Mastering inpainting

Monday, August 21 to Friday, August 25, 2017
Workshop duration:
4.5 days (Monday afternoon only; full days from Tuesday to Friday)
Canadian Conservation Institute
1030 Innes Road
Ottawa, Ontario
K1B 4S7, Canada
Application deadline:
June 23, 2017
Language of instruction:
English (some documents will be made available in French)
In-class advanced workshop
James Bernstein, Conservator of Paintings and Mixed Media; Rebecca Pollak, Conservator of Works on Paper
Registration fee:
CAN$950.00 (includes H.S.T.)
© Government of Canada, Canadian Conservation Institute. CCI 124850-0054
Figure 1. Objects Conservator Fiona Hernandez retouching losses due to abrasion of the paint layer of a Bill Reid drum depicting a bear's face and claws (2014).
© Government of Canada, Canadian Conservation Institute. CCI 121759-0025
Figure 2. Paper Conservator Marie-Lou Beauchamp retouching losses to a large map of the world (2015). CCI 121759-0025
© Government of Canada, Canadian Conservation Institute. CCI 78635-0256
Figure 3. Fine Art Conservator Marie-Hélène Nadeau inpainting surface fills on the 16th-century Italian panel painting Circumcision (2016).

Workshop overview

The Canadian Conservation Institute is very pleased to host the Mastering Inpainting workshop. This event is a unique, multidisciplinary master class for conservators of paper, objects and paintings. Designed to elaborate on the methods and materials of inpainting and compensation (infilling), this intensive workshop will broaden participants’ knowledge and practice. Through a combination of lectures, discussions and studio work, the following topics will be covered:

  • Modification of a studio environment and blended lighting to achieve optimal conditions for infilling and inpainting;
  • Light, colour and optics: theory and practical phenomena;
  • Survey of pigments and their properties;
  • Compensation—isolation and fills;
  • Inpainting media and toning systems: resins, watercolour, gums, pencils, pastels, dry pigments and other colouring agents;
  • Inpainting modifiers: diluents, bulking, polishing and glossing/matting agents, achieving transparency, opacity, staining and other structures;
  • Application instruments, methods and tips for inpainting and compensation;
  • Simulation of patina and age effects.

The workshop wraps up with a discussion on ethics and standards which focuses on issues such as degree of compensation, permanence and reversibility.

The workshop, designed by James Bernstein, is now in its 23rd year. Presented in collaboration with a number of skilled professional partners, it has been made available to international audiences of conservation professionals. The content has been developed and compiled over years of conservation practise, research, experimentation, collaboration and observation.

Who can apply and selection criteria

The workshop is designed for mid-career, practising professionals; however, early career professionals are encouraged to apply. Consideration will depend on:

  • Demand
  • Training
  • Experience
  • Balance of institutional and private practice conservators
  • Balance of conservation specialty areas
  • Number of registrants from a single organization

The workshop is open to 18 participants. Preference will be given to Canadians citizens and residents.

Materials and supplies

Participants will be provided with mock-ups and a basic range of inpainting media for studio sessions. We would encourage you to bring with you:

  • a small table easel;
  • expendable items (objects) for experimentation;
  • personal favourite inpainting materials (media, palettes, tools, inpainting brushes);
  • a solvent vapour respirator and apron; and
  • a digital camera.

How to apply

To apply for the Mastering Inpainting workshop, please fill out the online application form.

Once you have submitted your application form, please confirm you have done so by sending an email to

A waiting list will be established once the maximum number of participants has been selected.

Confirmation of acceptance will be sent out by the end of June.

Registration fees

The registration fees of CAN$950 cover the cost of the workshop and materials. Health breaks and lunches will also be included.

Once your registration has been confirmed, you will be contacted to process the payment. Payment must be provided in Canadian funds by credit card (American Express, MasterCard or VISA).

Canadian federal government employees must provide IS Reference Codes or a commitment number, department code and cost centre.


Requests to withdraw must be submitted in writing to CCI. Refunds will be issued according to the following schedule:

  • a full refund less a CAN$25 administrative fee for requests received at least 21 days prior to the start of the workshop
  • a full refund less a CAN$50 administrative fee for requests received between 20 and 7 days prior to the start of the workshop
  • no refund for requests received less than 7 days prior to the start of the workshop

Exceptions to this refund policy may be made in the event of insurmountable difficulties in attending the workshop.


CCI reserves the right to cancel this workshop if the minimum enrolment requirement is not met 30 days prior to the event. In such cases, CCI will refund the full registration fee but will not be responsible for any transportation, housing, loss of income or other costs that may have been incurred by the participants.

Additional information

Please contact CCI if you require additional information.

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