Sunday, February 3, 2013


 Here are some great ways to fix, adjust, and otherwise re-paint on your watercolor painting:
The first step to removing paint is to start off as gently as possible. You do not want to damage the tooth of the paper or it will fuzz out and never look like the rest of the painting.  Start by gently blotting the offending area with a damp paper towel to remove paint. Make sure to turn to clean surface after each blot.  
You can also use make-up or microcellular sponges to wipe out an area. These sponges are very dense and seem to erase most color away like magic! Some color is very staining in which case, you try one of the following tips:
  1. MAGIC melamine foam eraser:which is a super-fine microscopic sandpaper-like substance. (MrClean) Cut to any desired shape - Moisten edge and drag through dried watercolor paint to make lines. For larger areas moisten a flat end or wedge and blot or wipe through painted area to be removed. Let dry, brush off residual sponge crumbs. It works like magic!

  2. ELECTRIC ERASER TIP: Use one of those little hand held (battery powered) electric erasers to gently remove layers of completely dry watercolor (do not do this if your paper is damp!) These little erasers have small tips and you can get very detailed in your erasing.  You can also use this tool to add detail or sparkle to a watercolor as well as erase unwanted areas.
  3. DANIEL SMITH GROUND: Great to use if you have worn out the paper or have stained the paper and would like to bring it back to white.  If applied carefully, and in a thinned manner, it follows the texture of the paper and makes an invisible repair.  It is absorbent just like the paper. You will notice that it does not respond exactly like the paper - but in most cases it is close enough. You can also tint DS ground with color.  Caution: do not apply too thick.
  4. EXACTO OR PIN TIP: Of course, there is always the exacto knife or straight pin, picking or carving method of removing paint ... this is nice for sea foam or areas where texture is ok.   it is a very harsh method and should really only be used for special effects like for breaking waves, maybe white fur, etc where it looks fab for the paper to have a little texture and rough edges and be pure white!
  5. MASKING FLUID TIP:  Pre-plan and cover white or very light areas with masking fluid (like liquid rubber and rolls right off when ready - however, don't leave it on too long or you risk it tearing the paper in removal)
  6. Q-tip: You can gently lift w/c off of surface with various types/brands of Q-tips,makeup applicator sponges,  brushes, etc. 
    • Dampen your Q-tip and gently stroke across area to make a line.  
    • Damp Q-tip or brush to remove w/c areas
    • Dampen area to be lightened... wait a sec or two, then blot with soft tissue or rag.  repeat as necessary to lighten area.
As summary, In a perfect world you will have your painting planned out and will leave the whites or have them masked off and won't change your mind about composition, etc.  But in MY world - I like to have some of the above tools to clean up areas that I MEANT to leave white or meant to have everything in the best placement...  haha.  

These tips are very helpful to give the artist the opportunity for a "do-over" - which is a very valuable asset!

whether you are a beginner or seasoned w/c painter - I offer you some great tips that I have learned the hard way...  to get you out of a pinch!
 One thing I would like to add is to be "light handed" on all w/c repairs as the paper will only take so much.   If the area is soaked, set back and let it dry before repainting/repairing.

TIP:   BLOT/don't RUB to remove excess water or paint

As the paper gets thin, it sometimes tends to give off a grayish cast, so if you have thinned out your paper, use Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground before proceeding.

Hope these tips have helped you with your w/c issues! or have given you jumping off points for repair ideas of your own!
Post a Comment