One of the things that I love about watercolors, is that there are a lot of beautiful things you can make in a pretty short amount of time even if you’re not an experienced artist. When I first started painting about a year ago, I didn’t use masking fluid. It seemed expensive and complicated. But let me tell you – I was wrong! There are so many fun things you can paint with masking fluid and it’s really easy to use.
What you need:
1. Watercolor Paper (I recommend 140 lb cold press)
2. Paint brushes
3. Masking Fluid
4. Eraser (optional)
If you’re wanting to know what kind of watercolors to start out with, here are a few of my favorites:
1. Loew Cornell Watercolors Cakes – About $5
(Pretty to look at, cheap, but the colors aren’t very vibrant.)
2. Sakura Koi Water Colors 24 Set – About $20
(Moderately priced, vibrant colors. Perfect for beginners who care about colors!)
3. Winsor and Newton 24 Set – About $45
(I have the 12 set shown above. More expensive, but the colors are even more vibrant and rich than the Sakura Koi set.)
What you do:
1. Basically you are going to create an outline by painting on the masking fluid. You can create all sorts of fun shapes and patterns with it, just like you are doodling. If you are confident with your design, you can start by painting on the masking fluid outlines. If you’re not so sure, you can start by lightly sketching your design onto the paper with pencil. (You could also use this technique to transfer a design from a printed image.) You can then paint over the lines with masking fluid (you can erase the pencil marks at the very end).
*Masking fluid is a little bit like Rubber Cement. So I use a cheap brush when I’m painting with it. It looks slightly yellow just so you can see where you are painting, but the yellow goes away in the end.
2. Let the masking fluid completely dry. It will stick up off the page and be slightly rubbery to touch.
3. I wanted to create a look where the center of the flower was the darkest and the petals got lighter and lighter. You could also use different colors or different shades of the same color in one painting, but for this painting I only used one shade of blue (ultramarine). Start by painting the middle few petals a rich blue. Use lots of water to get that beautiful watercolor look.
4. Keep painting the petals moving away from the center. I kept adding more and more water to create a faded look.
5. Let the watercolors completely dry. There will be some paint on top of the masking fluid and this is fine. Just let it dry where it is.
6. Now peel the masking fluid off of the paper. I was able to do this really easily, and it was actually a lot of fun. You can also use an eraser to help remove the dried masking fluid if you need to. If you used pencil in the first step, be sure to go back and carefully erase all of it.
7. If your paper isn’t already cropped to the size you want, use a paper cutter to make sure your art is the right size for the frame. Hang and enjoy!
Miranda Button says
I'm going to try this! Thanks for sharing.
That's really interesting..I should try it too.
Sarah Eliza @ devastateboredom says
Ooooh I am SO excited about this! I bought some canvases recently wanting to try DIY art, and just hadn't yet. Thank you for the inspiration! Pinning it. 🙂
This is really cool! Definitely going to give this technique a try!
Masking fluid is the bomb. We used to use old toothbrushes and splatter it over areas and watercolor to give a textured looked. So many uses, I had not thought of it in a long time.
Michelle @ An Organised Life says
How gorgeous! Plus super simple and achievable. Love it x
Hannah@Seeing the lovely says
I love this! I recently dug out my watercolors, thinking that I need to get painting again, and this is great inspiration!
Gorgeous. I love to watercolor but I haven't used masking fluid before. I might have to go get me some!
Shelley Treml says
What an awesome idea!! You have a really cute style, and provide beautiful, easy-to-follow instructables….I’m hooked! Thanks a million!
Shelley from FabWallDesign on Etsy