Blog 31 : Tips on erasing that smudge

Yesterday I made a mistake which is an easy one to make when you’re rushing. I brushed my hand across part of my painting to remove a speck of dust when it wasn’t quite dry. This resulted in rather an annoying pale smudge on an area where I couldn’t possibly add anything in to cover it up!

The smudge!

It could have been pretty fatal had it been darker. I decided to try my Eradicator brush to remove as much as I could before letting it dry thoroughly overnight. The Eradicator brush is a super useful tool, you can buy them from Billy Showell or Jackson’s Art. There is a method to using it which I will explain under the photos below…

Wet the brush in clean water
Wipe the excess water off to make the brush damp, not saturated
To tidy edges : Rub the side of the brush gently just outside the edge of the painted area then dab with kitchen roll.
For bigger areas : move the brush gently in circles or strokes. Do not use force or you will break up the papers surface.
Important : Clean the brush and remove excess water between each stroke or you will rub more paint into the paper!
Dab with kitchen roll. The brush will have loosened the surface paint so dab it off. Don’t forget to clean the brush before doing more erasing!

If the stain isn’t fully removed (as it wasn’t in my case) leave it to dry overnight before attempting to try again. Don’t panic and keep erasing or you will ruin the paper surface completely.

You can use magic eraser to remove stubborn stains. This is a white foam which I cut into a small wedge shape. This for ease of erasing close to an edge of paint and it is more comfortable to hold whilst working with it.

Cut a small wedge of magic eraser
Dip it into clean water
Squeeze it dry, it only needs to be damp
Gently use small strokes on the area near an edge. Do not rub hard! Clean it in water and squeeze dry again before carrying on.
You can use the fatter end to do bigger areas. Once it’s removed let it dry thoroughly before burnishing it. This is described below.

Once it’s dry you can burnish the area to try and flatten any fibres which are still loose. They may not go away completely but it will feel a little smoother. A second attempt using this method proved successful on my painting, thank goodness! After letting it dry thoroughly I burnished the area again. This is described below.

This is my burnishing stone. You don’t necessarily have to buy a burnishing tool. So long as its very smooth and easy to hold, a smooth pebble will do. You can even use the back of a spoon!
Take a piece of kitchen roll, or even better a piece of silk, and place it over the area you want to burnish. Rub quite firmly in circles across the area. Remove the kitchen roll and check, with a clean finger, if it is smooth. Repeat if needed.

I used a very fine sanding block to smooth the paper again as the fibres were still obvious. This is only suitable if you don’t want to paint over the area again. If you do, then stick to burnishing and use dry brush method carefully over the area. Washes will lift the fibres again.

This is a fine emery block. It can be used to wipe away fibres which may have been left after erasing. Do it carefully and don’t press too hard. On thicker 300lb paper it isn’t such a problem but on 140lb you could rub a hole into the paper!
Only use gentle strokes to remove fibres.
Stain gone… yippee!

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me with a comment or via my contact details below.

For great information on erasing see Mindy Lighthipe’s video. She shows how to remove a larger blob of paint. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NBOC0rJad5Q

Happy new year all!






Email address:jackieisard@googlemail.com
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/jackieisardbotanicalnaturepainting/
Instagram: @jackieisard
Blog: https://jibotanicals.com/
Web: https://www.jibotanicals.co.uk/
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Blog 28 : Colour Matters

Colours by the same name….part 2!

I’m back at last! I have decided to continue on from Blog 25 which discussed Quinacridone Gold across three brands and how very different they all were. It is very easy to make the mistake of thinking different brand pigments will be the same if they have the same name or a very similar name. Some even have the same pigment index number!

In this blog I will be looking at a number of pigment colours across the Daniel Smith and the Winsor & Newton range. All but one have identical names but as you will see many of them are quite different. One colour even shows a difference in temperature, one is warmer and the other cooler. Some are more intense than others, five are completely different!

I am a big fan of W&N as the colour selection, where primaries are concerned, suits me well. Don’t get me wrong I like DS pigments too. DS pigments are beautifully intense and I especially like their iridescent range. These are great for adding shine to butterfly wings. I just feel there is too much choice in the DS range as it is possible to mix every colour you need with 3 blues, 3 reds and 3 yellows. When you mix with primaries, I really don’t think you need 25 reds to choose from, do you? There are also 13 violets in the DS range and I only use 2 from the W&N range, Winsor Violet and Perylene Violet. Some pigment colours across both brands make you think, do you really need them? W&N Ultramarine Violet for instance, why not add a little Winsor Violet to French Ultramarine? Cobalt Violet….a little Quinacridone Magenta mixed with Cobalt Blue will do the trick! Anyway, it’s food for thought.

I have selected 25 W&N pigments for my palette and one DS, Lemon Yellow. The only reason this yellow is there is because it is very like cool Winsor Lemon but DS Lemon Yellow is transparent, not semi-transparent. I generally use 6-9 of my pigments at the most when painting, depending on the subject.

The colours with the same names (except one) that I have selected to compare across these two ranges are listed below:

New Gamboge
Indian Yellow
Quinacridone Gold
Quinacridone Red
Permanent Alizarin Crimson
Perylene Maroon
Burnt Sienna
Cobalt Blue
French Ultramarine
Indanthrene Blue (Indanthrone Blue)
Perylene Green
Perylene Violet

I have written an outline for each pigment below to show you the differences and qualities. As you will notice below there are four DS pigments which are semi-transparent. I prefer to use transparent or semi-transparent pigments. Some of the differences here are huge but some are actually quite favourable!

(Note: Some photographs are not always a true representation. The DS transparency symbols are different to W&N. Their semi-transparent symbol is a circle which is half black and half white. W&N uses a square which is half white and black but in this brand it means semi-opaque).

New Gamboge
DS – Transparent PY97, PY110
W&N – Transparent PR209, PY150
DS – very close to the primary yellow with a slight orange bias. A lovely pure pigment similar to W&N Indian Yellow but nearer to the yellow spectrum.
W&N – a muted yellow, similar to Transparent Yellow with a very slight brown bias when at full colour. A little warmer than Transparent Yellow. Makes a beautiful pale cream/yellow when watered down.

Indian Yellow
DS – Transparent PY97, PY110
W&N – Transparent PO62, PY139
DS – a cool yellow with translucency. Not what I would consider an Indian Yellow, more like W&N Transparent Yellow or Winsor Yellow Deep. This pigment could be used as a transparent yellow although Nckel Azo is closer.
W&N – a rich orange-yellow, flows smoothly and makes beautiful cream/apricot tones when watered down. Great for mixing bright oranges and muting green to an olive/green tone.

Quinacridone Gold
DS – Transparent PO48, PY150
W&N – Transparent PR206, PV19, PY150, Be aware W&N have run out of index colour PR206 so this will change. It will be replaced with PR179. The name is changing to Transparent Gold Deep. So, if you love Quinacridone Gold buy some now!
DS – a warmer, less muted version with a lovely golden glow. It has an orange bias.
W&N – a muted, duller QG with a strong warm yellow bias. Rich brown/gold when at full strength.

Quinacridone Red
DS – Transparent PV19
W&N – Transparent PR209
DS – a cool magenta/red resembling Permanent Rose (PV19). Quinacridone Red in the DS range is closest to Permanent Rose.
W&N – a warm primary red. The match for this red is Quinadridone Coral (PR209) in the DS range. It is quite a weak pigment in both ranges but a beautiful pink/red.

Permanent Alizarin Crimson
DS – Transparent PR177, PV19, PR149
W&N – Transparent PR206! Be aware W&N have run out of this index colour so this will change. So if you love Permanent Alizarin Crimson buy some now!
DS – a rich intense version of this colour but made with three index colours. It has a slightly warm red bias compared the W&N version which is cooler.
W&N – a cool not as intense version which can look a little flat when watered down on some watercolour papers.

Perylene Maroon
DS – Semi-Transparent PR179
W&N – Transparent PR179
DS – a rich intense version of this colour. It has a slightly warm red bias compared the W&N version which appears a little cooler.
W&N – Nicely intense too. Very slightly cooler than the DS version.

Burnt Sienna
DS – Semi-Transparent PBr7
W&N – Transparent PR101
DS – a very different Burnt Sienna to W&N and it appears to granulate. It is also semi-transparent.
W&N – one of my favourite reds. A much warmer version than DS. It is more like Pompeii Red (PBr7) in the DS range. I would add a tiny bit of Transparent Yellow (DS Indian Yellow) to Pompeii Red to make it a perfect match!

Cobalt Blue
DSSemi-Transparent PB28
W&N – Semi-transparent PB28
DS – this appears to granulate a little more than the W&N version and is very, very slightly cooler despite having the same index number.
W&N – a lovely middle blue, granulating. There seems to be a very slight difference but it is minimal.

French Ultramarine
DS – Transparent PB29
W&N – Transparent PB29
DS – a pure primary blue slightly more intense than the W&N version. Granulates.
W&N – a vibrant primary blue with no bias. Granulates. The only difference here is the intensity of pigment is greater in DS.

Indanthrene Blue & Indanthrone Blue
DS Indanthrone – Transparent PB60
W&N Indanthrene – Semi-transparent PB60
DS – Indanthrone Blue is more like royal blue compared to Indanthrene Blue. It has a very slight red bias.
W&N – this version is very different to the DS version. It is a deeper blue with a very slight green bias. They both have the same index number though! These are a nice option for a choice of warm or cool darker blues!

Perylene Green
DS – Semi-Transparent PBk31
W&N – Transparent PBk31
DS – very slightly warmer than W&N. It is semi-transparent. Mix it with a rich red like Pyrrol Crimson for a true black.
W&N – this version is very similar but it has a very slight blue bias. It is totally transparent. Add a rich red like Permanent Carmine for a true black mix.

Perylene Violet
DS – Transparent PV29
W&N – Transparent PB29
DS – a rich pigment but it is more muted than the W&N version, that is, it has duller appearance.
W&N – slightly brighter and more intense. It veers more towards the violet spectrum and less towards the brown like DS. A favourite pigment of mine, seen so much in plants! Mix with different yellows for some wonderful muted ochre and brown tones.

As you have seen there are various differences for a number of pigments listed above. There are even slight differences with pigments that have the same index numbers. This variation will most likely be due to different production processes and binders. On one occasion above we saw that a comparison offered up warm and cool versions, W&N Indanthrene Blue and DS Indanthrone Blue. When mixing with these two pigments, the tones would be more muted with Indanthrene Blue and brighter with the DS version. A few DS and W&N pigments have the same name but another colour in the DS range matches more closely.

So, I hope you enjoyed this blog and that it proves useful to you. Thank you for reading and I’ll be back soon with more interesting colour matters.

For more information on colour mixing, theory and painting techniques, see below.

My book is selling well all over the world I am pleased to say! I have had some excellent reviews and people writing to me to tell me that it is their go-to reference book. Thank you for all your kind comments and reviews!

Watercolour Mixing Techniques for Botanical Artists

A practical guide to accurate watercolour mixing with primaries for botanical artists
Colour mixing is a key skill for the botanical artist. In this practical guide, Jackie Isard explains how to observe and use colour accurately. She shows artists how to make informed choices when selecting pigments, as well as how to learn about colour mixing and its application.
• Gives detailed instruction and advice on understanding colour and pigments
• Explains how to ‘see’ colour and tricky mixes, from greens and reds to the difficult botanical greys
• Includes advanced colour application techniques – colour enhancement, shadow colours and colour temperature transition
• Step-by-step guides illustrate how to paint with layers, how to use underlaying colours to enhance, and colour and fine detailing

Order online via major book shops or Amazon. Published by The Crowood Press Ltd

More information on my website www.jibotanicals.co.uk. E-books are available worldwide.

USA and Canada distributor: www.ipgbook.com

Otherwise, Europe or UK can order through www.crowood.com or as below:

Amazon link UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Watercolour-Mixing-Techniques-Botanical-Artists/dp/1785008285
Waterstones link UK :https://www.waterstones.com/book/watercolour-mixing-techniques-for-botanical-artists/jackie-isard//9781785008283
WHSmith link UK: https://www.whsmith.co.uk/products/watercolour-mixing-techniques-for-botanical-artists/jackie-isard/paperback/9781785008283.html

Also available as an e-book worldwide.






Email address:jackieisard@googlemail.com
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/jackieisardbotanicalnaturepainting/
Instagram: @jackieisard
Blog: https://jibotanicals.com/
Web: https://www.jibotanicals.co.uk/
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Blog 26: NEW Beginners Watercolour mini-book

LAUNCHED THIS WEEK! See inside the ‘The Little Book of Watercolour for Beginner Botanical Artists’. A mini-book packed full of useful information about how to use watercolour if you are a beginner plus equipment suggestions. This little book also contains a few exercises to follow which will improve your skills. Take a look inside below in the video.

I have spent lockdown writing this little book and hope it will be useful to many. What else can you do apart from plan helpful books and paint during this frustrating period!

The printed version will be posted next week to all those who have ordered since it’s launch two days ago. There is also an E-book and PDF version for those who want a portable device version. Links to order are below.

Here is an overview of my little book. I hope you enjoy it.

What’s inside this one?

Purchase via me personally, email jackieisard@googlemail.com

There will be more little mini books in this series next year.

Keep safe everyone and have a very happy Christmas!