Masking Fluid

Basics of Masking Fluid in Watercolour Painting

If you use watercolour paints, you would have come across the term masking fluid? We’ll tell you the basics of how to use masking fluid and recommendations of our favorite masking fluid.

  1. What's a masking fluid?

It’s also called misket, frisket, and liquid mask, and often made of latex. Masking fluid repels both paint and water, and peels off easily without leaving a trace. It allows the artists, letterers, and calligraphers easily cover parts of their artwork that they don’t want to paint over.

2. Why should you use masking fluid?

The fluid allows you to paint freely over the masked area and after the painting, you can peel off the fluid and boom, all your white spaces are preserved. Leaving some white space on your paper gives your paintings contrast and creates highlights. It is especially good for negative painting techniques where you establish a subject by painting around it rather than painting just the subject itself.

3. How to use masking fluid?

  • Before starting your painting, it's essential to identify and mark the spaces you want to preserve. Hence, kindly make a preliminary sketch as masking fluid is applied before any paint comes into contact with the paper. Please ensure that you use a higher gsm paper, water colour sheets are preferable so that they can hold the masking fluid.
  • The second step is to prepare the fluid. Before you start, stir the masking fluid thoroughly. Don’t shake the bottle or you will get bubbles in the mixture. 
  • Apply the masking fluid on spaces using a brush or applicator. Let the masking fluid dry completely before you paint over it. The best way to know that masking fluid is dry when it is no longer shiny. 
  • Don’t leave the masking fluid on the surface of your paper for a long period before removal.
  • Once the paint is completely dry, remove the masking fluid carefully. One of the methods for removing masking fluid is with a kneadable eraser.

Recommendations on Masking Fluid:

  • If you are a beginner, an economical option is to use the Pebeo Drawing Gum.
  • Some other popular options include Winsor & Newton Masking Fluid and Brustro Masking Fluid.


Masking Fluid

Next time when you sit down to work with watercolours, and want to create small spaces or highlights, don't forget to use the Masking Fluid!



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