Home Drawing Attempt These Suggestions for Correcting Widespread Watercolor Errors and Mishaps

Attempt These Suggestions for Correcting Widespread Watercolor Errors and Mishaps


From Oops to Ahh

Oops. You’re principally completed together with your portray, however you discover some errors. Simply do not forget that, regardless of its popularity, watercolor generally is a forgiving medium. Utilizing varied strategies, you possibly can repair a lot of these vexing areas. Right here’s how.

Black-Spot Removing

Simply essentially the most noticeable and annoying error is the dreaded black spot, attributable to some mysterious pigment dropping onto the paper as you painted after which drying earlier than you seen it. Except the spot is in an space the place it could possibly change into a “completely satisfied chicken” (to paraphrase artist Bob Ross), you’ll must take away it. There are two decisions: the moist methodology or the dry methodology.

Moist Removing

This can be a dangerous possibility as a result of each time water is added on high of a dried colour, it partially reawakens the paint. Activating watercolor (particularly non-staining pigments) pulls it barely off the floor, permitting the colour to unfold simply. If not performed correctly, including water can shortly flip just a little black blemish into a big black spot. To take away the black spot, contact it with a barely damp, dimension 0 brush. Wait a number of seconds, then flippantly contact the moist space with a clear, dry paper towel. Repeat this final step a number of instances, at all times with a dry, clear paper towel. Urgent a moist, soiled paper towel right into a moist space will raise off colour round your spot or blot darker colour again into the realm. With persistence and care, you possibly can normally take away a lot of the offending spot on this method. If this methodology doesn’t work, it’s time for surgical procedure—in any other case often called “dry elimination.”

With a small, simply barely damp brush and clear, dry paper towels, you can also make unintentional paint spots disappear.
Dry Removing

Whereas barely terrifying, the best technique to take away watercolor is actually to slice or scrape it from the highest layer of paper, utilizing an X-Acto blade or utility knife. I desire utility knives, which can be found at {hardware} shops. Ensure the blade is sharp. Utilizing your chopping gadget, scrape very flippantly and, utilizing a back-and-forth movement, take out the darkish spot. You wish to work gently, eradicating solely the highest a part of the paper with out chopping by means of it. I like to recommend scraping from a number of completely different angles to take away cussed colour caught within the grooves of cold-pressed or tough paper. After eliminating the colour, use a clear, white eraser to softly take away the particles. You need to be left with a lightweight or white spot, which brings us to the following corrective method.

In case your portray floor is dry, light scraping with a utility knife or X-Acto blade will take away stray paint spots. Observe up with a clear, white eraser to take away particles.

White-Spot Firming

White spots are typically simpler to take away than black spots. In your palette, create a small puddle of colour of comparable hue and worth to the realm surrounding the white spot. Gently drop just a little of the premixed colour onto the lighter space. Construct up the worth slowly, letting every layer dry earlier than making use of the following, and keep away from portray the already coloured areas. As soon as your white spot is of an identical worth and hue to the encircling areas, it will likely be very tough to note.

Make a white spot disappear by making use of mild layers of premixed colour.

Lighten Coloration

Do you know that you would be able to lighten a layer of dried watercolor? The key is masking fluid (aka drawing gum). Maybe you’ve seen the darkened look of masking fluid when it’s faraway from a portray. That’s as a result of masking fluid, like every liquid, will raise watercolor—and the eliminated watercolor darkens the masks. Accordingly, if you take away the masks, the colour that was beneath will probably be lightened by about one worth (relying on whether or not the pigment was staining or non-staining). Every model of masking fluid behaves just a little in a different way, so experiment to get the specified quantity of raise. For this objective, I desire the Pebeo model—a really fluid masks that pulls off lots of pigment.

To use the masks, use a mushy, clear brush. Rinse the comb regularly and alter the water typically. Masking fluid will finally damage brushes—so don’t use costly ones. I take advantage of Low-cost Joe’s Uggly Brushes. Cowl the areas you wish to lighten with masking fluid. Then, as soon as it dries, take away the masks—and also you’ll have efficiently lightened a layer of paint. If you wish to go nonetheless lighter, repeat the method.

I utilized a streak of masking fluid, let it dry after which eliminated it, leading to a barely lighter space of colour.

Take away Exhausting Edges and Streaks

What about undesirable exhausting edges or a darkish streak in a big wash? You’ll be able to repair these too. First make sure that your paper is totally flat. Then spray a mist of water from a small bottle over the realm that wants restore. You don’t need a puddle—simply sufficient water to moist the sting or streak. Additionally, make certain you spray at the least a number of inches from another space on which you will be working.

Subsequent, utilizing a nonabsorbent software (I take advantage of Grafix Unimaginable Nib), gently contact the exhausting edge or darkish streak. Touching moist paint prompts the colour, pulling it off the floor of the paper—however the Unimaginable Nib received’t soak up colour. As a substitute, the agitated colour will unfold, making a softer edge or lightening a darkish streak. To additional feather the colour, proceed to mist the paper, holding it barely damp. When you’re pleased with the sting and worth, let the paint dry.

Touching a Grafix Unimaginable Nib to moist watercolor will unfold the paint with out absorbing it, thus softening exhausting edges or lightening a darkish space.


Don’t be afraid of portray mishaps. With these methods, you possibly can repair errors and accidents—and save your work. Having utilized them to my portray Kirkjufell and Waterfall, Iceland, I can sit again, stare upon my work and benefit from the surroundings.

I had just a few “oops” moments when portray Kirkjufell and Waterfall, Iceland (watercolor on paper, 15×22), however they have been all fixable.


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