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Old 11-23-2005, 08:07 AM   #1
John Reidy John Reidy is offline
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Retouch Varnish




I recently finished a portrait and applied Winsor Newton Retouch Varnish to bring back the colors BUT I made the mistake of not thinning beforehand (with mineral spirits). I feel uncomfortable with the "thickness" of the varnish. Does anyone know a method to remove varnish without affecting the paint?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-23-2005, 09:02 AM   #2
Marcus Lim Marcus Lim is offline
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I wonder if you can cheat the process here...since you forgot to thin the varnish, then just get the right part amount of turps and varnish over the applied varnish. I believe that will do...
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Old 11-25-2005, 09:56 AM   #3
John Reidy John Reidy is offline
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Thanks, Marcus. I think I'll try that on another canvas in order to experiment before I attempt it on the real painting.

Thanks again.
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Old 11-25-2005, 11:40 AM   #4
Michele Rushworth Michele Rushworth is offline
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What form was the "retouch varnish" in when you used it, and did it say you had to thin it before use? The stuff I use comes in a spray can, already at the right consistency.

If it didn't say you had to thin it first, then I think you're fine.

As for removing it, it depends on what kind of varnish it is. If it's a damar varnish, as most are, you need turpentine to remove it. Mineral spirits isn't a strong enough solvent.
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Old 11-26-2005, 11:51 AM   #5
John Reidy John Reidy is offline
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Thanks Michele,

The varnish has no instructions. I just picked up from a source to thin the varnish with mineral spirits.

I used to use a spray varnish from the local arts and crafts store but decided to switch to applying with a brush since it appeared to be the preferred method among professionals.

I may switch back. What brand do you use?
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Old 11-26-2005, 04:32 PM   #6
Michele Rushworth Michele Rushworth is offline
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I only use spray varnish on studies since I don't like Damar, and all the spray varnishes I've found seem to be made with it. Since it's only for studies I buy any old brand from the local craft store. When I'm doing a study I want to get it done quickly and don't want to wait for it to dry enough to oil it out with linseed.

For "real" paintings (not studies) I always wait until any given section is dry enough to oil it out. That seems to give me enough shine and an even finish so that I don't need to use any varnish. For the occasional piece that I do want to varnish I have used brush-on Gamblin Gamvar either full strength or thinned with Odorless Mineral Spirits, since it's not a Damar varnish.
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Old 12-23-2005, 10:32 AM   #7
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Dear John,
'Don't know that retouch varnishes generally require dillution. When applied, colors should become luminescent again. (If they've, in fact, sunken in, if not, don't apply.) After the application, continue to brush off all extra varnish-with a clean brush, so you merely have enough to bring out the colors. Else wise, the painting inevitably may come out to glossy from the build up of r.v.
Better yet, oil-out: Take your medium, add twice as much turps as oil, and rub it only in areas that have sunken in. After all, the color's oils have sunken in, you're merely adding more. Make sense? Also, oil's not as bad for your painting as resins.
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Old 09-14-2017, 05:50 PM   #8
Mark Branscum Mark Branscum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele Rushworth View Post
For "real" paintings (not studies) I always wait until any given section is dry enough to oil it out. That seems to give me enough shine and an even finish so that I don't need to use any varnish.
Oiling out .... not using a varnish ... do you mean this as a permanent fix ... I mean deliver to client and not worry about it anymore?

I am starting to get a lot of portraiture work .... mostly as of later are charcoal and or pencil work ... no need for varnish or oiling of course but its transitioning into Oil portraitures ..... I picked up 3 commissions this week .... so my concern is what to do for delivery ...... in light of your comments above and what I said of my search for answers could you explain a little more or did I mis understand you
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