Watercolour Tip #1 – Mr. Clean Original Magic Eraser

August 2, 2017 by Diane Marcotte

Painting in watercolour has a bad rap.  You’ll hear comments such as “you can’t control watercolour”, “the finished painting is pale and washed out looking”, “modern painters find it an old-fashioned medium”, and “you have to frame with mat and under glass”.  Actually, none of these comments are true.

Let’s take a look at some of the positive aspects of painting with watercolour:

  • Other medias reflect light whereas watercolour allows the light to go through the paint and bounce off the white paper beneath.  This gives a wondrous glow and luminosity to the painting.
  • You can add diffused edges, create mists and easily soften edges.
  • A sense of recession is achievable by painting wet-into-wet whereas a focal point can be enhanced with hard edges by painting wet-on-dry.
  • Painting in a loose manner allows you to develop the essence of your subject without striving to add every little detail.

Today’s blog is the first in a series of Watercolour Tips. Incorporating these tips will increase your enjoyment of the painting process.  Some you may have heard about and perhaps have forgotten and others may be new to you.  Enjoy!

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.

The eraser can be used to remove a bit of pigment that went outside its area, to create a highlight that got lost, remove colour from a curved area (hair or fur) or to “paint” a straight line (post, boat mast, etc.)

Using an Eraser Shield (from the drafting department of an art store) place one of the cutouts over the offending area. Dip a piece of Mr. Clean eraser into clear water and wring out. Gently rub the affected area going in just one direction.  You may have to repeat for pigments that stain.  By rubbing gently and only in one direction you minimize any damage to the paper.

Paint outside the line

Paint outside the line

Shield covering paint to be removed

Shield covering paint to be removed

Here’s an example of how to remove a curved segment of hair to create a highlight or perhaps to paint over with a different colour.

Start by drawing a curved line on the hair with a 2B pencil.  Press a piece of masking tape over the line and press down.  Remove tape and you will see a black curved line on it.  Carefully cut tape in two along this line and then re-position the tape pieces face up on the hair.  Adjust the cut pieces to the width you want.  Burnish the edges so they adhere well and then, using a damp piece of Mr. Clean Eraser, gently rub in one direction.  Remove tape.

Segment of hair

Segment of hair

Masking tape over curved pencil line

Masking tape over curved pencil line

Back side of tape with pencil impression

Back side of tape with pencil impression

Cut tape re-positioned over painting

Cut tape re-positioned over painting

Tips

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