Sunday morning time-lapse fun

Here is a short video from a quick portrait sketch yesterday morning. After a one-shot session like this I usually end up with a ton of paint on the canvas from pushing shapes around quickly. This is where scraping down with a palette knife is so useful. In fact, I would say scraping down between sessions at the beginning of a portrait is probably the second most useful thing I learned while studying portraiture (the first being the sight-size technique).

I have a short video of the scraping down process which I’ll add soon.


  1. I haven’t been able to find a link to your video about the scraping down process, has it been published somewhere else on your blog ? If this technique is as useful as it seems, I would be extremely interested in learning it. Thanks alot for sharing your knownledge, it is invaluable indeed.

  2. Hi Marc,
    I love your paintings and your blog. I have a quick question on scraping down: do you generally do it after a session (while the paint is still wet) or before you start a new session (when the paint is dry).
    Much obliged,

    • Hi Mark, thanks for the compliments. Scraping down must be done while the painting is wet. Most of the time I’ll do it after a session. If I need to, I can also scrape down during the session (sometimes even more than once, if I need to regain control of the surface). In the case of a portrait commission, I’ll often scrape down if I want the painting to look better just before the client sees it. Finally, sometimes I’ll scrape down the next day, before starting. I find the paint can settle even more into the canvas that way.

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