Three Things to Know When Lifting Water Colour
From gently sponging out a small area of water colour to the more extreme method of washing colours under a dripping tap, there are several ways to go about lifting water colour washes. Lifting is not just the watercolourist’s answer to an eraser; it’s a widely-used technique for portraying smoky atmospheres, cloudy skies, and other such effects.
1. Choose the Right Paper
We develop all of our products with a specific use in mind, and our range of papers are no exception. When lifting water colour, always be sure to choose from our Water Colour Paper range to maximise the quality of your technique. Our selection of Water Colour Paper is 100% acid-free, has been developed to increase the longevity of your work and will make your colours appear more vibrant – effects which may not be as achievable with paper not fit for purpose.
2. Use Mediums for AssistanceOne of our favourite aids for the lifting process is the Lifting Preparation medium. Prepping your paper with it, you’ll be able to lift off dry colour washes, including staining colours. No need for a wet brush or rag, which would put the surrounding areas of colour at risk. Remember: once you’ve applied Lifting Preparation directly to your paper, allow it to fully dry before painting.
If you’re trying to reduce the degree of staining in your work, try Gum Arabic, which controls the spread of wet water colour. As an added bonus, you’ll be able to slow the drying process and boost gloss and transparency as well, allowing you to accomplish your desired effect.
3. Choose Colours Which are Prime for Lifting
If you’re uncertain about the colouring of your artwork or are new to water colour, start with non-staining colours. They’ll give you more room for testing. Then, gradually, you can introduce the staining colours to your composition.
View our collection of non-staining colours from our Professional Water Colour range in the graphic below.
Whether you are looking to colour correct or simply create a particular visual finish with the help of lifting, experiment keeping our suggestions in mind.