SOFT EDGES

International Artist - - Watercolour Workshop -

A soft edge can be made by paint­ing wet in wet. This can be done by paint­ing into a wet wash or, if the area you want the soft edge is dry, by first wet­ting it with clean wa­ter. If you are paint­ing a soft edge into a wet wash, make sure there is more pig­ment in the color you are ap­ply­ing than is in the un­der­ly­ing wash or ob­vi­ous blooms will be cre­ated. If paint­ing a soft edge onto an al­ready dry wash, be sure the un­der­ly­ing wash is thor­oughly dry.

Here the soft tree shapes on the left were all ap­plied wet in wet then, once dried, con­trast­ing fine rig­ger lines were added to tie this softer area with the fo­cal area. The re­flec­tions in the wa­ter were painted onto a dry un­der wash and then quickly soft­ened on ei­ther side with a clean, damp brush. The same damp brush (a rough ½-inch bris­tle) was then dragged hor­i­zon­tally through the re­flec­tions in a cou­ple of places.

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