View Full Version : Making precise painted square shapes

07-04-2007, 04:59 AM
Hi I was wanting to experiment and do a painting made up of small square something like a Mondrian painting, but I'm unsure of the best method to do this, when you look at one of his paintings everything looks straight edged but how can this be done.

Is it possible to buy something square shaped that allows you to dip into paint and give you a exact square shape. I know of masculine tape but when used that in he past the paint smudged under the tape when removing it.

Anyone know of any techniques to help me.

Thanks a lot

07-04-2007, 05:55 AM
Yeah..can someone answer this question posted by Phil? I would like to know how it's done too...

Phil, I did try out making squares using old credit cards. It's like using the paint knife but easier to handle. The shortcoming is, the length of the card. If it's a bigger square, then I had to do one line followed by another, make a square outline with it and fill in the rest either with brush or paint knife.

07-04-2007, 07:37 AM
You can use low-tack masking tape from the hardware shop. That won't lift any dry paint from underneath. The way to stop paint bleeding under the tape is, when you've put the tape on, before painting your colour, first paint on a coat of a transparent medium. I use Clear Sealer, but you could use Matt Medium. It doesn't matter too much. Then let it dry before you paint your colour. That way the medium will temporarily seal the area where the paint leaks under.

07-04-2007, 09:46 AM
I think tape is the method most used and then touch up if there is bleeding. I use tape a lot around the borders of my paintings and almost never have a problem with bleeding. I make sure I get good solid contact by using my fingernail over the edge of the tape line. The other thing about doing this - after the first squares, you must let that coat be completely dry. If not, it will lift some of the paint off. I'd let the first color/coat dry at least a day.

Keep in mind too, even the texture from brush strokes will cause the tape not to lay flat. You would probably want to try and keep your coats thin.

Wendy...Interesting technique with the clear medium. I will have to try that. I do have some on hand. :)

Good question here. I am all ears to hear others' methods for crisp squares and lines in general.


07-04-2007, 10:02 AM
Hi Phil, check out the January classroom in the Information Kiosk, on Edges (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=316765). That should give you lots of helpful information plus what you have already received here.

07-04-2007, 11:43 AM
My choice would be masking FILM - not tape. With the film you can precisely cut out the squares. You can buy masking film sold as such, but I have also successfully used relatively cheap self-adhesive shelving paper. The clear variety (it's a plastic film with low-tack adhesive) works best for me since I can see what's underneath when cutting out shapes with a craft knife or razor blade.


07-04-2007, 11:56 AM
masking film or frisket are both very good to use but if cost is a factor (and when isn't it) then the blue lowtack tape made for painters is the best bet. I also "paint" over the edge, after burnishinmg it down, with a clear medium. The draw back to this method is it takes longer between steps

07-04-2007, 05:35 PM
I also "paint" over the edge, after burnishinmg it down, with a clear medium. The draw back to this method is it takes longer between steps
This is probably the best way to do this kind of thing if one is painting by brush. The additional steps do take more time and effort but help ensure good results.

And if one is very fussy about the precision of the finished painting (which seems fairly likely given the inherent nature of this kind of work) then the time spent at this stage arguably more than makes up for the touch-ups that would be required afterwards if you don't do this :)