Drafting: do you draft in pencil? Yes I do. Many people always ask me “is the pencil erasable after?” Not completely, but sometimes that’s the beauty of watercolour – having traces of the drafts left behind. Some people also ask whether there’s a way to completely eradicate draft lines, and I’m going to give you 2 tips I’ve tried myself:
1. Watercolour pencils
The problem with our usual graphite pencils is that graphite isn’t water soluble. However if you use watercolour pencils, the lines melt away when you apply water over them. Some words of caution however – try to use a pencil as closely coloured to the intended paint colour as possible. You won’t want brown pencils staining your pale blue patches.
Cons: watercolour pencils don’t erase away like graphite pencils do. They leave an ugly almost-gone-but-still-here-to-bug-you stain. If they’re really light, you could apply some clean water on them and then wipe the water off with a cloth, but it probably won’t work for big mistakes. What this all means is you can’t experiment too much with these watercolour pencils. Though, a way of getting around this could be to use graphite pencils for the rough draft, do your final-draft outline in watercolour pencils, erase the graphite pencil sketches, and then paint in your work. A little tedious if you ask me!
2. Erase as you go!
I sometimes just need to plan the overall layout and then I should be able to imagine bits of lines if they weren’t there. So I often draft the entire work; make sure everything Is in place first. I then erase bits of my pencil drafts mini sections by mini sections, or even, word by word as I go on to paint. Not the most convenient again, but better than nothing.
I hope these 2 small tips helped, but if you’ve got more brilliant ideas, or you’d like some videos, let me know! I’d love to find out what works for you!