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Tips And Tricks And Other Discoveries

September 22, 2008

I replied to a collage group question this morning about removing a pastel smudge from a mat. I got to thinking you all might like to know about this. It takes a female to come up with this — or maybe a metrosexual type male.

How To Remove A Pastel Smudge From A Mat Or Paper Border

I’ve cleaned up a bunch of mats when my pastel dust strayed onto them, and this is my favorite method: Start with a soft clean eraser to get rid of as much of the color as possible. Then use the finest surface on a nail sanding block from the beauty supply store to gently rub away the rest of the smudge, using a circular motion. If the finest side of the nail block doesn’t get it all off, then gently erase with the next coarser side. Once you get the color off, and if you need to smooth out any remaining roughness on the surface of the mat, you can then go back with the fine side of the nail block and smooth it down. This works for me 95 percent of the time.

How To Create A Deckled Edge On Heavy Paper

I love artwork on heavy deckled paper that is floated behind glass. If you want that look, sometimes you have to cheat and create a faux deckle. Of course there are deckle rulers and even expensive deckle edge paper cutters, but you don’t have to have these to do the job. In fact, I have one of these paper cutters, but they are not built for the really tough papers.

For very heavy paper, such as cover paper or even 300-lb. watercolor paper, just firmly hold a sturdy straight edge along the paper where you want it to tear, and score it with a bone folder or the end of a butter knife or some similar implement that will make a score. Then fold the paper back and forth along the scored line several times until it begins to weaken. Next, dampen the paper along the same line using a small watercolor brush loaded with water and let it sit for a minute or two. Then lay the paper along a counter or table top exactly at the edge you are tearing. Firmly hold the paper down with the fingers of one hand or a very tight straight edge (depending on the size you’re working with) and pull to separate the paper along the line. Go slowly so that you keep control. The water will cause the paper to tear in a ragged line rather than a straight line.

If you’re working with 300-lb. watercolor paper, you don’t really have to dampen it. If you fold it back and forth enough times it will start to come apart on its own and will create its own deckled edge.

How to Create Texture In your Paintings Without Breaking The Bank

Thanks to Chris Bellinger who commented in an earlier post regarding using wall texturizing products for paintings, I decided to do a little research. I contacted AcryTech Coatings in Fort Lauderdale over the weekend because I like the look of their DecaStone Faux Finish and wanted to know if it could be used on canvas and be compatible with artist paints (You know me, I’ll try anything anyway, even without asking first!) But I got a very nice reply from a company representative saying that it’s popular with artists and interior designers, is waterbased, tough, nice and gritty, and dries without fumes. And the best news of all is that it’s only $21.95 per gallon plus shipping. So I’m going to try it.

Another texturizer I’m going to try is Tyvek. But only if it’s free, because there’s plenty of it in office trash baskets everywhere, and even on construction sites! If you heat it slightly with a heat gun it will crinkle all kinds of interesting ways. I think I can embed that in some gesso for plenty of added texture.

More texture . . . crumbled eggshells, broken sea shells, broken glass, beach glass, sawdust, sand, inexpensive craft store beads, plastic toys, string,  . . . more ideas, anyone?

“Traces 1” (Above) – Acrylic, Golden Extra Heavy Gel Matte and Heavy  Pumice Gel.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. September 22, 2008 12:15 pm

    I bought some Moddeling Past today and will have a with that been meaning to for sometime.
    Enjoyed the post

  2. September 22, 2008 4:30 pm

    How about crumpled newspaper?

  3. September 22, 2008 6:06 pm

    You’re welcome, Chris!

    Hey Alan, great to see you!! Yeah, I’m loving newspaper lately for all kinds of things, like for drop cloths, wiping off squeegees, and re-potty training my elderly dog. (Of course I would never confuse the latter application with the rest.)

  4. September 22, 2008 8:53 pm

    Gosh and Wow is right! This is great Martha. The first tip on using a nail sanding block to help remove smudges is the one I gravitated to. I use a clean little gum eraser – but it’s rarely enough. I’ll definitely give this a shot.

  5. September 23, 2008 6:37 am

    I once created a textured wall in my house in Atlanta with Spackle. I added some playground grade sand to it and mixed thoroughly. I was going for Old World stucco. Okay. So it was the 70s.


  6. September 23, 2008 6:38 am

    Oh! And I created architectural details with plaster of Paris and a mold!

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