Lifting and scrubbingPosted: June 13, 2016
Repairing watercolour mistakes can be difficult. I’ve never been very successful at scrubbing out huge areas of a painting. Frankly, I’d rather start the painting again on a clean sheet of paper. Tiny repairs, however, can be useful depending on the pigment you use. Take this sketch of my neighbour’s peonies as an example. I painted this yesterday, outside, in weather so cold I should have had gloves on. When I took it inside to dry (and to thaw out my frozen fingers) I realized that the shadows between the bricks were too dark (they advanced instead of receded). In an attempt to fix this, I took a old, dry brush (not a good sable one), dipped it in a bit of clean water and gently lifted those darks and blotted them dry with a tissue. Luckily the pigments I used weren’t staining, plus the Fluid paper I painted on is very good for lifting, so I was able to lighten those small areas significantly and visually push the brick wall backward. If you’ve never tried this, experiment on an old (an unsuccessful) painting. You’ll see different results depending on the paper and the pigments you’ve used. Liftable pigments like Cobalt Blue (which I used) will be easier to remove than staining ones like Phthalo Blue or Permanent Alizarin Crimson.