I have no classroom experience and everything I have done is self taught so my techniques might be a lil unorthodox. I need some help with a current piece I'm working on. I normally paint the background, well with this piece I did the same, I tried making clouds and a mountain in the background but it's not too my liking and the clouds look very fake. Is there any way I can lighten or blur the background? Any other comments or recommendation I can do to make this piece better?
Here's a very bad picture my cell. I had to crop some of it. I can post a better pic later today if need be.
Thanks in advance
Re-wetting areas and blotting up color with a paper napkin is pretty common and basic watercolor technique. Your local library will have loads of books on watercolor painting which will show many of the techniques that you ask about. There's also loads of YouTube videos on Watercolor. Sometimes you can re-wet an area with a spray bottle. You can create blotchy mess if you go in with a brush or sponge and start pushing paint that's on the surface around. You may have to sacrifice your edges and go back and work them a bit or by cutting some paper in rounded shapes you can hold it to block the spray from hitting your edges. Arches will respond to re-wetting better than some harder papers that tend to float more paint.
Like anything you just need to practice on some scraps of paper and eventually you will be showing people how to do perfect clouds.
Jay is right-on with his advice. It looks like you have mixed white with your blue paint to make the clouds. As Jay mentioned, here are many how-to books on watercolor. A good watercolor book will explain how to paint skies —or anything else—using only transparent color. This will take some practice but stick to it. It's a lot of fun.
I've used a very light blue to mix in with a background when the sky needs to be lighter. Personally I like your sky. But if you make a very light color and mix it in a wet background you can lighten it some. It may take more paint than usual because watercolors work better going from light to dark.
Don't let anyone tell you you can't make it lighter now. If it is dry and fixed in the fiber, it will be more difficult to do but you should practice on something first before you change that lovely sky around the image of the bird. Get a blue sky on some thing, let it dry and then go over it with something lighter, as it is way different than going from light to dark. Much more effort is required to get the desired results going dark to lighter with WC.