Painting Techniques and Tools: Scraping


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?



2 thoughts on “Painting Techniques and Tools: Scraping”


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s