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How to smooth blotchy effects in watercolour

smooth blotchy effects watercolour
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Have you ever experienced your watercolour paints splitting when you try to mix them, and then creating a blotchy mess on your paper?

You may have been tempted to tear up your painting and give up.

This happened to me recently when I was filming a tutorial for my online School demonstrating how to paint a beautiful Song Thrush egg.

The paints I chose to use did NOT play nicely together and caused me all sorts of issues.

But luckily I’ve had a fair bit of experience of this kind of thing and was able to save my egg and smooth away the unwanted blotchiness.

In this video I thought I’d show you how I go about this using my layering technique to make that save:

I hope this helps you save a blotchy looking painting or two in the future!

Please let me know in the comments if you give it a go!

19 Comments
  1. Diane Parks 1 month ago

    Anna- you are so much fun…. Your wonderful generosity to share with so many of us is GREATLY appreciated.

  2. Hilda 1 month ago

    How beautiful. A very good too.. ..thankyou Anna x

  3. Carol Martine 1 month ago

    Thanks, Anna.

  4. Carol staines 1 month ago

    Thank you, Anna!

  5. Jullane Rich 1 month ago

    love the way you paint, when will you have a new book out? Jullane Rich

    • Profile photo of Anna Mason Author
      Anna Mason 1 month ago

      Thanks Jullane. This time next year the next book should be published (just got to write it now!!)

  6. Maysoon 1 month ago

    Such an inspiring session. Many thanks Anna.

  7. maria kellner 1 month ago

    Hi Anna this may help,both turquoise are PG50, W&N burnt sienna is pr10101 DS,quinacridone burnt orange po48, WN payen’s gray is phthalo blue pb15,black pbk6 and quinacridone rose pv19 the DS is ultramarine blue pb29 and black pbk9 This may help as to why the colors did not play.

  8. maria kellner 1 month ago

    You solved the problem at hand well.

  9. Eileen Aaron 1 month ago

    Thank you Anna, for another great video.

  10. Betty Jo 1 month ago

    Loved this video and it was very helpful! Thanks.
    Betty Jo

  11. Profile photo of Anna Mason Author
    Anna Mason 1 month ago

    Thanks Maria, I’ve since found out that the Cobalt Turquoise Light is a colour known to ‘granulate’ (it’s pigment particles settle in the paper in a way that creates a mottled effect), so it wasn’t a great choice when trying to create a smooth effect!

  12. Judy 1 month ago

    Thank you Anna and so glad you are going to have another book coming out.

  13. Janee' 1 month ago

    Great help! Thank you!

  14. Robyn Fenning 1 month ago

    I experienced similar recently using conalt blue and windsor lemon on fabriano 175gsm. I have never experienced it in the 11 years I have used watercolour and wonder if it was the fabriano paper as the co is having problems with the paper

  15. Profile photo of Janet Whitham
    Janet Whitham 1 month ago

    I liked how you saved it but then I rather liked the mottled effect too!

  16. Profile photo of Elizabeth Beveridge
    Elizabeth Beveridge 4 weeks ago

    Thank you, Anna, for showing us that persistence and patience, and experimentation can get us out of a difficult spot. I think sometimes, because of watercolour’s reputation as being difficult to correct and change, I give up more easily than I would with another medium. Showing me your solution here was very, very helpful. Thank you!

  17. Kerry 4 weeks ago

    I was going to say that the struggles you had were because the WN Cobalt Turquoise Light is a granulating watercolour, however, I note you have since found this out. I love the colour but prefer it for abstract work where I want the granulation. You have recovered it well though!

  18. Sonja 4 days ago

    Great video! Thank you Anna

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