Feb 7, 2019

Saving the Whites in Watercolour - Painting and Drawing Tips

Did you know Google has 8,380,000 results for How to Remove stains from White Pants!!??
Who knew stains and White Pants were such a problem.

Well, I guess actually I did, as I never wear white pants.  I know, they look so cool and crisp in the summer. And of course, an all white outfit looks so refined and elegant. But somehow with kids and pets always in my life, white pants just never seemed to work.

And we all know even with 8,380,000 suggestions NOT ALL STAINS COME COMPLETELY OUT. 

GOLDEN FINCH AND APPLE BLOSSOMS - WIP - note the blue barriers between the paint and white space

Working in permanent ink, watercolour and graphite, I am well aware that once you cover your white, there is no going back.  Sure, you can grab a small highlight with a white gouache in watercolour and maybe scratch off a bit of the ink. But really  . . . Your white is gone.

Like those pants, the stain is removed but there is still a slight, subtle bit of colour there.  New Pants coming up.

But watercolour has its secret weapon . . . 

Frisket - a liquid latex in ammonia.  Once exposed to the air, it turns to a solid which can be easily removed from your support.

I must admit I don't use frisket a lot.  I tend to wet the paper in a larger area than I want and rely on the barrier of dry paper to keep my white.  However, sometimes I when I have a larger area with lots of details impinging on it and I want the freedom of a wet wash. . .  well . . . You got it, when I am working on a loose background.  (See my previous posts on tips for working on Backgrounds starting here. )

Well then I bring out the Big Guns . . .

Few Materials are needed to apply the Frisket

There are a few secrets to using frisket. . . .

1. Pour the frisket into a small china dish (Dollar Stores are great places to find these)

As you work with the pen you will have to keep dipping it into the frisket.  Also it may become clogged but simply wipe it off and keep working. 

2.   Apply with round paint brush or ruling pen.  I generally use a paint brush but if I need a sharp detailed line I use a ruling pen.  ( a ruling pen is a common tool for calligraphy)  You can cover the whole white space with frisket but all you really need is a barrier.  I find sometimes the texture of the paper can be disturbed with the frisket so I tend to only use a thin barrier whenever possible.

Be sure and protect the brush with a thin soap film before dipping it into the frisket

2. Frisket is very hard on brushes.  Before applying frisket with a brush, dip it in water and slide it over a bar of soap.  This will keep the latex from affixing itself to the brush fibers.  Clean it as soon as you are finished.  Dedicate this brush for applying frisket.

In areas where the frisket completely covers the object you can paint right over it.  Make sure you paint right up to your barrier. 

3.  When the frisket is dry and solid, it is ready for a wash.  Approx. 20 minutes but I usually leave it longer just to be on the safe side.

The frisket will often come off in rubbery, stringy pieces.  

4.  When the wash is completely dry use the crepe rubber to rub the frisket and pull it off.  Run your hand over the surface of your paper to be sure you have it all. 

Frisket off and ferns and branches are ready to paint. 

5.  There are often rough edges, sharp edges or even little bits of paint at the edge of the frisket areas or on the other side of the barrier. (my fault not the barrier's)  Take a small wet brush and work the paint loose and lift it off.

6.  Now, you are ready to roll.

My Golden Finch, see top picture, is nearly finished.  I must admit the leaves in the foreground have been a challenge.  But next post, I promise it will be up and ready for you.  I want to share the final part of backgrounds - adjusting the colour and values with glazing. 

Not too late to Print you Valentine Cards for those special people in your life - Cards are Instant Downloads onto 8.5 x 11 inch cardstock.  I leave then as they are but they are fun to colour or add a few glitzy bobbles too.  See my Etsy Store

My Etsy Store is always OPEN: Etsy - WendyMouldsArt

Originals, prints and Instant Printable Cards for all Seasons available.

 Special Note:  Instant Digital Valentine Cards are now Ready - Print, Fold and Give.  They are great for Pet Lovers, featuring Cats and Dogs - of course Max was my inspiration for the dog drawing!

Special Opportunity Coming Up:
Marketing Workshop - Let's Get Your Art Out There!!  
Sunday, Feb 24, 2019  10-3pm with Wendy Mould, AFCA

Need a focus for your Marketing Strategy?  Unsure where to start, where to head next? Marketing takes so much of your time away from the Studio, learn where to focus your energy and ways to maximize your time.  At the end of the day you will have plans and be ready for Action. 
 Cost $84 Tx Incl  

Working with Wildlife Artist Wendy Mould, AFCA bridges the gap between the Entrepreneur and the Artist in the Marketing World.  Contact Wendy to Register. 

Artists reading this post also find the following valuable:
Matching Colours to Values here
Playing with a Very Limited Watercolour Palette here
3 Ways to Turn Drawing Despair into Action here
How to Find your Starting Point here

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Have a great Artful Day,


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