Last time we checked in with conservator Kate Smith, she was carefully cleaning Charles Willson Peale’s portrait of George Washington. Since then, Kate has removed discolored varnish, grime, and poorly matched ﬁlls from earlier restorations used to cover up holes and abrasions.
A ﬁll or ﬁlling is a material such as gesso or spackle used to replace lost paint. The surface of the ﬁll is leveled, textured and painted to blend with surrounding paint layers.
In this series of photos on Flickr, Kate walks us through the process of creating ﬁlls and “inpainting” them to match the original composition.
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Image: Charles Willson Peale’s portrait of George Washington with ﬁlls, before inpainting. Photo: Kate Smith.