Other useful techniques

Glazing: Glazing is a technique where you paint washes of color over already dried washes to change the overall color of the wash. This is primarily used to slowly build up form, one layer at a time. In this sample, a pathlo blue wash was painted and allowd to dry completely. It is very important that it be dried completely, otherwise when you paint the second layer, this first wash will lift creating unwanted splotches. On top of that, brilliant purple has been painted (see shade in the ‘lifting with damp brush section’), the blue and the pink combine visually to make a violet. A green gold (yellowish) has been glazed below that. It shows as a dull green.  


Lifting with damp brush: Some pigments are more staining than others, meaning that they are more difficult to remove once they have been painted. Here, I have chosen Schminke’s  brilliant purple (which is fugitive, so I donot use it much) because it is non staining and lifts readily. Paint a swatch of color and let it dry completely. Now take an old stiff brush which is slightly damp. Drag a line on the paint swatch. Blot on a tissue to remove the color which has deposited on the brush and repeat this again and again till you have lifted the color. Lifting is useful for correcting mistakes, painting veins on leaves etc.  


Lifting with damp or dry tissue: Paint a blue wash of sky of medium intensity. Before this has a chance to dry, lift patches of the blue with a damp or dry soft tissue to resemble clouds. Lifting with a dry tissue gives hard edges. Combining both methods gives a realistic look. Keep rotating the tissue so that the blue which you had lifted does not get pressed back to the paper. If you find that the paper is drying too fast before you have had a chance to do the lifting, wet the paper first evenly. Just as the sheen is starting to go, brush in the blue color. Wait for a second or two for the moisture to be absorbed. Now start lifting the clouds.


Salt technique: Paint a small swatch of a basic wash. The timing for this has to be just right. Take some table salt and sprinkle randomly on the wash, just as the sheen is going away. Donot disturb it, till it is completely dry. After it has dried, brush away the salt gently. This reveals a nice random pattern which can be used as textures for stones and rocks or for snow flakes. You will not get this effect if you sprinkle on a wet wash or wait too long before sprinkling. Experiment with larger salt crystals and see what textures they show.

Splattering: Snow flakes can also be simulated by splattering white gouche on a gray-blue sky. Take an old tooth brush and load it with white paint. With the handle of a brush or by using your hand, scrape the bristles of the toothbrush with quick strokes moving it around the paper. You will get a pattern of off white dots on the gray sky. Take care not to mix the opaque gouche with your transparent watercolors as it will make them dull. Splattering can also be done with different watercolors to give an interesting design to an otherwise boring large area in your painting.


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