Artcare - B72 Retouching Gels
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The conservator-restorer through using B72 Retouching Gels can easily retouch/inpaint missing paint and reconstruct large areas on paintings executed with the use of a palette knife or spatula. For retouching/inpainting a small diamond shaped spatula is the best tool.

Fast - Hard 25 Si Fast - Heavy 20 Slow - Heavy 20

Fast - Hard 25 Si. Fast - Heavy 20 and Slow - Heavy 20 B72 Retouching Gels are recommended for painting with a palette knife. Fast drying gels should be used for painting thick layers and high impastos. Paint with a slow drying gel can be used for extensive reconstructions and should be applied in thinner layers.

The same principles apply to painting with a palette knife or spatula as apply to painting with impastos. Paint for heavy impastos and textures should be rich in pigment in order to avoid shrinkage and subsequent cracking during the drying process. Light 10 and Very Light 7.5 gels should not be used for painting with a palette knife. Having a false body made mainly of solvent they are comparable with the traditional megilp. The resulting thick paint layer and textures will crack and be brittle.

Palette knife impastos- Fast - Hard 25 Si - B72 Retouching Gel

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Fast - Hard 25 Si gel is recommended for painting rich textures and high impastos. Si included in the name of the gel indicates an addition of fumed silica in its composition which provides an extra stiffness to the gel resulting in rich, crisp, well-defined textures.

Palette knife painting - Fast - Heavy 20 & Slow - Heavy 20 - B72 Retouching Gels

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Fast - Heavy 20 and Slow - Heavy 20 gels give soft textures and allow fluid colour transitions. They can be mixed with Fast - Hard 25 Si gel in order to obtain a range of intermediate effects.

Watermelon - Palette knife painting

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‘Watermelon’ painted with Fast - Hard 25 Si. Fast - Heavy 20 and Slow - Heavy 20 B72 Retouching Gels.

Because of the high viscosity of the gels special attention has to be paid to the proper dispersion of pigments in the medium. Paint containing agglomerates of pigment particles will dry with a rough surface. Such a result can be avoided by grinding pigment with gel for longer and more vigorously or by premixing pigments with a standard solution of Paraloid B72 or solvent.

The image on the right shows Pigments premixed with IMS (Industrial Methylated Spirit). Before the solvent evaporated completely B72 Retouching Gels were added.

Macro - Rough paint - visible aggregates of pigment particles

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Rough paint surface with visible aggregates of pigment particles. Painted with Fast - Hard 25 Si gel and poorly dispersed red pigment.

Premixed pigments
Macro - Smooth paint - well dispersed pigment particles

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Smooth paint surface. Painted with Slow - Heavy 20 gel mixed with pigments predispersed in IMS.

Caution The drying of freshly applied impastos and thick layers of paint should not be speeded up by blowing hot air. Fresh B72 Retouching Gels have a sharp melting point about Cº 50 (depending on the gel). Heating the paint to melting point temperature will result in sudden meltdown.

Sunflower  - Palette knife painting - Slow - Heavy 20 - B72 Retouching Gel

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‘Sunflower’ painted with Slow - Heavy 20 gel.

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Meltdown  - Slow - Heavy 20 - B72 Retouching Gel

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Meltdown! as the result of drying freshly applied paint with a hair dryer.

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