Watercolours are often a favourite artwork, the gentle brush strokes and precision of the artist are always admired. These delicate paintings are sensitive to many kinds of damage and often they seem beyond repair due to their intrinsic fragility, but this is not true. Watercolour paintings can be restored in most cases by an experienced conservator.
Watercolours can find themselves altered in a variety of ways, from discolouring over time and moisture causing brown spots (known as ‘foxing’), to staining and water damage. Creased paper which had been folded and stored away can also lead to issues in the future, as well as insects and household pests which might not be noticed until there is significant damage made visible.
During the restoration of a watercolour painting, the process often begins with the paper itself can be carefully “washed”. This sounds like a dramatic step to take, but with the correct training and solutions, the original shade of the paper can be returned, without damaging the artwork itself.
Folded paper can lead to a loss of paint, as well as being an unsightly dent in the artwork when framed. Professional treatments are available to smooth these lines, using heat, humidity and weight. A paper can be flattened once again, and any missing areas can be retouched with delicate conservation-grade pigments.
Watercolour paintings with silverfish damage or worms may not be safe until they have been completely decontaminated. This means clearing both the infestation and any eggs with specialist equipment.
Torn works on paper, as well as those with holes, can be repaired and strengthened with delicate Japanese tissue paper or paper pulp. They are then retouched flawlessly, as not to give away any of the past trauma to the painting.
If you have a watercolour painting needs some TLC please contact us to find out how we can help or a no-obligation quote.