An Online Artist's Coop for Artists who Paint on Location
I carry a small very fine tip pair of tweezers to pick off the bigger bugs or other stuff that might get caught by my wet paint. But the little ones…paint them in or let the paint dry and brush them off. It’s “authentic”!
I once asked a security guard if he ever went fly fishing and he replied "no." He was an avid outdoorsman so I asked why not and he said: " It takes too many to make a meal." ( wise guy) Anyhoo....I have encountered the same situation when working outdoors in oils but not in acrylics. I'm sure the faster drying time has something to do with it. I'm not suggesting switching to acrylics but perhaps some insect spray in and around your palette and canvas would be helpful?
Another idea ( I have not tried it but it might work) is to get a can of DUST OFF. Compressed air that gets dust particles off of photographs also "cools" the air a bit in the sprayed area. The can gets cold with use. I'm thinking perhaps a zone
of cooler air around your working space might act as a deterrent for the bugs. periodically zap your working space.
best, Bruce Bundock
Thanks for the laugh, Bruce. Now that I think of it, I don't recall hearing complaints from friends who paint in acrylics. I don't know about the Dust Off. I get so caught up in the painting I would forget to spray and before I knew it the bugs would be rolling across my canvas. Guess I will continue scraping.
This is a perpetual nuisance. Over the years my approach has evolved. I am now letting the bugs stay in the painting until the end of the session. Whe I get home, INDOORS, I carefully remove them (before the paint dries) with a palette knife, tweezers, small round brush or whatever will do the job. I found that by leaving them dry in there that they could mark the surface upon removal. Good luck!
Once, my ratty outter shirt is sprayed down with insect repellent, I usually do not worry too much about the bugs on the painting. Lol, bugs... the beauty of painting outdoors. I cannot say I ever picked any bugs (gnats) out of my paintings, unconsciously,I guess I just blend them in to the painintg and clean them out of my palette as I go along.