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Art how to paint in watercolor - REGAINING and RETAINING WHITES one of the most difficult problems made easy
Any seasoned artist will tell you one of the most difficult tasks when painting is retaining the white to stay, well white! Whether paint smudged, dribbled or was purposefully put there, paint in your white areas can be cause for mind boggling frustration. Here are a few secret tricks artists in the know use for removing the colored paint and regaining your whites along with your composure. It might just save you from throwing the whole picture out and having to start again.
REGAINING and RETAINING WHITES
Use Masking fluid / masking tape - not too sticky
- Apply masking fluid/ tape to dry paper. You can find specialty products at your art store usually or to make the tape less sticky run it over the palm of your very clean hand first.
- The masking fluid/ tape can be applied over paint as long as the under paint color is completely dry.
- Completely dry the paint and paper before mask is removed or the damp paper will tear.
Painting around the white areas
- Make a light pencil sketch first before you start to paint outlining chosen areas so that you know where the white areas are.
- Paint around those areas. If using watercolor and the paper is dry, you will have hard, sharply defined edges, If the paper is damp, the paint will spread, leaving soft edges.
Do you prefer usingwith watercolor paints as opposed to acrylic or oil based paint?s
Scraping out the white areas
- Use an old credit card, a stiff piece of cardboard, your fingernail etc to scrape or flick off areas of paint. This is most effective when corrected straight away. Be careful not to dig too hard into the paper. A very light, controlled touch is the trick here.
- Keep in mind if the paint is too dry you won’t be able to scrape the paint back, If the paint is too wet, it will run back into the scraped areas.
Lifting out the white areas
- Use clean water and a clean brush to wet the paint. Let the water sit for a moment to soften the paint, then blot firmly with a tissue, damp brush or paper towel.
- Sand, erase or use other ways to rough up the paint areas to lighten them. This can sometimes give an added benefit of a textured look.
- Cut a stencil to sand or erase to create a precise shape. You can only do this on a good grade of watercolor paper (300gsm/140 lb or heavier). Anything thinner is too thin and you will damage the paper, maybe going right through.
Spraying the paint
- Another thing you can do to regain white is set a spray bottle onto the hardest jet and 'blast' the paint off the paper.It will remove most paint but will not damage the paper.
Finally, if you have tried all the techniques to remove the paint but it is still not right, take a close look at the light source and which way the light is falling on your subject. Then paint in some contrast, make the shadows darker and hopefully your washed out, remedied area will be light enough even though you couldn't get is back to white.
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Some other great hubs to read on watercolor are
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