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.