
  •  Every now and then I come across a painting that, in my opinion, I should not have painted.  It's ugly, everything about it is wonky.  I slop some random, mostly neutral paint on it, and do another painting on top of the old one.  Please don't worry . . . after 30 years of doing this I have yet to paint a masterpiece, so I have not yet deprived the world of priceless work.
    [Deleted User]JuliannaBOB73
  • Don't sand an old painting if it had lead white or cadmium colours in it..
    Summeredavison
  • edited November 2017
    Oh my goodness gracious!  I think you will find that the most beautiful and organic paintings you do will be over another painting - I have painted over a painting 5 different times - and it is like the former failed paintings wanted to be there in some slight way - I usually flip it (sideways or upside down) - as @broker12 stated, people spend so much time NOT painting something because of ruining their masterpiece - just paint the friggin' thing.  I don't know anyone in a museum and will never be in one myself and if it ever came to that with one of your paintings, trust me, the museum will be well equipped with whatever is available hundreds of years from now to manage it better than you can today.  Flip that sucker and embrace the energy of the previous painting underneath.  And if that canvas wants to have 6 failed paintings  underneath your final painting, then so be it.
    BOB73tassieguyedavison
  • @Markalex777 I guess 90% of all the artists have over painted at least once in their career. If the paint layer is dry then it can be re-used. I prefer sanding down the layer to get an even surface but it doesn't matter much. I got loads of over painted canvases that are over 20 years old and they are still fine. 
    BOB73
  • This is why I don't understand the neurotic obsession about preservation on this forum.

    My works will be known as 'time release'

    You will get 3 paintings...one every 20 years.
    The dreaded phone call from an irate client wanting back at least half of the $18,000.  Speaking as a reformed artist.  ;)
  • If we didn't use archival quality materials and techniques we wouldn't be able to paint over paintings and last the test of time. If you paint something for a commission especially a portrait the client has a right to expect it to last more than the current generation and (in his mind) it is already a family heirloom. You don't use student grade materials for commissions and you don't switch to the "good stuff" for a new commission because you probably don't know how it will perform with your style of painting. I didn't make that up and it is not a quote but paraphrased from something else I read (maybe here) but I think it is good advice. I don't have much to leave my Daughters and I'd like to think the paintings I leave will have enough sentimental value to them that they won't use them for trivets.
    Kaustav
  • Summer said:
    This is why I don't understand the neurotic obsession about preservation on this forum.

    My works will be known as 'time release'

    You will get 3 paintings...one every 20 years.
    The dreaded phone call from an irate client wanting back at least half of the $18,000.  Speaking as a reformed artist.  ;)
    You sold your art for $18,000?!

    I'm not worthy...! :D
  • I've done it many times. 
  • I'm sorry, I do not know anything about that.
  • Richard_P said:
    Summer said:
    This is why I don't understand the neurotic obsession about preservation on this forum.

    My works will be known as 'time release'

    You will get 3 paintings...one every 20 years.
    The dreaded phone call from an irate client wanting back at least half of the $18,000.  Speaking as a reformed artist.  ;)
    You sold your art for $18,000?!

    I'm not worthy...! :D
    Wow! really @Summer ??
  • SummerSummer -
    edited April 26
    @Bobitaly ; Thanks for the compliment but the $18,000 is a figure of speech that I used as an example.  I'm sure in reality that figure is a low estimation.  Money lost to negligence  is probably much higher, especially with acrylic paintings when too much water was used.  Imagine an entire painting detaching from the canvas and falling to the floor in a shipping crate, a gallery, a museum, an artist's studio, or someone's home.  Who pays?  Who should pay?  Staggering thought.  It has happened.  An Insurance company pays in some cases if you are with a gallery.  I think painting over a painting is fine if you know what you are doing and all of the procedures are followed.  I don't wonder painting over a painting happens as often as it does because of the work involved in just getting a substrate ready for painting.  Summer 
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