This painting is 26cm square and as you can see the rather too large shadow is totally overworked. But it was fun getting very loose and informal with colour…
Once a piece of work is destined for the bin, you have to freedom to experiment on it, and I’d heard of a new magical watercolour eraser, so I ordered one from Jacksons Art Supplies. There are 4 sponges and you just slice a little off one of them – about thumb-sized.
I cut the lemon shape (one at a time) out of acetate to use as a mask, so that I would only wet the area where I wanted to remove the colour.
I saturated the sponge in clean water,
and began to gently wipe away the paint. After each wipe, you must rinse the sponge thoroughly or you’ll wipe the colour back on!
Of course there was a lot of adjusting to do – the lemons needed to be integrated and reflect some yellow onto the vase and pick up some blue from the plate, and the red shadow on the right was wiped over with the eraser to soften the colour. The jar shape was improved on the right hand side. When my husband asked if it was a fish-bowl, I decided to label it! I wiped out the shape of a label without completely removing the colour, and added a label and my Chinese chop stamp.
It was such a fun experience salvaging a watercolour. This is a revolutionary invention as not only can it change to face of doing watercolours where you had ONE chance, but it also permits you to add effects like little white leaves everywhere etc. Bye-bye masking fluid!