I’m learning how to use watercolors and one of the things I recently learned was how to use masking fluid in my artwork. Masking Fluid is a product that you can use to create a barrier between your watercolors and the areas you’d like to stay white. It allows you to paint right over the fluid and not worry about accidentally painting over an area that you wanted to stay white.
Watercolor & Masking Fluid Tips
Masking fluid tends to clump and ruin your brushes, so you have two options on the brush you use. Either get an old brush and use that only for masking fluid or use any of your brushes, but dip them in dish soap before you use them in the masking fluid. The dish soap will protect your brush and allow the fluid to be washed off after and won’t ruin your brush. Make sure the dish soap is also applied to the metal part of the brush so your brush stays clean there too.
- Masking fluid (also called Frisket) comes in different colors besides white or colorless. If you are wanting to see where you used the fluid, try getting it in a color that will show up.
- You can use a nib to create thinner lines. These wash off easy after use.
- Use an eraser, or get an eraser from the craft store designed specifically for masking fluid.
- If you prefer, you can also buy The Incredible Nib Set designed for masking fluid use.
- Be sure to use high quality watercolor paper for best results. The inexpensive watercolor paper tends to shred or rip with masking fluid removal.
How to Use Masking Fluid with Watercolor
Simply paint over the areas you wish to remain white. You could use this for creating snow on leaves, mountain tops, the whites of eyes, hand lettering, or any fine details that wish to remain white. Here’s a few pieces I created that used masking fluid:
I used masking fluid to create the snow in this watercolor artwork. I didn’t use it on the mountain tops–that’s done in gouache.
This was done in watercolor, masking fluid, and ink. The “Grow” was covered in masking fluid as well as the areas I ended up inking.
Important Tips for Removing
- Make sure after you apply the masking fluid, you wait until it is completely dry to start painting
- After painting, you also need to wait until your paint is completely dry to begin removing the masking fluid
- To remove the masking fluid, simply take an eraser, your finger, or the Liquid Frisket remover tool and apply pressure in one direction. The fluid will start to come off and the white underneath will look pure white. Remove all of the fluid completely for a quality look.
Masking Fluid or Frisket is helpful when using watercolors because it protects the areas you wish to remain white. It takes more time to paint when using the fluid, but the end result is a print with white space that will stand out.