A few years ago Tracey Fletcher King turned me onto Fineline Masking Fluid.
I tried others and found them sticky and thick and messy;
not what I wanted in the ways I wanted to use a masking fluid.
Fineline’s masking fluid is a clean eraser-like material once dried,
and releases even when it is left on overnight or for a few days,
which I found very important when using it on larger watercolors, below.
But maybe the best thing about Fineline is the distributor…
you can get a nice fine line or small dots every time —
which I’ve never seen in other applicators.
In the third image above, you can clearly see the two sizes:
18 gauge (larger, yellow, top), and 20 gauge (smaller, blue, bottom).
I have always used the smaller 20 gauge applicator
(yes, the larger number is the smaller applicator).
Below I show various ways I use masking fluid.
Above, you can see how I filled the small collapsed sail in with the fluid;
this allowed me to brush colors across the sky and waters.
The masking fluid is a bit blue; when it is removed with a kneaded eraser
the paper creates the crisp white sail.
Above, I tested the masking fluid on the grey Hahnemühle Toned Watercolour Book.
I wrote big blobby letters across the page, thick drips, and let it thoroughly dry.
This is very important! It must be dry before you add watercolors over the top!
A wash of pink and orange watercolors went over the masking fluid.
I let them dry, and AFTER the watercolor layer thoroughly dried (patience is key),
I removed the masking fluid using a kneaded rubber eraser, and added
marigold orange watercolor over the linework and some of the original wash.
The masking fluid completely lifted, allowing the watercolor to adhere to the paper again.
Tips for success:
1) Use Fineline Masking Fluid.
2) Plan your layers in advance.
3) Let layers dry thoroughly,
both the masking fluid and the watercolor layers.
4) Double check for wetness before removing the
masking fluid gently with the kneaded eraser!
5) Cap the bottle each time you are finished…
Do NOT let it set open!
When capping, plunge the needle in and out of the tube
several times to clear it before capping.
On the images of my Great-grandmother’s crazy quilt
in a Hahnemühle Watercolour Journal,
I used masking fluid to save the inked stitches.
Left, you can see the wide places of white before I filled in stitchery.
Below, examples of masking fluid
in larger watercolor images on watercolor paper
that took several days and layers to finish.
After I painted the yellow on the flowers and Quin Gold on the brass mirror,
I then added a second layer of masking fluid to the top of the petals I wanted
to preserve yellow, and a little to highlight the brass mirror.
An example of using Fineline Masking Fluid on a large area to ensure
no watercolor slopped onto the Bald Eagle head!
In this example, I painted the yellow on the brass pole and flowers,
then added masking fluid to the top of the areas I wanted to preserve yellow.
Tiny dots on saddle and saddle blanket and harness allowed me to paint
without having to be careful of those detailed areas:
I practiced perfecting repeating dot sizes before I did these —
it takes a bit of practice if you want them even.
My favorite “Rose Dore” teacup, painted using Fineline Masking Fluid
on a sketching quality paper, the Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook.
Almost all my teacups use masking fluid for the details!
Follow me to hear the announcement
for an upcoming giveaway next week!
Fineline Masking Fluid can bought through Amazon,
large stores online like Blicks,
and through their site (you can buy from them directly in Australia).
They sent me the giveaway items!
“Memory is more indelible than ink.”
Anita Loos, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
“I think not….”
Me… why I journal!
©D. Katie Powell.
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I teach architectural sketching,
art journaling (art+writing), creativity, watercolors.
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