Sunday, April 27, 2014

Artist Tip #27 - Fixing Tropical Anchorage

When I ruin one of my watercolor paintings with a bad passage, I usually just throw it in the circular file and paint it over again.  But it is possible to fix some pretty horrific problems if one is so inclined.

In this painting, Tropical Anchorage, I painted the boat hulls much too dark and opaque:

I decided to try removing the dark paint with Mr. Clean Original Magic Eraser.  This cleaning pad contains no chemicals, and does its work by a unique physical arrangement of its fibers.  It's important to use the ones labeled Original - the later, "improved" versions do contain chemical cleaners, and may not be good for your painting's long-term health.

The technique I use is to mask off the area where I want to remove the paint with artist's tape, a thick masking tape with less powerful adhesive so it pulls off easily without damaging the paper or paint beneath.  It's usually white.  I tear or cut the tape pieces to outline the offending area, and burnish down the inside edges to prevent water from seeping underneath the tape.  Then I dip a small piece of the Eraser in water, squeeze it out, and gently rub over the surface, picking up the paint.  I dry the area with a tissue and repeat, until I have removed all the paint.  Then I lift the tape, and VoilĂ   - an undamaged, unpainted surface where I can give it another try.

This is not a route to the very freshest-looking watercolor paintings, but if I have an otherwise good painting, sometimes I use this approach.  It's also occasionally helpful in my watercolor workshops to inhibit student suicide.  And it's fun!

This slide show shows the process:

Here is the result after repainting the hulls.  As of this post, the painting is still available for purchase - just click the image for more info or to buy:

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Tropical Anchorage - Original Watercolor Painting

Two boats wait quietly under a tropical sky.

If you'd like to purchase this 15" x 11" original watercolor painting for $200 including shipping within the United States, you can do it securely on my website (click on the image). There are additional paintings for sale there, and my smaller paintings are available on my other website  Add a unique original painting to your collection!

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Drawing for Free Coffee-Table Books of my Paintings

Sign up for my fine art newsletter by April 23 and earn one entry in a drawing for one of these coffee-table books of my paintings. 

Current subscribers are eligible. Click on this link to enter: (Sorry - U.S. residents only.) After your entry is complete, you will be given the opportunity to earn more entries by sharing news of this drawing with your friends. More details at

Good luck!