When I work with watercolor I want the transparent colors to sing out! This means respecting the white of the hand-made paper (usually heavy weight rough cold press Arches), because once the brush touches it…goodbye light! That means no “mistakes.” I have tried frisket, but that just doesn’t work for me, and using opaque white is so objectionable. But I sometimes scratch with a razor exacto knife to “lighten” a color area. Very often I also add black acrylic ink with either a “crow quill” pen point or an organic twig, usually bamboo. To give these “defining” lines I sometimes judiciously add a bit of water with the tip of a brush (usually a Chinese brush), to increase the irregularity and character of the line. Sometimes, if a color area needs more “punch,” I add chalk pastel. And sometimes metallic acrylic paint or gold and metallic leaf gives a secondary composition or “layer.” In those cases there may be a discreet layer of archival quick dry varnish to separate the layers, which is sometimes called “glazing.”

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