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Old 09-06-2017, 09:52 PM
mgarcia51 mgarcia51 is offline
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Myth busting-masking fluid

I use Pebeo Drawing Gum as my masking fluid, usually on Saunders-Waterford 200# cold press.

Myth number 1: Don't dry masking fluid with a hair dryer. Nope, I've been doing that for years without any removal problems. I usually let the initial application air dry then use a hair dryer when I've glazing. I recently tried drying it immediately with a hair dryer: no problem.

Myth number 2: Don't let masking fluid stay on your paper for more than a few days. Nope, again, I've left it on for up to four weeks without a problem removing it.

Myth number 3: Masking fluid must be applied to bone dry paper. Much to my surprise, another nope. I recently applied Pebeo to very wet paper, hoping to get the dispersal properties of wet into wet. This was a first step in a complicated painting on a 1/4 sheet of SW 200# CP. After a lot of other steps, I finally removed the masking tonight and there was no tearing or paper damage. Yay!

YMMV of course.


Maria
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:55 PM
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Re: Myth busting-masking fluid

Maria, the masking fluid gods are with you. Everyone else, be careful with yours.
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:36 PM
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hblenkle hblenkle is offline
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Re: Myth busting-masking fluid

Results may vary with different masking fluid and paper. Good to know you had good luck with that brand of masking fluid and paper.
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:49 PM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: Myth busting-masking fluid

I have used a hair dryer on several different masking fluids. The Pebeo offerings, both the natural and the synthetic didn't seem to mind the heat at all. I also often leave them both of them on the paper for a very long time with no problems using Arches, Kilimanjaro and Fabriano papers. W&N masking fluid did not do as well with either of those scenarios so I quit using it. I tend to prefer the synthetic Pebeo to the gum version for doing fine lines and small shapes using a pen nib shaped, carved popsicle stick as the applicator. I only use brushes for large areas.

I have never applied masking to wet paper so can't add my results for that.
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Old 09-07-2017, 04:59 PM
Catwoman2 Catwoman2 is offline
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Re: Myth busting-masking fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharM
Maria, the masking fluid gods are with you. Everyone else, be careful with yours.

I agree, Char! I think it's always best to test first on a blank piece of your watercolor paper before trying it on something important, because if it doesn't work and the masking fluid ends up glued to the paper, it will be very difficult -- if not impossible -- to salvage your painting.

I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all approach to using masking fluid, because there are so many brands of both paper and masking fluid, and they don't all react the same way with each other. I don't think it's safe to generalize and suggest that the common advice about working with masking fluid is just a "myth."
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Old 09-07-2017, 07:05 PM
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Re: Myth busting-masking fluid

Does anyone have tips regarding the brush and masking fluid? I have cheap dollar store brushes, but they are only good for one painting...
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Old 09-07-2017, 07:56 PM
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Re: Myth busting-masking fluid

A common tip for masking fluid brushes is to use a cheap synthetic and soap it up before dipping it in masking fluid so the soap keeps the bristles from coming in contact with the fluid.

I use a plastic straw cut at a 45 degree angle like the tip of a dip ink pen. I dip the tip into the masking fluid then draw lines with the pointy tip and cover large areas with the long edge of the tip. Dried masking fluid peels off the plastic straw tip and can last for years of service. If the tip does get raggedy then recut the straw to make a new point on the same straw. A Colour Shaper, a plastic tip on a wood handle works great too. I use one of the Colour Shapers if I don't use the cut straw.

Last edited by hblenkle : 09-07-2017 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 09-07-2017, 09:04 PM
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Re: Myth busting-masking fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by StrongAsMeat
Does anyone have tips regarding the brush and masking fluid? I have cheap dollar store brushes, but they are only good for one painting...

You might try something called nail dotting tools, they are meant for painting designs on fingernails, but they work decently well with masking fluid. I've tried ones with silicone tips and they work for me - the masking fluid peels off easily afterwards.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:30 PM
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Re: Myth busting-masking fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by StrongAsMeat
Does anyone have tips regarding the brush and masking fluid? I have cheap dollar store brushes, but they are only good for one painting...

I use a ruling pen. You can dial up or down the thickness of the line.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:46 PM
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Re: Myth busting-masking fluid

My experience echoes Maria 's. I prefer Pebeo but W&N also works for me. I always use Arches and this may be a factor.

I always store it upside down and bottles may last a few years without drying out. I don't use it much, but nice to have for a few rare things.

I apply it with multiple gadgets including the ruling pen. Putting soap on a brush works well if it is quickly cleaned after use. Of course, I use a cheap brush but it is a useful applicator.
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Old 09-08-2017, 01:06 AM
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Re: Myth busting-masking fluid

For thin lines I use a ruling pen, for larger areas I use a synthetic brush covered in soap.

Doug
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Old 09-08-2017, 09:45 AM
ArtL ArtL is offline
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Re: Myth busting-masking fluid

I use this cheap Speedball calligraphy pen set for applying masking fluid.

http://www.dickblick.com/products/sp...y-project-set/

I also use Pebeo frisket and have had good luck with Dick Blick's branded frisket, which I believe is made by Grumbacher. I gave up on the W&N stuff.
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Old 09-17-2017, 05:13 PM
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Re: Myth busting-masking fluid

I have a question that is just a teeny bit off-topic, but since this thread has gathered together so many masking fluid cognoscenti, I think it's a good place to submit my query.

Here are a few links to watercolor paintings done by one of my favorite artists, Jacques de Loustal:

http://loustal.com/images/6gallery_2...st-nazaire.jpg
http://loustal.com/images/6gallery_2...ple-cover1.jpg
http://loustal.com/images/6gallery_2...nal/tanger.jpg

If you have just a moment to spare, take a look at these pictures.

Now, my question is: Do you think he used some kind of masking fluid to make these images? To me, it seems like he did, but I feel the need for confirmation from others who have more experience.

Let's just take this one example:
http://loustal.com/images/6gallery_2...ple-cover1.jpg

Would it even be possible to get the blue sky wash so even WITHOUT first masking out those trees?

Many thanks in advance for any guidance you may have.

Steve
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:12 PM
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Re: Myth busting-masking fluid

I suspect he wets the area where he's going to do the wash and then drops in the color. That basically works the same as masking for larger objects. Tiny things like highlights definitely need masking to protect from washes.

Check at 1:20 on this clip...he's painting around shapes.
https://youtu.be/ibVkwi0Q5RI

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Last edited by janinco : 09-17-2017 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:36 PM
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Re: Myth busting-masking fluid

I think the trees will have been painted over the sky in this case.

Doug
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