by Ellie Jakeman October 27, 2021 3 min read
WATERCOLOUR for Beginners EPISODE 6 - 'Masking & Resist Techniques'
We are looking at Masking and Resist watercolour techniques in this episode.
Our In-House artist Ellie Jakeman takes you through resist techniques using both tea-light and Taper wax candles plus masking techniques with our own ARTdiscount masking fluid and masking tape.
Masking and Resist techniques are useful for any area within your composition where you want to retain the whiteness or brightness of the paper to represent light, reflections and luminosity.
Using wax to resist the watercolour pigment on Rough or Cold pressed paper will also create texture which is ideal for tree trunks, brick walls and rock formations.
You can use the wax directly onto your white paper to create a white resist or use your wax over a dried lightly coloured wash, painting a darker colour over your wax resist will create interesting transitions of colour and organic textures. Using the wax resit technique will provide great results but remember the wax remains on the paper and becomes part of your painting. By whittling a white candle down you can actually get a good drawing point.
Using the masking fluid technique will also provide great results, adding just a few drops of white highlight here and there will illuminate areas where you want the impression of light reflection to remain within your composition. You must apply the masking fluid to a dry surface and let the masking fluid dry completely before painting over with watercolour paint. Masking fluid can be applied with a ruling Pen for a precise line or for a more organic mark use a cocktail stick, cotton bud or kebab stick.
Top tip don't use your favorite brush to apply masking fluid as this will destroy it, use an old brush dipped in soap, this will protect the bristles and you will be able to wash out the masking fluid when you are finished. Once dry you can peel off the masking fluid and decide if your highlight is too bright or just bright enough. You can always use a wash of paint to alter or dull your highlights.
Using a low tack masking tape as a resist can be fun. Use in an organic way using torn strips or use in a very precise manner by cutting exact shapes or strips out using a craft knife! Low tack masking tape can be applied directly to your paper in the areas you want masking.
Don't press too hard as it may tear your paper when you are removing. If you have high tack masking tape, take some of the tack away by pressing the tape onto your clothes, this will add lint to the tape making it less sticky. You can then paint over the tape, but allow all paint to dry before removal, this will avoid tearing your paper.
Products used in this series:
I have had a strong interest in the visual and creative arts since a very early age. I completed with great success ‘A’ level Fine Art, Textile and Embroidery City and Guilds, Foundation Diploma in Fine Art, (BA hons) Degree in Embroidery and Textiles from Manchester Metropolitan University and a PGCE from the University of Huddersfield. I have taught Art and Design, Fashion and Textiles, Textile design and Fine Art print and Illustration for over 20 years. Before teaching I was a freelance artist and illustrator and decided 4 years ago I would return to freelance and commissioned work. I have created many domestic and commercial murals for hospitals and hospices. I work part time for ARTdiscount as a content creator and product tester.
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