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  1. #1
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    Default Masking fluid for oil paint?

    Does anyone know of a way to mask organically shaped areas within an oil painting? Ideally I'd like to find a masking fluid that could be poured or dripped over the surface, subsequently painted over, then removed exposing the layers beneath. I assume masking fluid for watercolour is not an option, but does anyone know of something alse that could be used?

    Cheers,

    Bob Munkhouse

  2. #2
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    Default Masking fluid for oil paint?

    Quote Originally Posted by bob munkhouse View Post
    Does anyone know of a way to mask organically shaped areas within an oil painting? Ideally I'd like to find a masking fluid that could be poured or dripped over the surface, subsequently painted over, then removed exposing the layers beneath. I assume masking fluid for watercolour is not an option, but does anyone know of something alse that could be used?

    Cheers,

    Bob Munkhouse
    bob munkhouse,

    Welcome to AMIEN.

    Have you tried watercolor masking fluid? It might work if the oil paints are matte enough.

    We've often just stuck cut or torn pieces of paper to slightly wet oil paint to make a mask that we can later peel off. We've also used plain old cheapo masking tape for the purpose, on dried oil paints that are too slick to take a masking fluid. Those are two other options you might try ... just be sure to remove all traces of the non-durable masking materials from your painting.

    Please let us know what works best for you.
    The AMIEN Staff

  3. #3
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    Mar 2010
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    Chattanooga, TN
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    Default

    I recently saw a painter that used airbrush frisket to mask out the figure while he worked on the background. Frisket comes in rolls, is transparent like tracing paper, and has an adhesive coating. An over-sized piece is usually laid over the area to be covered, then excess is cut away using an X-acto knife. I suspect that it would not hold up to a lot of brushing or abuse, and it might be difficult to keep paint from seeping under.

  4. #4
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Default liquid latex

    Quote Originally Posted by bob munkhouse View Post
    I assume masking fluid for watercolour is not an option
    as AMIEN has inferred, I don't know that you can assume this, without experimentation. Its certainly worth a test on an old or expendable painting.

    Watercolour masking fluid is just liquid latex; a simple form of rubber. When it dries, it can be rubbed off - as you surely know - thus taking the dried watercolour paint with it, and revealing the unmodifed areas beneath. I have used it on acrylics with no problem. The only problems I can see with using it with oils is that oils take a lot longer to dry than watercolour or acrylics. So you would have to wait until the first layer of oils is dry (two or three days or longer, depending), apply the mask, AGAIN wait two or three days or longer for the oil to dry, then rub off the mask and dried paint. Thats at least a week of waiting before you can proceed with your painting !!! Sounds like quite a rigmarole to me, but you may consider the effects worth it :)

    AMIEN (and Courtenay) have pointed out more simple and direct ways of masking - with tape for example, which can be cut or torn to size and shape - which can be carefully removed (did I say carefully?!) immediately.
    Last edited by keyboard; 01-16-2012 at 09:35 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Airbrush frisket

    Quote Originally Posted by Courtenay View Post
    I recently saw a painter that used airbrush frisket to mask out the figure while he worked on the background. Frisket comes in rolls, is transparent like tracing paper, and has an adhesive coating. An over-sized piece is usually laid over the area to be covered, then excess is cut away using an X-acto knife. I suspect that it would not hold up to a lot of brushing or abuse, and it might be difficult to keep paint from seeping under.
    Courtenay,

    This might work, if it sticks to oil paints. The artist would also have to be very careful with the knife ... you wouldn't want to cut the paint beneath.
    The AMIEN Staff

  6. #6
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    Jun 2006
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    Default Liquid latex

    Quote Originally Posted by keyboard View Post
    as AMIEN has inferred, I don't know that you can assume this, without experimentation. Its certainly worth a test on an old or expendable painting.

    Watercolour masking fluid is just liquid latex; a simple form of rubber. When it dries, it can be rubbed off - as you surely know - thus taking the dried watercolour paint with it, and revealing the unmodifed areas beneath. I have used it on acrylics with no problem. The only problems I can see with using it with oils is that oils take a lot longer to dry than watercolour or acrylics. So you would have to wait until the first layer of oils is dry (two or three days or longer, depending), apply the mask, AGAIN wait two or three days or longer for the oil to dry, then rub off the mask and dried paint. Thats at least a week of waiting before you can proceed with your painting !!! Sounds like quite a rigmarole to me, but you may consider the effects worth it :)

    AMIEN (and Courtenay) have pointed out more simple and direct ways of masking - with tape for example, which can be cut or torn to size and shape - which can be carefully removed (did I say carefully?!) immediately.
    keyboard,

    Very good! Thanks.
    The AMIEN Staff

  7. #7
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    Jan 2012
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    Default

    Thanks for the suggestions. As I'm looking to mask out organically shaped areas, using masking tape would be a little time consuming as it'd need to be pre-cut into curves. I will try out watercolour masking fluid with oils, but even if it works, the price is a bit of a hindrance given that I work large scale and would need a lot of it to cause the desired effect...However, as watercolour masking fluid is essentially liquid latex, does that mean I could use the (drastically cheaper) liquid latex that is intended for mould making?

  8. #8
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    Jun 2006
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    Default Cheap liquid latex instead of watercolor masking fluid latex

    Quote Originally Posted by bob munkhouse View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. As I'm looking to mask out organically shaped areas, using masking tape would be a little time consuming as it'd need to be pre-cut into curves. I will try out watercolour masking fluid with oils, but even if it works, the price is a bit of a hindrance given that I work large scale and would need a lot of it to cause the desired effect...However, as watercolour masking fluid is essentially liquid latex, does that mean I could use the (drastically cheaper) liquid latex that is intended for mould making?
    bob munkhouse,

    You can try the cheaper stuff on a test piece, but we don't generally recommend using cheap commercial products instead of art material products.

    In fact, artists ought not to purchase supplies based on their cost but rather buy stuff that's appropriate to use -- that is, if the artist cares about durability and the implied warranty of merchantability (q.v. here at AMIEN).
    The AMIEN Staff

  9. #9
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    Apr 2010
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    Default

    AMIEN, I'm not sure the sculptor's latex is an inferior product - I was sort of under the impression that it was cheaper simply because it was packaged and sold in larger quantities - ???

    Having used both (as I'm sure many of us have) in their appropriate applications, I recollect the sculptors latex is thicker than the watercolour mask. One is like buttermilk; the other more like yoghurt. This may (or not) present a problem in application on a flat surface.

    I recollect the way to clean a brush afterwards was with an ammonia solution, before the latex hardened. Ammonia is not friendly to the airways, so appropriate precautions may need to be looked into.

  10. #10
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    Default Latex frisket and sculptor's latex

    Quote Originally Posted by keyboard View Post
    AMIEN, I'm not sure the sculptor's latex is an inferior product - I was sort of under the impression that it was cheaper simply because it was packaged and sold in larger quantities - ???

    Having used both (as I'm sure many of us have) in their appropriate applications, I recollect the sculptors latex is thicker than the watercolour mask. One is like buttermilk; the other more like yoghurt. This may (or not) present a problem in application on a flat surface.

    I recollect the way to clean a brush afterwards was with an ammonia solution, before the latex hardened. Ammonia is not friendly to the airways, so appropriate precautions may need to be looked into.
    keyboard,

    We said the sculptor's latex is cheap, which doesn't necessarily mean inferior -- we're not up to insulting sculptors!

    For cleaning, be very careful with ammonia. You could try a reduced solution -- say ammonia:water, 1:1, or even 1:10. Might work, if followed by soap and water.
    The AMIEN Staff

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