Home Painting Strive These Suggestions for Correcting Frequent Watercolor Errors and Mishaps

Strive These Suggestions for Correcting Frequent Watercolor Errors and Mishaps


From Oops to Ahh

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

Black-Spot Removing

Simply probably the most noticeable and annoying error is the dreaded black spot, brought on by 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 may turn into a “blissful fowl” (to paraphrase artist Bob Ross), you’ll need to take away it. There are two decisions: the moist methodology or the dry methodology.

Moist Removing

It is a dangerous possibility as a result of at any time when water is added on prime of a dried shade, 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 accomplished correctly, including water can rapidly flip a bit 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 instances, all the time with a dry, clear paper towel. Urgent a moist, soiled paper towel right into a moist space will elevate off shade round your spot or blot darker shade again into the realm. 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 generally known as “dry removing.”

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 solution 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 choose utility knives, which can be found at {hardware} shops. Be sure the blade is sharp. Utilizing your reducing system, scrape very evenly 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 reducing via it. I like to recommend scraping from a number of totally different angles to take away cussed shade 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. Try to be left with a lightweight or white spot, which brings us to the subsequent 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. Comply with 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 shade of comparable hue and worth to the realm surrounding the white spot. Gently drop a bit of the premixed shade onto the lighter space. Construct up the worth slowly, letting every layer dry earlier than making use of the subsequent, and keep away from portray the already coloured areas. As soon as your white spot is of an identical worth and hue to the encompassing areas, will probably be very troublesome to note.

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

Lighten Colour

Do you know which you could 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 elevate watercolor—and the eliminated watercolor darkens the masks. Accordingly, while you take away the masks, the colour that was beneath shall be lightened by about one worth (relying on whether or not the pigment was staining or non-staining). Every model of masking fluid behaves a bit in another way, so experiment to get the specified quantity of elevate. For this goal, I choose the Pebeo model—a really fluid masks that pulls off a whole lot of pigment.

To use the masks, use a gentle, clear brush. Rinse the comb continuously and alter the water usually. Masking fluid will ultimately smash brushes—so don’t use costly ones. I exploit 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 shade.

Take away Exhausting Edges and Streaks

What about undesirable arduous edges or a darkish streak in a big wash? You’ll be able to repair these too. First be certain 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 very least a number of inches from another space on which you will be working.

Subsequent, utilizing a nonabsorbent instrument (I exploit Grafix Unbelievable Nib), gently contact the arduous 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 shade. As an alternative, the agitated shade will unfold, making a softer edge or lightening a darkish streak. To additional feather the colour, proceed to mist the paper, protecting 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 arduous 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 have been all fixable.


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