I'm afraid things have been quiet on the blogging front lately as I've been in the Canadian Rockies for the past few weeks, painting some truly stunning scenery, and this will be the subject of a forthcoming blog.
This post covers the tricky subject of how you rescue watercolours that have gone slightly awry, or perhaps have somehow spectacularly misfired. It happens to us all. Many folk think you have to tear up the wayward masterpiece, but many watercolours can be effectively rescued even when they appear to be something of a disaster. I've just produced a DVD on the subject, and this covers a whole variety of techniques you can use to put things right, or simply alter a composition where you feel the need for change.
Unlike a recent painting, over time it becomes more difficult to sponge out details and passages, but I have the advantage that most of my watercolours are carried out on Saunders Waterford paper, one of the most robust watercolour papers on the market, so I could really work hard into the paper. I also rarely use the manufacturers' greens, preferring to mix my own, which are less staining and therefore easier to remove. Because of the hard-edged striking shapes of the peaks in this painting I realised that I would have to completely change the format to a landscape one and not include those strident peaks.
Copies of the Rescue Watercolours DVD, available for the first time this month, are available from my website If you have any old watercolours lying around that haven't quite worked, or have encountered a mistake you'd like to rectify, then there are many techniques on the DVD which will help improve your work. Some of the techniques are also useful to employ as a deliberate method to create special effects. There is nothing worse than finishing a watercolour only to find there is a niggling little problem to which your eye is drawn time and time again, when in fact there are almost certainly ways of solving the issue.