16th October 2018

4 Quick Fixes for Colouring Mistakes


We all make mistakes!

Sometimes things don’t quite go to plan. Maybe you sneezed, maybe you picked up a black instead of a pink, maybe the kids decided to ‘Collaborate’ with you…!

These things happen, it’s part of the creative process.

The important thing is not to panic.


Here’s 4 tip and tricks to help you fix a colouring mistake.

1. If your error was in graphite pencil, a clean, white, plastic eraser like a Staedtler Marsone will lift off that pencil. If your eraser is dirty, clean it up by rubbing away the mucky bits on a sheet of white paper or your desk. If the blemish is small, use a scalpel bladeto carve your eraser into a pointed edge so you target only the mistake. Rub the blemish gently, then blow away the shavings. Never dust them away with your hand in case you rub the graphite dust further into the paper. I’m not keen on using erasers on ink or coloured pencil, I just don’t think they work well.


2. *Warning : This involves blades and is dangerous. It can also go very wrong, very quickly and leave a tear in your paper. Proceed with caution!** You can, if you are very careful, use a new, sharp scalpel blade to very gently remove the surface of the paper. This will lift off the upper layers of the paper with the majority of the colour and leave a much less visible blemish. Hold the blade so the sharp edge is parallel with the surface of the paper and use an action similar to sweeping the paper. Continue until the blemish is almost erased but stop before you begin digging too deeply into the paper. Take your time, this is more of a tickle than a scrape!


3. Re-Draw. Grab a black fineliner pen (I like a Staedtler 308 Pigment Liner in 0.2) and turn that mistake into something beautiful! If ever you see a rogue butterfly, or a slightly out of place blossom in one of my drawings, chances are I dropped my pen and needed to turn that error into something pretty. Craftsmen have been disguising errors like this for centuries. Stars, daisies, butterflies, dragonflies and caterpillars are my go-to mini doodles for hiding something!


4. Finally, have you really made a ‘mistake’ or have you just gone over the lines a little? For me, blemishes are part of the inherent character of creating something by hand. So if you can, let it go and be happy. You are not a robot, things do not have to be perfect!


Have fun and happy colouring!

Johanna x


Before you go…

If you like this, then you should probably sign up for my weekly Inky Email newsletter. No junk or spam, just a weekly letter from me to you full of inspiration, studio sneak peeks and cool projects like this!

And don’t forget, my new book, World of Flowers is out in October! You can pre-order a copy today

Inky Emails From

Download a FREE colouring book

when you sign up!