View Full Version : Newbie questions

06-05-2001, 05:53 PM
I am very new to watercolor, so please bear with me. I have transfered a drawing to my paper. I used way too dark of a pencil for this, since it seems to be smearing into my paint. If I use lighter pencil, it seems to wash out when I paint over it. Is there a happy medium somewhere out there that I need to know about?

Another thing is that in the book I bought, it says that I can use some rubber cement if I want to mask an area. It works. The area is masked, but now it wont seem to come off. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/frown.gif

My last question (for this particular post) is that I seem to be putting layer after layer on to get the darks I want to achieve. It seems like the paper is wearing out. (I presoaked it before I started) Is there something I should be doing that will prevent this?

[This message has been edited by Shehaub (edited June 05, 2001).]

06-05-2001, 07:01 PM
Shehaub,I personally use an ordinary pencil for drawing on my watercolor paper.I draw very lightly so I don't make any grooves in the paper(the pigments would appear darker in the grooves and ruin your painting).The pencil doesn't come off when I paint over it.And I prefer when the lines don't show in the finish work ( but that's my personal preference)
For removing the liquid frisket I use a special eraser sold in all good art supply store.
And since I use a very good quality paper I don't have any more problems with painting in multiple layers.
Hope this helps! Gisele

06-05-2001, 08:49 PM
Hi... welcome to the world of watercolor! Gisele has made good points and there is not much more I could add. Check the masking fluid bottle..some are made only for mediums other than watercolor. Also..in case you use a hair dryer..I have seen horrible accidents when students use the dryer over masking fluid. It can melt it into the paper and cause serious damage.
Light weight paper will not tolerate much in terms of repeated washes. I use only 140# or 300# cold press - or hot press.
If you are tracing...use graphite paper rather than carbon paper...
Guess that's all I can offer... http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif


06-05-2001, 10:06 PM
Two areas that may be helpful:

Transfering the sketch - Here is my peculiar method. I use thin, translucent tracing paper (you will see why later) for the initial sketch. Because I usually do composite work from many sources I can tear, tape, and compare various options simultaneously. It is all drawn freehand and at final size. If I make a mistake I tear out the problem area and rework using another piece of tracing paper taped in. Sometimes the final sketch has 6 to 7 pieced layers. Here is the advantage of the translucent material. After tracing over the final lines with dark black marker I place the sketch up on a large window (daytime)with my 110 watercolor paper on top. Light passes through. A natural light box! Then I can make the pencil lines on the watercolor paper very light, confident, and without need of erasures which damage the paper. I usually use a HB pencil with very light pressure.

stretching & washes: The pencil lines are OK to have light if your initial washes are put in gradually without too much color strength until you get the form locked in. Then you aren't working from your pencil lines anymore (they are not even visable anymore) but you are using the previous washes as a guide. I do stretch the paper but I don't saturate it. Saturating it too much washes away the coating and interferes with the washes. They go on too dark too fast. I tape it on a board while the paper is dry. brush clean water on with a medium very gentle brush (sable). The paper will begin to buckle a little but will not be saturated through. I then release the tape and pull it tight and restick it. Place your washes in with a light stroke - think of it as if you are dusting for finger prints - too much pressure and you 'loosen' the previous wash layer. It's not as hard as it sounds - really.


[This message has been edited by TMoore (edited June 05, 2001).]

06-06-2001, 08:44 AM
I agree with all of the above.
My only comment is DON'T USE RUBBER CEMENT!
It is highly acidic an will in time eat away at your paper, even if you think it has all been removed.
It really does nasty things. Turns stuff yellow, makes them dry, brittle, crack up and fall apart. (Gheez sounds like me http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif )
It is also extremely flammable, breathing the vapors may result in nausea, headache, confusion or instability. (hmm got some of that too!)

Other than that it is pretty good stuff http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

There are many liquid friskets to choose from. I use White Mask and Miskit Liquid Frisket. If you buy either of these store them upside down and that will prevent them from drying out.
I didn't get into the archival pure stuff before and have learned my lesson the hard way.
Just thought I'd add my two cents worth.
You should hear my spill on masking tape and duct tape.
It will bring tears to your eyes http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif


"Imagination makes you see all sorts of things." Georgia O'Keeffe

06-06-2001, 11:20 AM
Thank you. I dont think I will soak the paper anymore. It didnt buckle, but it did really begin to look chewed in places from repeated mistake correcting. I am going to try just going over it with clean water first.

The rubber cement is going back into the kids art bucket. I only used it because I forgot to put it on my list when I went shopping.

I didnt think about using a lightbox idea. I have a window that is always bright with sun that I could tape it to and trace that way. The tracing paper that I used was, again, from my childrens art bucket.

It sounds like I had a horrible experience, but in fact, once the painting was "ruined" I used it to practice with color and strokes. It was not all together a waste of time. There were a lot of good experiences in it before I threw it in the trash http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

My most valuable lesson was to not rush. Working with graphite and computer generated programs, there is no real waiting time. Watercolor is very different. There are times to work fast and times to work very slowly.

The good news is, there is nowhere to go but up from here.. lol.

06-06-2001, 11:45 AM
Yipes! get that rubber cement out of the KIDS art bucket. As said in one of the above posts the fumes are toxic!

Life is too short to be stuck in a box! Open the top and hop out!

06-06-2001, 01:31 PM
To get some of the graphite off the your watercolor paper use a kneaded erasure and press it on the line you want to lighten, then lift. Don't rub though. It should help to pick up excess graphite.

Kerri : )