Saturday, March 20, 2010

Painting backgrounds

Question: Hi Susie, I have been painting for a while but still have a problem with background painting,it looks splotchy, even tho I try to keep the edges wet as I go but painting around the painting is the problem. Joan

Susie's reply: Hi Joan!
Without seeing your work its hard to say what you could be doing wrong, but I can almost bet the splotchy look you are describing is caused by unequal amounts of water in your brush and on your paper. Try working on a smaller limited section...blending off as you go and try not to paint near a damp area. In other words skip around and allow the areas to dry before you paint next to them. Learning how to "read" how damp your paper is and whether adding more moisture will create unwanted blossoms or balloons is an acquired skill that comes with practice.
Another tip you might try is to paint at a slight slant so your paint creates a small bead at the bottom of where you are working. Then when you add your next stroke the bead falls into it keeping the flow going and the painting smooth.
Still another tip would be to blot or test your brush before you add a stroke into a damp passage to make sure that the moisture in your brush and the moisture on your paper are equal.
Again practice will help you learn what to look for and how to avoid splotchy areas.
Don't give up! Keep painting!

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