Sketching on your canvas first is a good way to help to keep yourself on track, but what do you do if those lines are shining through? I’ll tell you today how to remove pencil from acrylic painting and you’ll be happy to know that there are a few methods. You can sometimes just use a pink eraser, or if that doesn’t work you can try soap and water on a cotton swab. Finally, you can get sneaky and paint over it with a gloss and when that dries, just paint over the pencil mark to hide it.
Today I’ll tell you all about removing those pesky pencil marks from paintings and from simple canvas and we’ll also discuss if those marks are likely to show when you are finished painting over them. Without further ado, let’s talk about hiding our composition lines on that canvas!
Will pencil marks show through acrylic paint?
This really depends. The problem is that most of like to mix a little water into acrylic to thin is up and if you do this, then there is a very real possibility that the pencil marks are going to bleed through. One trick that you can do as you go is use those lines to get some of your paint on so that you have a solid framework, but paint over lines that you don’t need anymore with some gesso first.
You might have to use 2 or 3 coats, but the gesso gives you a solid-white coverage that you can then paint over. There is only one caveat to this method and it returns again to the thinned paints. If you have thinned your paints just a little too much, there is a possibility that the gesso is going to affect the color tone.
If this occurs, you might try mixing up your paint with a little less water to see if this compensates properly for the gesso. It’s a little hit or miss at first, but with practice this little trick can come in handy from time to time.
How do you remove pencil from a painting?
When it comes to getting pencil off a painted surface, there are some tried-and-true methods that are normally used when kids write on painted walls that you might be able to use to your advantage. Let’s take a look at some tricks for ‘getting the lead out’ of your paint:
- Rub at the mark lightly with a little bit of suede stone and this might remove the marks.
- A melamine foam eraser can sometimes do the trick, just wet it a little at the corner and rub lightly on the pencil mark to see if this helps.
- A little WD40 on a clean cloth can sometimes do the trick quite nicely, just use sparing amounts and a very light touch as it can also remove paint quite easily (a Q-tip might be a better option here to ensure full control).
- A wet cloth dipped into a little baking soda can also sometimes remove pencil marks quite nicely.
- A standard art eraser is often all that it takes, just use a new eraser or abrade your eraser a little so that you don’t smudge any additional graphite onto your work.
If none of these methods are doing the trick or if they simply don’t appeal to you, then there is one final thing that you might try to get that awful pencil mark off of your canvas for good. Take a kneaded eraser and press it into the mark, rocking it gently but without sliding it back and forth. The last part there is important, because sliding might just smudge your pencil mark and then you’re not going to be very happy.
What we’re doing is picking up a little excess graphite in preparation for the next step, which is to get a white vinyl eraser and to press it to a clean portion of your canvas, followed by sliding it over the mark that you are looking to erase.
A white vinyl eraser is great for completely removing soft marks and with hard marks, it’s going to tone them down significantly so that you will have a better chance of covering that mark and you’ll have a solid lesson in keeping you pencil marks light in the future.
Give it a try if the other methods have let you down and this might just be the one that fixes the problem.
Some closing words
Pencil marks can be super-helpful for your compositions but they can also sometimes bleed through on your canvas. To that effect, today I’ve told you how o remove pencil from acrylic painting through a number of methods so that you can find the one that works best for you. Try a standard art eraser first and if that doesn’t work, a little baking soda on both or some WD40 on a Q-tip might just do the trick. A white vinyl eraser is another method that might succeed where others fail, but the odds are that one of these methods is going to do the trick.
In the spirit of pencils on canvas, you can find an excellent 3rd party article by clicking this link which will tell you more about using colored pencils on canvas and give you an idea of what you produce with them. It’s a quick read and who knows? You might just take a weekend off of painting and play a little with pencil.
Variety is the spice of life, after all!