Each of these botanical watercolours had been fully pasted to a board. Fox marks had spread across the images. I encouraged the owner to let me de mount these so the paper was not completely flat and the fox marks could be reduced.
The board had to be removed manually before the buff coloured paper could be rinsed. The initial rinse was on a wet blotter. Subsequent float rinsing followed. Water draws out the soluble discolouration.
The end result does not show much of a difference but the images are not disfigured by the fox marks, and the nuances of the watercolours can 'shine' without being 'dulled' by a board.
Portrait of Gwen Snook.
The father of the subject in this watercolour was instrumental in expanding the Australian airlines after the Second World War.
Within the midst of this watercolour technique were very small fox marks, which also disfigured her face. The paper was pasted to a thick board.
The board was removed, and the paper was placed on wet blotter to draw out any soluble discolouration. Strips of wet blotter was placed on the margins' recto to soften the glue from a window mount and lessen the discolouration.
The end result is a more accurate portrait - with no fox marks within her face or white shirt. Also the paper is not being 'dulled' by a board.
Middle East View, British Artist
The mount of this watercolour was removed because there is no signature or artist's name on the recto. There was no inscription on the verso of the watercolour; thus, the artist and place is still unknown.
These images show the humidified watercolour placed on a water saturated blotter. This 'moisture' activated the absorbed discolouration - seen as brown halos. This is 'soluble discolouration' and is what is pulled into the wet blotter or a tray half filled with water.
The nuances of watercolours can be dulled by such discolouration or being backed onto a board.