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Watercolor Tutorials: Masking (Frisket) - Part 1
Liquid Frisket foils liquid watercolor

Masking (Frisket) watercolor tutorial - Part 1  (Part 2 Here)
OBJECT: Learn watercolor masking techniques.

Materials and a little drawing
This tutorial shows the use of liquid frisket to create light objects on a dark backgrounds and repetitive patterns.

MATERIALS: Arches #140 CP watercolor paper, Incredible White Mask Liquid Frisket, masking tape, a #6 Liquitex synthetic Basic round (for frisket use only), Grumbacher 1" flat red sable, Kalish Kolinsky Red Sable #8 round, and a Kolonok #4 round Kolinsky red sable brush. ...and a blow-dryer, a scrap of paper and a square of artist's crepe rubber.

COLORS (various manufacture): Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Alizarin Crimson, Dioxazine Purple, Cobalt Blue, Pthalocyanine Blue, Pthalocyanine Green, Raw Umber, Burnt Sienna. Colors chosen are transparent and semi-transparent.

A stark yellow pear on a dark background and checkered tablecloth became the subject matter.

I drew a simple in-your-face composition in #2 pencil.






Protecting your lights
I started by stirring the liquid frisket. The solids tend to settle out if not used often enough.

Dipping my already damp #6 synthetic round into the frisket I used the scrap paper as a palette and smoothed my brush to a point.

I then painted a layer of liquid frisket over the entire pear, stem and all.

Do not use your sable brushes for frisket. It will ruin them by getting embedded in the hairs.

Use a synthetic hair brush, moisten it before use. For even easier cleaning, use mildly soapy water for wetting and rinsing your frisket brush.



Masking the details
After the pear was masked I decided which squares in the tablecloth pattern were white and proceeded to mask them all with frisket. Notice the "X" marks the spot in the squares to be dark.

I taped off the edges of the entire painting with masking tape, gently smoothed the inside edges down and allowed the frisket time to dry.


It's quicker than you think..
Using washes of Alizarin Crimson, and Dioxazine Purple I laid in the red squares of the table cloth.

I varied the color towards purple as the wash receded behind the pear, and graded the main red wash to a lighter red towards the foreground.



Dry it up... Lay in background
After letting the first wash dry, I lightly mixed Pthalocycnine Green and Alizarin Crimson to form a dark murky bluegreen color. With no background detail we'll rely on color and value instead.

I washed in a dark angled green area and adding a touch of Pthalocyanine Blue graded the wash to a ligher bluish green trying to be as "painterly" as possible. I carefully cut in the line of the edge of the tablecloth.


Underpainting complete... drying time
I finished off the background by mixing Alizarin into the Pthalocyanine Green to make a deep dark Maroon and blended into a shadowy upper left corner.

At this point take a moist brush or tissue and carefully dab up any puddles of paint resting on the frisket.

Allow painting time to completely dry.