View Full Version : Which is best?

04-28-1999, 09:34 PM
I recently bought some hard palette watercolour paints which I was enjoying learning how to use (instead of tube paints all the time) until the other night. I did a small painting and when I went to wet it at the end all the colours actually ran into each other. I was wondering if this is a common problem or if it would be just that I have used cheaper paints? When I wet the whole painting after painting with tube paints, this problem doesn't occur. Can anyone advise me on this?

05-01-1999, 06:48 PM
Hi Amanda:
Couple of questions: Did you use the same paper you always do? Some papers have more sizing than others, and the sizing can sit more "on the surface" with some brands. If you don't stretch (i.e.thoroughly wet and allow to dry) your paper before painting, the sizing might be affecting the migration of your new paints.

How did you apply the paints? Thinly like you would tube watercolors or more thickly (like you would gouache)? If they were more thickly applied, wetting them down would dilute them enough to let them spread.

And finally, I'm curious as to why you are wetting the entire watercolor when you are finished with it. If this is to help it dry flatter, and you don't want to stretch your paper before you start painting, then try this technique: Turn the painting over, and carefully wet the back with a damp sponge (not sopping wet...you don't want water to run under the edges and get on the painted side). Thoroughly dampen the back of the painting, then cover it with wax paper and then some heavy books. Let it dry, and it will flatten out nicely.

The last possibility for the running together of your new paints is that they are just not adhering very well to the paper surface. That could be related to the paper sizing, or to binder ingredients in the paints. Without knowing the brand or more about them, it's hard to diagnose your problem exactly.

Hope this helps!
Ellen Fountain

05-02-1999, 11:44 PM
Hi Ellen,

Thank you for replying to my post. It sounds to me like you have 'hit the nail on the head' so to speak.

I didnt change my paper but I did apply the colour a little bit thicker than ususal. Your advice is very helpful.

I have only tried the non-stretching method a couple of times but it was with my tube paints. I think that I will try your suggestion of how to flatten the paper (which was my reason for wetting the entire piece). I was trying to keep it wet underneath and on top for the time that I was painting it but it still tended to curl up on the edges a bit. Anyway, thank you once agian for replying to my question. As I am only learning and am teaching myself, I like to try to work out what went wrong when it does! This way, I can learn from my mistakes and only improve.


05-04-1999, 01:46 AM
Hi, Amanda:
Glad the tips helped. Keep up the practice. It's the best way to learn.