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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Art Tip of the Week.....Removing Stubborn Watercolor Lids

'Poppy Beauty'         9 x 12    pastel over watercolor       ©Karen Margulis
purchase with paypal here $125
I found a wonderful tip on my friend Paula Ford's facebook page. It saved me at least $45 and I'm sure it will save me more in the future. In her post she was asking for tips on removing stubborn paint tube lids.  Many artists commented and gave tips about using pliers and vaseline but one tip saved the day for me!

I have been working on watercolor underpaintings this week. In going through my supply of watercolors I came across 4 tubes of Schminke watercolors that I haven't been able to use because I couldn't get the tops off!  I tried pliers, my trusty jar opener tool, a piece of rubber, rubber bands. Nothing worked. All I managed to do was twist the tube until I thought it might explode. So I gave up, drooling over the colors I could not  open.

watercolor underpainting for another poppy pastel

Two ways to open a watercolor tube
I was excited to try the tip I read on Paula's thread.  It was simple and it worked!  All I did was soak the tubes in a container of warm water for about 30 minute.  The lids came off effortlessly. It was amazing! After all the struggling I was finally able to use these tubes of paint!

Speaking of watercolor paint I prefer to use the pan watercolors for underpainting but I make my own by filling wells of a palette with my colors, letting them dry and wetting them when I want to use them.  I am using Schminke and Daniel Smith watercolors but you can have a successful underpainting even with the cheap student pan watercolors.

I have several posts about watercolor underpaintings. If you'd like to read more search for watercolor underpainting in the search box on the sidebar. (right)

Artsy gifts for the Art Spirits the gift wrap!
On another subject, I wanted to share the wonderful wrapping paper we used to wrap gifts for our UnChristmas party this weekend. Every year a group of my art friends get together in January to catch up. We share our work and play games and win prizes. This year we wrapped the prized in pages torn from magazines. The best designs came from collage magazines but interesting wrap could be made from all kinds of magazines and best of all we recycled and it was free!

1 comment:

BW said...

soaking the tubes in water takes time and results in losing the label.

i keep a butane lighter in both my watercolor and oil painting boxes. heat the junction of the tube and cape, not hot enough to melt the cap or burn your fingers.

cap will twist right off. easy.