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December 02, 2008
WATERCOLOR PAINTING JUST GOT EASIER FOR YOU
NO MORE TIME WASTING WITH TRIAL AND ERROR
SUPRISE YOUR CLOSE ONE'S WHEN THEY SEE YOUR PAINTINGS
IF YOU THINK YOU CAN PAINT OR IF YOU THINK YOU CANNOT PAINT YOU ARE RIGHT.
YOU CAN LEARN TO PAINT BEAUTIFUL WATERCOLORS.
COMMON WATERCOLOR PROBLEMS
Watercolor is often though as a "non fixable medium".
This belief is totally incorrect.
You can correct mistakes.
Keep this handy fix-it guide close by to help you out if you get yourself into a mess.
Problems are not in any order of the most numerous to least.
The first one does occur quite often.
PROBLEM #1 - OVERWORKING.
When you think a few more details, few more brush strokes, pushing and pulling color over the paper, will improve the painting. When you don't know when to stop, expecting perfection, so you start fussing back and forth.
PROBLEM #1 - SOLUTION.
Stop as soon as your basic message becomes evident.
Then set the painting aside for a while.
Looking at it later, with a fresh eye may give you a new perspective.
Go ahead and put a mat and frame as a "Trial Run" around it. Look at it again. Then add any additions,color ,details, remember more details only means you have a painting with more details. Shapes make the painting NOT DETAILS.
Paint looks its luminous best when laid down on the paper and left alone. The more we play with it, the more it becomes agitated and dull.
When things aren't going well we tend to use more brushstrokes, but that usually makes the situation worse. If this happens, try letting the area get bone dry, then dampen it with clear water and add pure paint to the area with as few strokes as possible.
With this method, the last color applied will be the dominant one, providing a distinct color and temperature to the area and recovering some lost luminosity.
PROBLEM #2 - PALE COLORS.
Pale colors that look drab, weak and washed out.
PROBLEM #2 - SOLUTION.
Do not use dry, hard colors that have dried out in your palette.
Try putting fresh paint out every time you paint. Mix generous amounts of paint in your palette.
Paint with a larger brush than you would normally use.
Perhaps you didn't catch it; - so let me say it again in super slow motion.
1) - No scrubbing at a dried-up blob of paint, squeeze out fresh paint from a tube.
2) - Use the right size of brush for the job.
PR0BLEM #3 - BACKRUNS.
Unwanted watermarks on the paper.
PROBLEM #3 - SOLUTION.
Don't paint into "damp" washes. When a wash area starts to dry ,keep out.
Or the fresh wash will creep into an area that is starting to dry and leave a tide mark or back run.
Always watch for any puddles of extra paint and water at edges of a wash and mop it up before it creeps back in.
As I stated before, you should watch out for gritty, granular paint. These granules can catch in your brush and cause unwanted streaks that are difficult to remove. Use fresh paint to avoid these little gremlins. Again watch your water-to-paint ratio.
When painting into wet, already-painted areas, you can get unwanted lines and blossoms when you have excess water in your brush, as the new load of liquid pushes the previously applied pigment outward. When the paint dries, lines and blossoms occur.
Some artists use these blossoms to their advantage, however, and knowing how they're created will help you use them strategically.
Understanding your materials and what they can do for you can take you a long way toward avoiding the common problems discussed here. You may want to deliberately use these irregularities sometimes, but you must have the knowledge and the ability to control them. And, most importantly, a good watercolorist must know how to avoid and overcome the unwanted problems they create.
PROBLEM #4 - WRINKLES
Hills and valleys that form on the paper.
Problem #4 - SOLUTION
Thicker paper weight than you usually use.
Stretch the paper. See Techniques (on the left side of the home page) then click on Stretching Paper
You might try paper that is made in a block form. Although it is expensive, still they tend to have smaller hills and valleys than just a sheet of paper.
I still don't like blocks.
PROBLEM #5 - UNEVEN WASHES
Inconsistent color coverage.
PROBLEM #5 - SOLUTION.
Use a wide flat brush, make sure you don't run out of pigment. Mix up ample color.
Work fast once you have started painting. Re-load brush on every pass with color.
In other words DO NOT PAINT UNTIL you are about to exhaust paint on the brush.
Paint a few strokes, re-load, paint, re-load, etc.
Make sure if you have applied clear water to the paper, it is evenly dispersed. It should leave a smooth even sheen on the paper.
Blending in a rapid crisscross fashion is best. To make sure you can move quickly, and not have to slow down or stop, be sure to have everything at your fingertips before you begin applying the wash. If you have to stop, even for a moment, your last stroke will almost certainly dry and leave a streak.
PROBLEM #6 - UNWANTED LINES, BLEMISHES ON PAPER.
Not protecting tools or paper from dust, lint, hairs, grease, finger prints and "people"
PROBLEM #6 - SOLUTION.
Try to store paper in a safe place. Away from people handling the paper.
Don't buy paper that has been exposed to people sorting through the sheets.
Just image how many finger prints, yes with make-up on ,could be on each sheet.
This is why I would never, never------buy a sheet from a store if it was not wrapped from the factory, even then some doubts. Have seen store clerks handle watercolor paper very inappropriately.
Suggest buying on line such as Dick Blick or Cheap Joe's, you also will save money.
PROBLEM #7 - GOOD START BUT,
Results aren't what you hope for.
PROBLEM #7 - SOLUTION.
Giving up too soon.
Every painting (well nearly) goes through a "Yuckie" stage, and you may well start again. DO NOT DO THIS.
As of to-day you MUST finish every painting you start.
So plan your painting, before grabbing the brush. Yes I know you want to start right now, but spend a little time with thumbnail sketches, good reference material and above all else press on to the end (with care), even if you're discouraged half way through. Think, Plan, you will not be sorry.
Could you spend just a few moments and write a couple of lines telling us what you think about our weekly reports. It will not take long. But it would be appreciated, for you, the readers to steer the ship, so we can help you all do your very best and enjoy painting as much as I do.
Never did understand why everybody does not paint.
See you next week.
Warm Regards - Jim
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