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Tuition and Guidance for the Artist in Everyone

Tuition and Guidance for the Artist in Everyone

Art Workshop with Paul : Watercolours Part 1- Lift off Workshop

Ordinarily you would associate the removal of surface material as being a correction. This however is only half the story.

In pencil drawing such action need not only be utilised for eradicating a mistake, for full or partial erasure of the graphite is an invaluable technique in its own right

As we move into watercolour, it is possible to remove applied pigment from the surface, thus exploiting the medium to its fullest. However, attempting removal with an eraser is simply not strong enough to have any effect on the gum. The method required for this relies on the process of dissolving the gum, or glue, which holds the pigment to the surface.

Use the following Artstrips in conjunction with Part 2 which features Artstrips©, common problems & a step-by-step tutorial.

One of the most serious misconceptions for beginners in watercolour is that applied paint cannot be changed. It is most important that this misconception is dispelled, for once you realise that colour can be removed, it will allow you to be more confident in its application.

The process of dissolving and removing the paint in watercolour painting, results in soft-edged areas, which are comparable to the soft-edged brushstrokes of the Wet on Wet technique. The use of masking fluid results in hard-edge areas, directly comparable to the hard-edged brushstrokes of the Wet on Dry technique.

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Use this technique to give soft highlights with a textural quality. Paint layer must be dry. Flat nylon brush is ideal as it is more aggressive that a round sable, or sable mix brush. Brush must be slightly damp. If too wet, will leave blob of water on surface, causing uneven lifting. Rub tip of damp brush across surface. This softens and dissolves size and dislodges pigment. Dab pigment off immediately using absorbent kitchen towel or tissue.
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Unwanted hard edges can also be removed in this way. Work on a small area at a time, dabbing frequently to control result. PARTIAL LIFT-OFF
Can be achieved over larger area by wetting surface once with side of large brush. No rubbing or undue pressure need be used.
Lie clean piece of absorbent kitchen towel or tissue over area and press hard. Keep tissue still with other hand.
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Towel/tissue will absorb thin layer of colour. Allow painting to dry and repeat process until desired result is achieved. CONTROLLED AREAS
Cut paper stencils or use low tack masking film to lift more controlled, sharper-edge area.
Ensure brush is not too wet to prevent leakage under edge of masking, causing unwanted lift.
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Lift off can also be used to suggest depth and volume.
It is more effective out of a dark tone, so be bold when applying wet colour. Colour can then be dropped into these areas, either when wet, or dry. Although lifting off is a slow process, it is very controllable and can express much soft detail.

Part 2 complete this Lift-off Workshop. More Artstrips, step-by-step tutorial, illustrated hints & tips.