Retouching

Restoration, retouching, or ‘in-painting’, as it is often referred to, is carried out only to areas of paint loss, after filling and texturing the surface of the fillings as necessary. Retouching is often built up in successive translucent layers to accurately represent aged oil paints or other media, though each painting requires a bespoke approach and acrylic paintings present an almost entirely different range of problems to solve.

Unlike restorations in the not too distant past, today’s approach is much more minimal, doesn’t use materials which will darken such as oil paints, and avoids adding unnecessary material to the art object.

The application of most retouching to old paintings is undertaken on top of a thin layer of isolating varnish in order to aid reversibility. Following retouching the painting is then given a final coat of stable, reversible varnish to produce an even sheen, saturate all colours and provide protection to the paint layer.

A range of retouching media could be employed in these restoration processes as new developments in the field allow and depending on the individual painting.

 

 

 

Thank you so much for your work on my painting. I am delighted with the outcome and will treasure it.

Julian Harrup, Architect.

ARH Conservation

Retouching

19th century Madonna with large paint loss to centre

… during varnish removal and filling

… after retouching and final varnishing

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19th century landscape with small cleaning test (top left)

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19th century landscape after conservation and light retouching.

Icon before restoration.

Icon before restoration.

Icon after restoration.

Icon after restoration.

Reclining figure after filling losses, before retouching.

Reclining figure after filling losses, before retouching.

Reclining figure after retouching.

Reclining figure after retouching.

Detail of torn portrait, before conservation.

Detail of torn portrait, before conservation.

Painting after conservation.

Painting after conservation.

Painting with extensive flaking, before consolidation, cleaning and retouching.

Painting with extensive flaking, before consolidation, cleaning and retouching.

Painting after treatment.

Painting after treatment.