Masking glue is a really great tool for watercolor artists! Not every artist uses it. I don't use it for every painting. But it is a valuable technique that can really elevate your art pieces.
If you are not familiar with masking glue at all it comes in a sticky liquid form in a glass bottle that you can buy from your favorite art supply store or Amazon if they don't have it or if it's easier for you.
To make this post the easiest for you to read and go straight to the point I will list in bullet points some how tos and how NOT tos and a bonus WHEN or WHY to use it.
When and why to use making glue:
Watercolor is light to dark when painting. Which means if you go dark you cannot lighten it back up. In fact most watercolor artists do not use white paint. Instead they use the white of the paper.
• So masking glue can help keep that white part of the paper protected and stay untouched by paint.
• Masking glue can be used beyond just covering white of the paper it can also add depth to a painting by helping you to add layer over lighter colors. I have used this in backgroun greenery and absolutely loved the affect.
How to use masking glue :
• Mix by stirring before use, don't shake! This causes too much bubbles that can affect the actual amount coming on your paper.
• pro tip: Use a ruling pen to get the masking glue on your paper.
•if you don't have a ruling pen and rather use something you might have at home.. you can designate a paint brush (that will completely get ruined) for this purpose or a chop stick or something the like, all depending on the are you are trying to cover.
• let it dry completely before painting over (depending on how much masking glue you use this could be as fast as 5 minuets or it could be much longer, but very important to just make sure it's fully dry!
• When attempting to remove masking glue use a eraser or a specific tool for removing masking glue, or use your finger in rubbing form.. as satisfying as it may be and as hard as it is to resist don't pull masking glue up off the paper this could cause ripping (if you feel you must do so at an angle gently)
• Have fun with the new possibilities!
How NOT to use Masking glue:
• don't let your painting with masking glue sit in any kind of sun. (I once thoughtlessly was trying to get a coat of paint over the masking glue to dry faster by doing this, let me tell you it was a terrible mistake! The masking glue got so embedded into the paper fibers I couldn't get it out without ripping the paper :(
• *repeat Info because so important
When attempting to remove masking glue use a eraser or a specific tool for removing masking glue, or use your finger in rubbing form.. as satisfying as it may be and as hard as it is to resist don't pull masking glue up off the paper this could cause ripping (if you feel you must do so at an angle gently)
• Dont attempt to remove or paint over masking glue while still wet.
• be careful to not let whatever you are using as the masking tool to scratch the paint your paper. Be gentle and patient
I hope this helps! It is really a great technique to learn that can open up more possibilities in your watercolor paintings!
If you find this useful and end up using masking glue Iʻd love to hear about your experiences!