Sunday, January 8, 2017

Liquid Frisket aka Masking Fluid

QUESTIONS: Hi, Could you tell me which liquid frisket would be best to use that would cover good and that would NOT damage your paper when lifted.  Thank you soooo much.   Carrie/Nevada

SUSIE'S REPLY: Thanks for your question Carrie!  There are several good liquid friskets aka masking fluids on the market today that won't harm your paper when removed. It is important to remember that masking fluids or liquid friskets should not be left on the paper for an extended period of time. Your type of watercolor paper needs some careful consideration too. Some watercolor paper's surfaces are softer and will not hold up to the wear and tear masking sometimes requires.

In my classes I use several masking fluids when painting my greeting cards. Each type serves a different purpose. These are all available online or in local art supply stores.

Pebeo Drawing Gum is a gray color which makes it easy to see when applying. It has a very thin consistency which helps to make some fine lines.
Contains latex.

Daniel Smith Masking Fluid is milky in the bottle and dries clear to amber in color. This makes it easy to see and helps to determine the values when painting over it with darker paints. This manufacturer advertises that it can remain on the paper for a month or more after application. I find this to be true. Contains latex.

Incredible White Mask is a high-quality, non-pigmented liquid frisket is ideal for watercolor masking. It dries to a neutral cream color that shows through dry paint, so that you can see exactly where you've masked. Slightly thicker in consistency. Contains latex.

Winsor / Newton Colorless Art Masking Fluid  a removable colorless liquid specifically designed for soft sized papers to avoid staining. Contains latex. Wash brushes immediately after use.

Blick Liquid Frisket  Tinted orange color makes it easy to see. Works best on sized paper, and should not be used on wet paper. Remove the frisket by peeling or rubbing with a soft eraser. Ideally, it should be removed within 24 to 48 hours to achieve the best results. Contains latex.

Masquepen Art Masking Fluid  The pale blue water-based latex solution is easy to see, apply, and peels away from paper without harm. Easy to see when wet or dry.  It comes in a squeeze bottle with a needle tip making application simple and effortless. Contains latex.

Molotow Grafx Art Masking Liquid Pump Markers these ready-to-use, refillable markers contain a water-repellant masking fluid that applies cleanly and rubs off easily, leaving no residue. Molotow's patented pump delivery system assures precise, mess-free application and sharp edges. Latex free. A must for the plein air painter!  An empty marker is also available to fill with other masking fluids.

More info:
Masking Fluids prevent the paper from absorbing color. Use a watercolor mask before you apply a wash to protect areas that you want to remain white. Peel away the mask when it is no longer needed.
Most masking fluids use natural latex or a synthetic compound with very similar characteristics. Some may contain an artificial colorant so that you can easily identify the areas you have masked.

Best Pencil for Drawing or Sketching on Watercolor Paper

Q: Whats the best pencil to use when drawing out my sketches on my watercolor paper? I'm using Arches 140# paper. Thanks

Susie's Reply: First of all you do not want to do a lot of drawing or sketching on watercolor paper if you will be doing any erasing For my classes I show my students how use either a hard lead 3H with a light touch to draw simple shapes or to trace an image via a light box. You don't need a detailed drawing just a shape or to locate an edge. Add details later. If I use a regular HB pencil, the lead or graphite is much softer resulting in a darker line so I erase most of the line just leaving a vague mark. This also helps keep the lead or graphite from being "sealed" in once paint or water is applied over the line. Some colors allow for erasing the pencil line from underneath and some do not. If I'm drawing on a dried wet-in-wet underpainting I like to use watercolor pencils that will blend in when painted over. As for the watersoluable pencils I find they work best when adding darker values to a light passage as they dissolve into the darker paint. But I find that they tend to "dirty" light juicy washes. I suggest to apply lighter value colors freely without lines first then go back and define the edges if you need to. The darker colors cover the lighter ones and you don't even know they were there. Challenge yourself to do as much as you can without the details of a drawing...add the details as you go. You will find your painting will not be as tight if you don't try to paint inside the lines. Go with the flow, let the watercolor paint itself, then adjust the edges to bring out the best parts of what happened!