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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Seems like no matter how hard I try to learn to paint backgrounds,especially with multiple colors, they come out splotchy. Any advice will be appreciated. Think I need more water?
 

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Seems like no matter how hard I try to learn to paint backgrounds,especially with multiple colors, they come out splotchy. Any advice will be appreciated. Think I need more water?
If you would kindly post an image or two of your dilemma - it would be easier for both of us - and enable me to suggest an appropriate solution. All watercolor painters have faced this - you are not alone. However - the solution is a lot easier than you might think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you would kindly post an image or two of your dilemma - it would be easier for both of us - and enable me to suggest an appropriate solution. All watercolor painters have faced this - you are not alone. However - the solution is a lot easier than you might think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay, this is the current painting in progress. I used masking tape and masking fluid on the bird so I could add a background but the background is too splotchy. Of course the bird is not painted yet.
Since this background has completely dried, can it be fixed and smoothed out more? Thanks.

Bird Paint Beak Rectangle Art
 

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Re. splotchy background ~

Cleaning this up will be easier than you might think.

1- for starters - let's confirm what we are working with...
( I could be wrong on the particulars...)

seems like 140 lb hot press paper.
seems like blue color is cerulean blue.
seems like green color is yellow-green.

2- Nita Engles brought the following technique to me -

3- hopefully your paper is taped to a board - not the desk.

4- using a damp mop brush - (large or medium size)

with long sweeping strokes - lift as much of the blue
and or the green as you dare. (from one end of the paper
to the other - be sure to go around the bird.)

You might want to rinse the mop brush after each passing
stroke so that you are not adding color back into the painting.)

4- When you are satisfied with your lifting - your paper
should be somewhat damp or wet.

5- Now comes the magic - it's called 'rock and roll.'
these next few steps should be done quickly without
hesitation... and before the areas dry.

6- Dip the edge of your mop brush into your cerulean
and swipe 3 small lines on your paper - upper right,
middle and upper left.

7- Dip the edge of your mop brush into your green
and swipe a small line onto your paper - right of beak.

8a- Before these areas dry - dip your mop brush into clean
water and swipe (2x) from edge to edge of your paper (through the blue lines);

8b- Rinse your mop brush and swipe clean water (2x) through your green line.

8c- You want to moosh (make the line disappear) of the freshly applied color with the water.

9a- Now you are going to let the pigment migrate by itself
within the water from one edge of your paper
to the other (for the blue) and the green pigment will migrate
within the newly wet area for the green.

9b- Migration is done by gently rocking your paper from top to bottom
(no more than 5 - 6 degrees of angle - because you do not want the
freshly applied color and water to leave the page) ...

(using the orientation of your uploaded image) ... and back again -
watching the pigment move back and forth - being pulled by gravity.

9c- Rock the painting back and forth until the pigment smooths out
and begins to dry in place.

10- this technique gives you a smooth background wash - and avoids the hassle
that comes with learning how to use 'wash' brushes - because you
are letting the water, the pigment and gravity do the mixing.

Best regards,

PS - at first this list seems like a lot of stuff. However - should you practice this on a
blank sheet of paper - you will find with practice - this whole technique only takes
about 10 -15 seconds. Because the key to it - is moving fast ... without hesitation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you so much for this info. I am going to work on this technique. Will let you know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update: The mop brush did a good job smoothing out the splotches. But I think I would need to see a video of the "rock and roll" method you described. Let me know if you know where one is.
Thanks
Bird Art paint Beak Paint Painting
 
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