• Hi, friends…

    I’ve had to take a few years away from watercolor, but I’m trying now to get back into it. When I was more active, I used to watch a lot of YouTube videos on watercolor techniques, and I sort of remember one where you can use water to expose a white edge. But I can’t remember how to do this, or where to look for advice. If you can point me in the right direction, I would very much appreciate it. Thanks!

    I would do these by lifting color or softening color by applying something that is drier. Wet follows dry.

    If the darker paint is still wet/damp:

    • fold a paper towel/tissue and touch it along the edge, letting it soak up color, OR
    • run a dry brush along the edge to pick up the color

    You can also pick up less color, by using a damp brush that is drier than the paint.

    If the paint has dried:

    Run a damp brush along the edge to wet it.  Gently squeeze water from the brush with a towel or cloth or switch to a dry brush – the brush must be drier than the newly wetted area.  Run it along the same edge, so that the now wet paint will flow to the brush. It’s a little trickier when the paint has dried, and you might have to go through the process more than once.

    There are several factors than can affect the outcome.  Some paints are staining and you might be able to lighten a little, but not much.  Some papers don’t allow you to lift well.  They absorb the color too much and won’t let go or they may just turn to mush and get icky.  And, brushes vary in how much water they hold – so some will always be too wet or too dry.

    This can be a tricky thing to do, and may take practice.

    There may be other methods, but this is the only one I know. I hope it helps.


    Thank you so much, Sandra! Yes, those techniques sound like they will work the best. As I think about it, I may be remembering a technique using water, but it pushes the color to the edge, rather than exposing a white edge. I need to get my watercolor brain back. Thanks again!

    Larry, I’m glad I could help.  If you think of the other technique, please share it with us.  I always like to learn new techniques and I know I’m not the only here, who does!

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