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How to fix your colouring 'mistakes'

As Bob Ross would say, "We don't make mistakes, we just have happy accidents".

On that note, I have had an old work in progress (WIP) sitting on my bookshelf for many years just begging to be finished. The book is Enchanted Forest and the artist is Johanna Basford. I have coloured a few pages in this book and love them all. But this one.... I just did not like the direction the page was heading.

I had actually years earlier attempted to erase the dark and almost fluorescent green grass with an electric eraser and as much as I love the lightening effect of the original sky, this page was busy enough and it was a distraction.

I finally dusted it off and decided to turn this page into a happy accident!

So I pulled out my clear gesso!

What is Gesso?

Gesso (pronounced Jesso) is the Italian word for plaster and the basic ingredients are a binder, a chalk and a pigment. The combination of these ingredients change depending on the purpose of the gesso and there are many different types out there with different functions.

The most common use for gesso is to prime a surface prior to painting. It is most commonly used in the adult colouring community to enable pages that were not designed for water mediums to be able to withstand it.

However it can also be used to add tooth to paper, especially after a happy accident!

How to apply it?

I applied the gesso with a small paint brush so I could maneuver around all the details on the page, however foam brushes also work particular well on larger areas and get a nice even coat.

I used one coat of gesso to cover the grass and I used two coats on the sky (making sure to let each coat dry - it didn't take long). A little bit of gesso goes a long way!

You can see from the pictures, how well the gesso covered the original colouring and helped to create my happy accident. I love the final page... now to complete the other half.

What colours did I use to create this page?

I have attached a photo below of my colour tracker showing some of the Prismacolor combinations and Neocolor ii's I used to create the final page. I also used coliro paint in the colour M640 Gold Pearl for the border.

The original lightening effect was created using the following prismacolor pencils: Black, Indigo Blue, Violet Blue, Cerulean Blue, Light Aqua and White.

If you try using gesso to change up your colouring pages I would love to see your outcome over in our FaceBook Group.

Karen x

651 views5 comments


It look's amazing. It's great to see how someone has corrected their misstakes


You are a real artist! So creative and thinking in solutions. Very clever you used the gesso.

Replying to

Thank you so much! 🤗


It turned out so nice,

Replying to

Thank you 😊

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