Scraping is basically the practice of putting paint on a surface and using a tool to scrape it across the surface. At least, that’s how I do it. There are numerous scraping tools that you can buy at hardware and art stores. However I tend to use whatever I have handy. Sometimes I use pieces of cardboard that have a flat surface. Mostly I use old business cards.
I like scraping because you can build layers and depth into a painting very quickly. I mostly use scraping to do backgrounds, but sometimes I’ll also use it to add highlights.
I tend to really layer on the paint when using the scraping technique, but I’m going to show you using a painting that only took two layers before I got the background that I wanted.
You can see below that I put a few gobs of teal and gold paint on a canvas and then, with the little business card that you can see on the plate, I just scraped across the canvas until the paint had been spread out.
Then I scraped a green paint over the teal and gold paint. I scraped even more of the same green in some places to add a little more depth.
A lot of people enjoy abstract paintings and would consider the above picture complete. But I had a specific subject in mind for this painting.
Other examples of how I’ve used the scraping technique:
It is absolutely one of my favorite ways to add depth to a painting.
Let me know if you’ve experimented with the scraping technique before. Did you like it? Do you have any tips or tricks to share?