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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • Crack in priming, can it be repaired? (Unfinished painting)ApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2017-04-07 07:32:49 ... Most recent comment 2017-04-08 22:42:00
    Flexible Supports Grounds / Priming Art Conservation Topics

    ​Hi Mitra friends, 

    I originally posted this question on WetCanvas and they suggested I would ask it here to get a more in depth response. 

    I found many topics covering cracks in painting, but I promise this is not exactly related. 

    I spent many hours on a painting for which I stretched out the canvas myself, two layers of pva size and oil priming on top. 

    The painting itself has been built with many thin layers of oil paint with a little liquin to thin and accelerate drying of oils.

    Everything was going fine, but a few days back, the canvas fell from the easel and hit a chair corner. The fabric is absolutely fine, not even stretched out, but the area of the painting which hit the chair cracked a bit. 

    I was very upset and in hopes that the priming was intact, I tried to cover the crack with another layer of oil painting. 

    It seems to me that the sizing and priming were damaged due to the fall as the paint I applied afterwards went through and appeared on a cracking shape on the backside of the canvas. I'll try and post a picture with this for observation. 

    I was always told that oils will rot the canvas if it gets in contact with it (even though it might take years) but I wanted to know if there's any way I can avoid that from happening making the area "healthy" again? 

    Some people also said that the thin layers of oil will not damage the canvas if I apply acrylic primer on the back of the affected area? 

    I hope you'll be so kind to share any solid information you have on this issue?

    Thanks for reading! 


Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​​First let me just say I am so sorry that this happened to your painting. And unfortunately there is really no way to effectively remove/reduce such cracks without performing a more extreme procedure, namely adhering your canvas to a solid support (like ACM for example). As for applying acrylic medium/sizing to the reverse I would worry about potential planar deformations that might occur due to uneven application at this point since it is already stretched...have you actually started painting yet?

    Applying acrylic to the reverse may mitigate potential staining and/or damaging affects caused by the penetration of oil further down the road...that one is hard to say for sure but you risk causing the entire canvas to shrink and may even introduce uneven planar deformations. This may not be evident at first but it certainly might later on. If you MUST apply acrylic size, I would advise taking it off the stretcher completely but try to keep the canvas taught and planar throughout the process (so that would be a pain as well). If you do not you will likely end up with pronounced cracks corresponding to the outline of the stretcher bars as it will be difficult to get in between the stretcher and the canvas to apply the size evenly. 

    In the future consider making a backing board for your painting before you size and apply the ground layers. This will help to avoid any damage that might occur due to impact with foreign objects (it is an almost inevitable thing in studios). We have instructions on how to do so in our "Storage, Exhibition, and Handling Tips" document located in the Resource section should you need further information.

    Kristin deGhetaldi
    2017-04-07 14:02:16

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