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13 Easy Watercolor Techniques, Tips, & Tricks

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Step 9: Fixing Mistakes With Two Lifting Techniques


Continuing on, the next technique is mostly used to fix mistakes, but can also be used to add a different kind of detail. This is the lifting technique, and Isabella shows 2 variations.

The first is called a “wet lift“, and is done while the paint is still wet (pictured above). Simply use a paper towel or rag to dab the area you want to take out, and most of the paint will be absorbed.

The second is called a “dry lift“, and is done when the paint is dry (pictured below). This easy watercolor technique is usually used to fix mistakes after the paint is dry, but can be done to add negative shapes in positive ones. For example, Isabella uses a wet angled brush to scrub the dry purple square painted in step 4 in order to take out the paint. She goes for a triangular white shape, although she notes that it won’t be possible to make it completely white. This is because some of the paint will stain the paper, especially if it’s a chemically made color. Natural colors (the Cadmium ones) will be easier to lift and manipulate, but it’s still a good idea to plan ahead for every painting so you minimize on having to lift out mistakes.