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This is a painting I did some years back. It is a good example of the great effects masking fluid can offer your painting.

The main drawing was sketched with pencil. This was a very simple outline --just the cat and the moon, along with the fence and the tree trunks. The fine branch tips were painted in after the main body of the painting was done.

The background, consisting mainly of trees, was originally painted in with a blue masking fluid. Then, the outline of the moon was painted with this same fluid, which allowed me to paint the dark blue sky without disturbing the moon and trees. Once the blue sky was dry I painted lighter shades of blue and gray in order to provide a feel of 'distance' moving away from the trees.

The moon was the next thing to be painted, and because this is watercolour I had to mask part of the cat as well. I did not remove any masking fluid until I was ready to paint the trees. This was the fun part, because the trees had very little real shape to them and I could freely decide where I wanted the white to remain and the black to be applied. It was especially fun to paint the branches falling across the yellow moon; it has a spooky feel to it.

The foreground was the last element to be painted, and the choice of red for the fence was a last minute decision that I feel accentuates the overall look of the cat. This cat is entirely composed of a series of shades of gray and black. Lighter gray first, and then gradually getting darker --where I felt the cat's shape needed to be defined. I wanted to give the cat a look of being a "bandit on a dark winter night."

Masking fluids come in several different brands and are very easy to use. These fluids can be applied with an old brush. I prefer a synthetic fibre brush because they hold up better to use with this medium. Masking fluids can be applied the same way paint is applied. Brushes must be washed with warm soapy water after use because the mask will ruin your brush if left to dry. If this does happen, lighter fluid can be used to soften the mask off your brush. I prefer a mask fluid with a blue tone to it. This way I can see exactly where the fluid has been placed on my paper. When you apply masking fluid be sure that it is completely dry before you begin to paint your picture. When removing the dry mask simply rub your clean dry finger over the area and it will peel off easily.




This page was last updated on 09/17/02.