Saturday, February 18, 2012

Spring Breeze III (Finished)

I finished this small painting today, which was started yesterday by blocking the mail flower and foliage with masking fluid and paint the soft background. Today I peeled off the masking fluid and painted the flower and leaves in focus, and found out -- much to my dismay -- the masking fluid had made the paper surface much rougher and losing some of its sizing, resulting in a grainy look after applying the first wash. Also, the washes dried much too quickly. And I was using Arches #140 Cold Press paper, which is supposed to have a very hardy surface for wear and tear of this kind! Right then and there I thought, in the future unless absolutely necessary (such as in the case of needing to paint a very dark and continuous background without places to stop and rewet), I will not apply masking fluid to my paintings. Even in the case I do, I will try to mask as little places as possible.

In the end, after many glazes, the painting looked fine and the uneven glaze went away with three to four glazes. Perseverance wins again. However, I would like to learn from my mistakes... So, here's my question:

Have you had similar problem when applying masking fluid to Arches paper? Do you know what caused it and most importantly, how to avoid it? If so, please share your experience with me!

Spring Breeze III, Watercolor on Arches 140# Cold Press Paper , 9"h x 6"w, 2012 #15



  1. Arena, it did turn out magnificently. I can't see any evidence of rough paper, and those greens are fabulous!!!

  2. Could the water in the latex have dissolved into some of the gelatine size? Perhaps an unsized paper would solve the problem... or not leaving the fluid on there for long..? For oils one can use casein as a masking fluid. I wonder if something like masking fluid but alcohol based would fix it, hmm... perhaps a wax or petroleum jelly... hmm... or a thin layer of washing up liquid or shower gel on the paper first... Well there's enough ideas to get along with. The painting looks just beautiful from here anyway!


Thank you so much for taking time visiting and commenting on my blog! Your feedback and encouragements are things that keep me going with I am feeling down or frustrated... I will try my best to reply to every comment ASAP but sometimes life gets in the way and I am a bit slow in my response. I would like to apologize if that happens...

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