i’m really enjoying this technique….painted a piece for my father-in-law of my son playing his trumpet.
i’ve been admiring a lot of beautiful watercolor art using dynamic bold colors on pinterest and other craft sites. i’ve always been intimidated with watercolor b/c i lacked the skills to control my brushstrokes, the amount of water used, and the paint from pooling and smudging. i often fantasized about painting that perfect piece where the image was decipherable!
so i did a bit of research to figure out what methods were being used to paint with more precision using watercolor. that’s when i learned about the masking technique….and i am now obsessed.
masking is a technique used to maintain white areas in your watercolor painting. there are masking fluid products on the market where you use brushes to apply it on the paper. you can also use rubber cement (see here and here for techniques) even painter’s tape for the same effects. *tip: use on thick watercolor paper for easy removal, otherwise you may damage your artwork in the process.
i took a trip to our local art store and purchased a small bottle of masking fluid, cheap brushes, watercolor paper, and a set of inexpensive watercolor paints. masking fluid is not cheap, so i think i will definitely try the rubber cement method when i run out.
using photoshop, i converted a photo of my daughter to create a contrast image of her face. go to Image- Adjustments- Threshold. use the slider to adjust to your liking.
i taped my image onto a clear plastic storage bin cover and taped the watercolor paper on top of that. use a lightbox to view the image under the paper. i don’t have a light box so i leaned the bin against our back door and used the sunlight to view the photo underneath. for another piece i did, i placed a table lamp down on the table and leaned the bin cover against the lamp.
using a cheap brush i filled in all the white areas with the masking fluid. the stuff dries fast and gets pretty gummy. let dry completely. it took this piece about 10-15 minutes.
paint over your piece with watercolor paint. let dry completely. watercolor dries fairly fast too but you want to make sure the entire piece is thoroughly dry, especially the paint over the masking fluid.
i used a clean finger and rubbed the edges of the fluid to start peeling it away from the piece. this is the fun part. it’s like peeling away a really good facial treatment.
voila! for my first time, i was pleasantly pleased with the results of my daughter. there were areas that were not as clean so you definitely need to be ensure you have thorough coverage in those white areas with the masking fluid.
check out these sites for techniques, tips, and more:
during our stay in bali over spring break, we met a local artisan that collects antique batik and upcycles the fabric into clothes, bags, and other textile goods. she also creates her own batik and is incredibly talented.
we visited bali 5 years ago and took a wonderful batik making class with an artist in the city of ubud, the art district of bali. his class was great and we created vibrant pieces of our own artwork. the class though, was rather expensive. this time i wanted the entire family to experience batik making and we took a private class from this artist.
batik is a wax-resistant dyeing method where you use these bamboo pens outfitted with metal ink wells at the tip. you dip the tip into hot wax and carefully draw your design on the fabric, clean white cotton muslin is what we used. you need to dip the pen periodically to keep the well full of hot wax.
once your design is fully drawn out, you dye your fabric. you can do one color or multiple colors. once the fabric is dyed and dried, you wash the fabric in hot water to release the wax, resulting in an incredible piece of custom art fabric.
*having difficutly uploading images….they will be added once issues are resolved.