Artcare - B72 Retouching Gels

The application of dirt onto the surface of retouched/inpainted areas is seldom required. However there are situations when such a step is necessary in order to blend seamlessly the retouched areas with the rest of the painting.

The first, the most obvious, is in the case of paintings that are not, for various reasons, completely cleaned prior to retouching. The decision to leave dirt on the painting may be dictated by the requirements of the owner of the painting, or may be based on aesthetic reasons. Primitive paintings or antique polychromed objects serve as good examples where patina is a desired part of the object.

The other situation when the application of dirt helps in blending reconstructed or retouched areas with the original paint is in the case of paintings where the dirt is permanently embedded in the paint layer.

Fast - Very Light 7.5

Fast - Very Light 7.5 B72 Retouching Gel is the perfect vehicle for the application of artificial dirt. The mode in which it is employed depends on the desired effect and the nature of the surface, whether it is smooth or textured.

Application of 'dirt' on textured surface using Fast - Very Light 7.5 B72 Retouching Gel

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In this example the flower was painted with Fast - Hard 25 Si. Fast - Heavy 20 and Slow - Heavy 20 B72 Retouching Gels. The artificial dirt was applied after the paint was completely dry. Applying it too early would result in smudging the paint. The glaze made with Fast - Very Light 7.5 gel and a very small amount of greenish raw umber was painted and removed instantaneously from the raised tops of the texture. This can be done with a finger or with a lint free lens cloth (not a tissue), which can be purchased from photographic shops.

On smooth, flat surfaces the dirt can be applied by printing with a sponge or any other textured material.


The colour density of the spots or pattern can be controlled by the amount of pigment.

Mottled 'dirt' pattern using sponge and Fast - Very Light 7.5 B72 Retouching Gel

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Crisp random spots of 'dirt' using sponge and Fast - Very Light 7.5 B72 Retouching Gel

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The application of fresh or diluted gel will give a mottled effect. Sharp, crisp spot patterns are produced with gel that has partly dried on the palette.


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