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Old 02-04-2012, 01:02 PM
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AngelaMarie2 AngelaMarie2 is offline
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Watercolor Issue - Paint or Paper?

Sometimes when I'm painting in watercolor I get these areas that are shiny and there is nothing that I can do to get rid of them. It seems to happen if I do a background first, for example, and then some part of that background is re-wet. Look at the flower stem below. You can see some darkness, it looks like along the edges. It occurred when I painted the stem in after the background (the background was completely dry). You cannot see this "shininess" but you can see the problem.

Does anyone have any idea what might be causing this? I use high quality paper and paints so I can't imagine what the problem is.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.



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Old 02-04-2012, 02:11 PM
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Yorky Yorky is offline
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Re: Watercolor Issue - Paint or Paper?

This migration of the pigment is very common, and is more prevalent with opaque paints which tend to sit on the surface. The mark is grease on the paper i would guess.

Doug
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Old 02-04-2012, 03:34 PM
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Re: Watercolor Issue - Paint or Paper?

AM, I agree with Doug that the first photo appears to be some sort of gouge or material that made the paper accept the paint in a different fashion. Does that make sense?

I also agree with Doug that the second example is paint crawl or overlap from the stem to the background, creating a paint "line" or darker edge. It results from the second paint application overlapping the first application and creating the darker "edge".

This is why it's often best in watercolor to paint the light passges, followed by the medium passages, followed by the dark passages. A darker application will cover a lighter application and create a "cleaner" edge. Of course, it's very hard to paint everything in an entire painting in that sequence, but it's good planning to do as much that way as possible.

Coming back and painting a lighter application over a darker one will almost always result in some sort of "edge" condition where the paints overlap.

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Old 02-04-2012, 04:34 PM
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Re: Watercolor Issue - Paint or Paper?

I appreciate your responses, but I don't think understanding the problem (which is my fault due to the photos). There is no "gouge" or wear on that first photo. I did a few glazes on the background and it was fine, but when I went to darken some areas, this shiny spot appeared. I was unable to cover it no matter how I tried. And the problem with the bottom photo is not that the dark paint is somewhat overlapping the lighter paint. There are these streaks of that "shininess" that you cannot see. It almost appears irridescent. I just can't figure out what's causing it. I should be able to re-wet areas without this result. I guess I'll just have to experiment with some different papers and paints to see if it happens again.
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Old 02-04-2012, 04:38 PM
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Re: Watercolor Issue - Paint or Paper?

I think there is definitely something on the paper in the first picture which is resisting the paint.

Doug
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Old 02-04-2012, 04:48 PM
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Re: Watercolor Issue - Paint or Paper?

The shiny stuff could be gum arabic that have moved to the edge of the wet paint the same way the pigment have.
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Old 02-04-2012, 06:17 PM
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Re: Watercolor Issue - Paint or Paper?

What paints and paper are you using?

I see on the first painting where you tried to add more paint, but the defect (whatever it is) remained. You should be able to place glaze after glaze without having that effect. Odd that it should not be there for early glazes, but appear after some time. It certainly has cripsly defined edges. Sorry, but on my monitor there's nothing shiny.

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Old 02-04-2012, 06:23 PM
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Re: Watercolor Issue - Paint or Paper?

Does it look like something that you could scrape off? Or is it kind of embedded in the paper itself?
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:00 PM
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Re: Watercolor Issue - Paint or Paper?

I find if using Pthalo green or greens that a made with this pigment when squeezed out of the tube there is a mass of liquid which is gum arabic, I remove this before i use water to thin the pigment this gum arabic does cause shine I had one brand of pigment that I nearly squeezed the whole tube before I got to the pigment I did notify the manufacturer and they replaced it.
The first photo appears to have paint resist by something if you stretched your paper some of the gum tape liquid may have splashed on it.The edges can be cleaned up with a barely damp brush with a gentle touch .Paint does form an edge as the surface next to it is dry and also too much water causes the pigment to go to the edges of a wash.
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Last edited by querin : 02-04-2012 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:48 PM
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Re: Watercolor Issue - Paint or Paper?

I had a batch of Arches a long while back that had some uneven whatever in it. I don't know if it was sizing or unprocessed rag, but it would take pigment totally differently than all the other paper around it. I think someone else here did too. I remember splotches on a painting of an old woman's face or hands.

Also, with some of my pigments, if applied too thickly they dry with a shine. One of my FUMarines, and one of my greens....shadow I think from Graham.
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:56 PM
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Re: Watercolor Issue - Paint or Paper?

I use Arches cold press and a little Strathmore cold press. For paints I use Winsor and Newton. What I find odd is that sometimes this happens and sometimes it doesn't even though I use the same materials.
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:10 PM
blissofsilver blissofsilver is offline
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Re: Watercolor Issue - Paint or Paper?

Perhaps the paper fiber is damaged? Not necessarily a gouge but scuffing from the brush that raises the paper fiber.

Each time the brush touches the paper it's actually damaging it unless you're using a very soft brush.

Or maybe the gum arabic separated from the paint causing the shininess.
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:26 AM
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Re: Watercolor Issue - Paint or Paper?

Hm, seems to me also that some kind of grease or splotch is resisting paint?

And for the shine! I notice my phthalo blue does this quite easily. I think it is from having the paint too thick .. certain pigments take on a sheen. I would experiment, what pigments did you use on these colors? Paint them in varying degrees of dilution and see if the sheen occurs anywhere ..
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