Never fear! Tada! help is here in the form of a 'clay shaper'. This helpful little tool is made for sculpting clay, smoothing pastels, blending charcoal, and it works great to lift watercolor paint! This is the softest one that is available (there is also a medium - grey, and a hard - black, clay shaper).
Okay - here is how the clay shaper works (for me) to lift watercolor:
1. You have to use a really good watercolor paper with the sizing all the way through the paper - not just sizing on the surface. How well the paint lifts is determined by a number of things - one of which is whether the paint can 'move' on the sizing. If the sizing is only on the surface, this won't work really well to lift paint because the paint will soak in to the paper where the sizing is removed.
2. This works best with non-staining colors. When in doubt, do a test of the paint on the same paper and try to lift it . If your color is a staining color, you will not be able to get the paint to lift completely, but you should still be able to lighten it.
3. I dip the clay shaper in water and lightly scrub the paper with it while dabbing the excess water and lifted paint with a paper towel.
It's as easy as 1 - 2 - 3 - Voila! Billie Jane's highlights are back.
Now, if I can just remember not to paint over them again....
Thanks for stopping by and keeping up on the progress!