Watercolor problems: objects in wrong place

Large splash of paint in unwanted area of your painting

Watercolor problems often happen when one is moving a fully loaded watercolor paint brush over your painting surface. If you are not careful or are bumped you can drop a whole lot of paint where is it unwanted. It happened to me once for a large painting with a light grey sky. I was using some very dark paint for the foreground and managed to splash an almost black mixture of paint into the sky area – it was about two inches by one inch in size.

I quickly lightly touched it with a dry plain facial tissue (not one with chemicals like Aloe Vera in it) to remove most of the paint, but the mark was still there. I continued with the rest of my painting at that time.

When I was done with the foreground painting, I went back and fixed the sky mark.

I used a stiff brush with very little water in it and started to lightly scrub the blob of paint from the outside in. I lightly touched the paper, with a tissue, every now and then to lift any excess paint. I continued this way till almost all of the paint was removed.

I use Arches artist’s quality watercolor paper which has a good deal of sizing and makes this time of correct much easier. If you use very cheap paper with little or no sizing this technique may not work.

If some remnant of the blob remained I would have turned it into a cloud shape to finish the repair off.

If this splash of paint had landed in another part of my painting I would first have looked to see if I could somehow incorporate it into the design of the painting before even worrying about how to remove it. It is amazing how often this accident happens and actually seems to land in a serendipitous spot!

Object in wrong place

You can use the same technique in the previous section to such watercolor problems provided you do not rub too hard and damage the underlying paper and sizing.

Once the object is removed you can usually paint over it with light glazes to match the area with its surroundings.

Continue to: Fixing watercolor problems with shape and tone in a watercolor painting