Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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05/03/2005: "Curse of the hot *spot*"

Here’s something that happens to me from time to time. I paint a large area of canvas and after I think it's dry I go back to paint over it. All is going well until I hit a spot that actually wasn’t 100% dry. It feels a bit tacky when I paint over it and it creates a small area a lot shinier than the rest of the canvas.

Now, last night I thought I found a solution to this, by adding more oil to the paint I was using to paint over the top of the entire surface. This seemed to work at first but now this morning the opposite seems to have occurred. The once shiny spot is now dull and everything else is too shiny.


Replies: 4 Comments

on Wednesday, May 4th, greg said

hey Elise - you do varnish your works after a nice 4-7 months of drying time, dontcha? With varying levels of gloss coating availible, this is the best way to achieve a uniform surface - better than adding a lot of oils unless you're glazing. I forget, do you use Liquin, or make your own medium?

on Wednesday, May 4th, Elise said

Unfortunately, I don't always varnish my work for a variety of reasons. Usually it's because I do a lot of heavy impasto work and I wouldn't feel safe doing it until at least a year of drying time. I'm usually painting up until a few weeks before an opening and then if I'm lucky, most of the paintings will sell and be gone way before it would be safe to varnish them.

I keep track of who owns them, contact information etc. through sales contracts and I call people after a reasonable amount of time and ask them if they'd let me varnish their paintings and they generally let me. I let them choose high gloss, matt, or a combination of the two.

Some of the paintings I sell out of state. I've been meaning to send those people a reminder about varnishing the piece when the time is right, as well as instructions on how to do it etc. but I won't have any control over whether they do it or not.

I guess that's one advantage I have now, with working on completing a show well before I exhibit it, I'll have to time to do these things right.

Normally I've used a painting medium (stand oil) that I rub into the paint to help with dull spots but when it's the opposite, and there is one small, incredibly shiny spot, it's a little more tricky to deal with.

And yes, I use liquin but I use it a lot less than I used to because it makes me congested and I don't have a great ventilation system in my studio (yet).

whew, that was the long answer...

on Sunday, May 15th, Elise said

As a follow up to this,
the hot spot has appeared to go away after drying for a couple weeks, so, maybe my last trick of painting over the whole thing with really wet paint did the trick?

on Sunday, May 15th, Elise said

Oh, but I don't know if there are any longterm detrimental affects, I guess the moral of the story is to wait and make sure your underlayer is totally dry before you start painting over it.