We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
"Little Gidding"
T S Eliot

Friday, 7 April 2017

Unmasked ... and a revelation!

The last exercise on my watercolour and mixed media course involving using masking fluid in several different ways, when we were asked to do a bit of experimentation!

We were given a reference of blue poppies to work with, so firstly I made an outline drawing, then I completely masked out the poppy heads with neat masking fluid.

The background is created in several layers, using diluted masking fluid 50/50 with water (I use Pebeo Drawing Gum).

The dilute masking fluid can be applied by brush or by spattering, but I decided to try it in a spray bottle.

The several background layers are made up of various watercolour washes, spraying the masking fluid at various points between the washes, so I could build up different densities/colours of wash. Once I thought the background was complete I removed all the masking fluid. In some areas I applied further washes until I was happy.

I also used some masking fluid on the stems and leaves too. Most of the stems and leaves were painted with my Inktense pencils and water.

I removed the masking fluid from the flower heads, and then added more masking fluid for the stamens before I painted the flowers, wet on dry in several layers. Finally, I painted the stamens.

Using dilute masking fluid was a revelation, and I so love the sprayed effect, but although I tried to thorough wash and rinse out the spray bottle, it did gum up the works, so I need to find very cheap spray bottles!

I've been taking my art courses for nearly 2 years now, so I'm taking a break from them while I consolidate what I've learned - which is an awful lot! But ... I've already signed up for a short course in May!


  1. I'm delighted to see this final masking assignment. Your background is incredible, and you put SO much into it. I am in awe.

    I would have been by sooner, but I've just been so busy trying to catch up. I may never catch up, but I suspect I will do so by May when you take your next course.

  2. Wow your painting is gorgeous, I love it ! Happy Easter Weekend, Shirleyxx