Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Correcting Watercolor

                                           Pears and Apple  9x9 watercolor

This little painting was stuck in my portfolio for weeks because I didn't know what to do for a background. Then one day I was leafing through an older copy of one of my watercolor magazines when I found an article by Ann Abgott. She's the one who inspired me to paint the fruit in the first place. She had a still life of fruit with a really dark background. It made the fruit just pop on the page. So, I decided to try it. First I tried Payne's gray on a wet background. Not only did it look dull, the paint started to seep into my nice pristine fruit, and they were dry! I sat a babysat it, dabbing away at the seeping paint until it dried enough to stop. When it was completely dry I went around all the edges of the fruit with a masking fluid. Then I mixed my own dark with Windsor green and alizarin crimson. I was much happier with this color, it just seemed livelier than the Payne's gray. The next mistake I made was painting the background down to far on my painting which caused the apple to look like it was floating. I had nothing to loose so I decided where the line should be and started scrubbing all the dark below that line, 3 or 4 inches. All those staining colors were very stubborn, I attacked with a Mr Clean Magic Eraser sponge. I got off as much as I could, burnished the poor bruised paper and coated it with Aquacover Liquid Watercolor Paper. You have to be really close to see the correction but I cropped the painting quite close and into a square shape to minimize the visible amount of correction. Who says you can't correct a mistake in watercolor?


  1. Good for you and job well done! It is a very vibrant and striking painting now!
    Happy New Year and Happy Painting in 2012!

  2. You really went through a lot on this background--and the amazing and wonderful thing is it doesn't show: it looks very fresh!

  3. A very interesting and informative post. I like the background color you chose. It is perfect and does make the fruit pop. In class we always get told, dark against light and light against dark. It certainly works here. I had never heard of Aquacover Liquid Watercolor Paper, but must order some. Nice watercolor and thanks for the tips.



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I started watercolor painting earnestly in 1991 after I moved to Florida. My husband and I are retired, and we are both artists. We both have works displayed  at the Wildchild Gallery in Matlacha Florida.