To scrape the canvas I use a variety of ceramic tools. They are too dull as they are right out of the package but I sharpen them with a common sharpening stone. I then strop them by applying a drop of chromium oxide green oil paint onto an old piece of leather. I use the tongue from an old boot. Make sure it is real chromium green oil paint and not a hue. The chromium oxide in the paint is identical to stoping compound and you can get a finely honed edge which will give you the control you need to very carefully scrape dried paint from the canvas. Be careful though, by using the chromium oxide green as a strapping compound the ceramic tool will be sharper than you might expect.
After I scrape the canvas smooth I brush a thick, transparent medium onto the canvas. Some artists call this "oiling up" or painting into a "couch" ( a French word that is pronounced KOOSH).
I then paint into this layer of oil using paint that I have slightly diluted with a small amount linseed oil or walnut oil. This additional oil helps the paint to go on with smooth, facile strokes. Otherwise the paint can be too sticky and simply push the layer of oil around on the canvas. After you get a certain amount of paint built up into this layer of oil you can begin to add as much textured paint as you desire.
Although this technique seems ideal it has its problems and have never been fully satisfied and try to keep its use to a minimum. It has however saved many paintings that otherwise would be suitable only for the trash Heap. When it is well executed it is almost impossible to detect its implementation. I suspect that with the passing years I will become more adept at the technique and will enjoy more success.
Brad Teare © 2009