You can also use bleeding to create pretty effects, such as a stormy sky or light reflecting on water.
- So long as the paper is wet all over, there's no risk of bleeding. It occurs when excess water is placed on an otherwise dry section of paper. Result: the color runs, creating a blotch with sharp, very pigmented edges (scalloping), leaving a very light color on the inside.
- The drier the paper, the stronger the scalloping, and the more transparent the inside of the blotch.
Erasing a blotch: an accidental blotch will be out of place in your composition. Don't give it time to dry! Rinse it first with a wet paintbrush, then by rubbing very gently with a sponge, taking care not to damage the paper.
Working the blotch into the composition: turn the blotch into an aspect of the composition. While unplanned, it can inspire you to rethink your creation!
Bleeding, smudges and running allow you to deliberately create effects that would be impossible with normal brush strokes, and are very useful for creating a sky full of clouds, a landscape reflecting on a lake, or an irregular texture.
Your paper needs to be almost dry. If you applied a first wash, you'll need to wait until it stops being shiny.
Select satin finish paper (with a very fine grain): its smoothness lends itself to bleeding.
On rough grain paper, blow into a straw to help the water spread in the right direction. The straw technique also allows you to control the shape of a blotch or the direction of a drip.
Add a few drops of ox bile to your water container to encourage the bleeding to spread.