Home Drawing Learn how to Appropriate Widespread Watercolor Errors

Learn how to Appropriate Widespread Watercolor Errors


Learn to appropriate frequent watercolor errors with these professional ideas! Uncover what instruments you’ll want for profitable fixes, and begin creating lovely work.

From Oops to Ahh

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

Black-Spot Elimination

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 observed it. Except the spot is in an space the place it may possibly develop into a “pleased chicken” (to paraphrase artist Bob Ross), you’ll should take away it. There are two selections: the moist methodology or the dry methodology.

Moist Elimination

It is a dangerous choice as a result of every time water is added on prime 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 carried out correctly, including water can shortly flip slightly black blemish into a big black spot. To take away the black spot, contact it with a barely damp, measurement 0 brush. Wait a number of seconds, then evenly contact the moist space with a clear, dry paper towel. Repeat this final step a number of occasions, all the time with a dry, clear paper towel. Urgent a moist, soiled paper towel right into a moist space will carry off colour round your spot or blot darker colour again into the world. With endurance and care, you possibly can normally take away many of the offending spot on this method. If this methodology doesn’t work, it’s time for surgical procedure—in any other case often known as “dry removing.”

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

Whereas barely terrifying, the best method 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. Be sure that the blade is sharp. Utilizing your chopping system, scrape very evenly and, utilizing a back-and-forth movement, take out the darkish spot. You need to work gently, eradicating solely the highest a part of the paper with out chopping via it. I like to recommend scraping from a number of totally 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 ought to be left with a light-weight or white spot, which brings us to the following corrective approach.

In case your portray floor is dry, mild 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 usually simpler to take away than black spots. In your palette, create a small puddle of colour of comparable hue and worth to the world surrounding the white spot. Gently drop slightly 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 analogous 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 Colour

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 observed 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 carry watercolor—and the eliminated watercolor darkens the masks. Accordingly, once you take away the masks, the colour that was beneath can be lightened by about one worth (relying on whether or not the pigment was staining or non-staining). Every model of masking fluid behaves slightly otherwise, so experiment to get the specified quantity of carry. For this goal, I desire the Pebeo model—a really fluid masks that pulls off a whole lot of pigment.

To use the masks, use a mushy, clear brush. Rinse the comb ceaselessly and alter the water typically. Masking fluid will finally break brushes—so don’t use costly ones. I take advantage of Low-cost Joe’s Uggly Brushes. Cowl the areas you need 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 Laborious Edges and Streaks

What about undesirable laborious edges or a darkish streak in a big wash? You’ll be able to repair these too. First ensure your paper is totally flat. Then spray a mist of water from a small bottle over the world 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’ll be working.

Subsequent, utilizing a nonabsorbent software (I take advantage of Grafix Unbelievable Nib), gently contact the laborious edge or darkish streak. Touching moist paint prompts the colour, pulling it off the floor of the paper—however the Unbelievable 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, retaining it barely damp. When you’re proud of the sting and worth, let the paint dry.

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


Don’t be afraid of portray mishaps. With these strategies, 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 a couple of “oops” moments when portray Kirkjufell and Waterfall, Iceland (watercolor on paper, 15×22), however they had been all fixable.

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