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After a three week bout with the flu, I am back- This is a re-post of a previous blog.

I had been writing a three part series about how to re-work a bad watercolor painting, and this is the third way. Ordinary laundry bleach can strip the paper of pigment- sometimes. Use it carefully, first diluting with water, increasing the concentration if needed. Use in a well ventilated room. Don’t spill it on your good clothing, as I am prone to do-

So you painted a watercolor, it is too busy, too dark, too something. You spray water on it, scrub it, dab it, but the paint won’t lighten. It has stained the paper deeply, like good watercolor should do, and it won’t leave. Image I had heard about painters using bleach to lighten or remove watercolor from paintings. I liked the colors here, the turtle, but the background didn’t fit the subject. I first tried all of the above to lighten the background, and failed. Also noticed that I had failed to round some of the lines of the shell, making it appear flat.   Image I continued to work on the turtle as I fought with the background. Here it was scrubbed, blended, and still not working together. The sea turtle was fascinating to detail and paint, but the background was just not right. Image Out came the bleach. I first tried it diluted with water, fearing to damage the paper. It di very little diluted. Then I used an old paintbrush and painted it on full strength.Zap! The paper was white where I painted the bleach. I set it aside to see what would happen as it dried. The paper was intact, undamaged, ready to paint on. At this point a friend suggested I add more detail to the creature’s eye. So I did some more work on the turtle, the coral below, and then finished the background.   Image Done, Young Sea Turtle. I was inspired to try this subject as my thoughts were deep under the sea, having just painted a mermaid. Artist Billie Crain had painted a beautiful and very wise looking sea turtle I had seen several years ago, and I thought to try the subject myself. http://artbycrain.blogspot.com/2014/05/sea-turtle-2-complete.html   – Wonderful painting, that- My turtle looked far less wise, hence the “young” in the title. I have an art critique service available at this link:  https://theartofpatriciaallinghamcarlson.wordpress.com/online-art-teacher/ Hope you have a beautiful day in May!

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