I have been fruitlessly experimenting with masking fluid for almost 2 years. Now I’ve come across something new: a masking pen. So let’s see…
what this is and how it works
Masking is based on the fact that in watercolour you cannot paint white. If you need white (or light) areas, you simply leave them out while painting the surrounding area. However, it is rather nerve-wrecking to paint around millions of tiny snowflakes, hence masking was invented. Masking fluid is a water-proof substance with which you can cover areas you want to protect from being painted over. At the end of the painting process you rub off the (now dried) masking fluid, and a white paper can show up under it.
Unfortunately, I have had some bad experiences with applying masking fluid (if anyone is better at it, drop a line!), so I was excited, if sceptical, when I lay my hands on a Molotow masking pen.
The principle is the same as with masking fluid, the only difference is that the masking substance comes out of the tip of the pen, so it is much easier to apply. It also flows more than masking fluid, which is more like a thick paste, but is easier to remove from the paper. Masking pen is very quick to dry, but you can only remove it from your finished piece with intense erasing.
Supplies you need
I bought a 2 mm thick Molotow masking pen in this shop in Budapest. You can order one online directly from Molotow or from Amazon. It is slightly more expensive than normal masking fluid, but it is worth the price difference.
How much time does it take?
Working with masking pen adds practically no extra time to your painting process. It dries almost instantly, erasing the dried fluid is the only additional work involved.
It is perfect, I have finally found the ideal masking technique. It is also suitable for negative painting. It is slightly complicated to remove it – I have actually met someone who could not remove it at all – but it is definitely worth a try.
Have you tried masking pen? If you have any experience, please share them in the comments below.