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 This future site will include many of Ann's favorite painting tricks and tips,
so keep an eye on this page!  Here's just a beginning:   

  ERASERS   The best eraser to use on watercolor paper is the tan-colored gum eraser.  So  
    many paintings are ruined by rougher erasers which mar the surface, often not even evident
    until paint is applied and bruises show up.  Even kneaded erasers can be damaging.  When
    finished with a painting, the gum eraser can be rubbed vigorously over the surface to lift some
    of the remaining pencil lines.  It will not lift the dry watercolor.  I've even found the "crumbs" of
    a gum eraser make interesting texture when stirred into a wet wash--try it!

  MIXING BLACKS Blacks are so much more interesting and beautiful  mixed than when
    taken straight from a tube.  If your painting includes cool blues (leaning towards green), try a
    black made from Prussian Blue (Antwerp) and Cadmium Red.  If your painting includes warm
    blues (leaning towards violet), try combining French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna.  Tube
    blacks can be useful when a quick dark is needed, but always add some of the local colors of
    your painting in with it. 
    I often work on a painting with a limited palette, favoring one red, one yellow and one blue. 
    Mixing all of these together in full strength with more blue than the red and yellow will also
    give you a great dark neutral that can be used instead of black.  This neutral will really
    harmonize with your painting, especially if you let some of the triad's colors be discernable
    in the dark areas.

  GREAT BRUSH FOR PAINTING GRASSES  In the paint department at the hardware store
    you can often find an inexpensive brush called a "Chip Brush".  Buy the cheapest, scruffiest
    one they have.  I keep both a 1/2" and a 1" version of these in my supplies.  When wet, the
    coarse hairs split apart naturally and create great, varied streaks for grasses in a painting.

Ann Breckon Fine Art   *   425-644-4245    *  1900 SW Campus Dr. 37-204, Federal Way, WA 98023    

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