Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tippette #16 - Softening Edges. Moving Paint.

Tippette = Snippet of a Tip (in watercolor).  One per day...during April...right here!  Tell a friend!

Sometimes you want a hard edge, and other times you don't.  It's fixable.  

Softening Edges.  Moving Paint.  

In this demonstration, I've painted two similar (sort of?) shapes of purple into two rectangles of clear water.  I allowed both of them to dry to the same point (slightly glossy, but definitely soaking into the paper).

Then, only to the left one (below), I touched my wet brush to the edge that I wanted to soften.  Immediately the color above it started to bleed into the fresh water of my brush.  This is handy to use when you're trying to paint reflections in water.


Now let's say you've let your paper dry (take another look at the puddle on the right, above).  If, after the paper is dry, you decide you wish it were a soft edge and not hard, simply do this.  Moisten your brush (not sopping wet...if it's too wet, touch your brush to a towel so it can absorb some of the water).  Then lightly rub your brush against the hard edge of paint on your paper and slowly move it back and forth until you loosen the pigment enough to make it move into the resulting moisture you've created on the paper.  Then use a dry, clean paper towel to dab up the paint you released.  
Softened bottom edge.
Results depend a lot on the pigment you start with, the paper and at what stage of dryness you tackle this technique.  Practice, practice, practice.  As with everything else in art!

Come with Helen K. Beacham and Kelly Medford to paint Venice this October...
click HERE for details!