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Old 03-08-11, 12:29 AM
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vermillion9 vermillion9 is offline
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Default Masking Question

I am reading in Koo's book (page 62) about masking and I don't see anywhere about how the mask is fixed, if indeed it is, to the surface. I am trying this using a paper cut-out but the paper does not lay completely flat and some of my paint splatters are straying underneath the paper to forbidden territory. I'm considering buying more masking fluid (I'm all out) but I have historically had a very hard time controlling its application and I seriously doubt my ability to apply it finely enough. What do y'all do? Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 03-08-11, 12:43 AM
Alessandra Kelley Alessandra Kelley is offline
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I use a mask by cutting stiff paper to the right shape and holding it with one hand while painting with the other. It stops the stipples pretty well. If I need to hold things down firmly, I use drafting tape, which looks like masking tape but has a much gentler, easier-to-remove adhesive. Little bits of drafting tape can be cut to shape for very small masks. That's how I do it, anyway.
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Old 03-08-11, 04:48 PM
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JeffG JeffG is offline
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There's also commercial masking film (frisket) made for airbrushers. It's a clear low-tack plastic film. Not much call for airbrushing for illustration purposes on paper these days, but some places still might carry it. We used to make our own with tissue paper and diluted rubber cement as well.
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Old 03-08-11, 05:43 PM
Silver Lining Silver Lining is offline
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I have tried the airbrush frisket but it leaves a rubbery substance on the painting when I am done. It is like rubber cement and is almost impossible to get off. I have used some tapes with success but many leave a tiny film so I would test it out first. I did a test of (6) tapes and found one that is much less prone to leaving residue. I have found that the less time you keep the tape on, the less residue it leaves.
Robert Vickery does what Alessandra does - just holds paper up and stipples inside. His book is great if you haven't seen it.
-Silver

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There's also commercial masking film (frisket) made for airbrushers. It's a clear low-tack plastic film. Not much call for airbrushing for illustration purposes on paper these days, but some places still might carry it. We used to make our own with tissue paper and diluted rubber cement as well.
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Old 04-08-11, 01:58 PM
MatG MatG is offline
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I've always wondered about liquid frisket, or diluted rubber cement as a brushable/splatterable liquid. Is this something anyone has used? I'd love to try it, but I'm worried it will absorb into the gesso surface, and prevent paint adhesion. Mostly I'd love to be able to apply a splattered, gestural mask.

I've used four methods, mostly for controlling spray from a toothbrush, but sometimes for regular painting (I primarily hatch and wash).

1) Frisket film - I had no problem with residue. In fact, it was so low-tack I was surprised it even stayed in place. This worked great for masking larger areas with detailed contours.

2) Hold up a piece of cardstock, just above the painting surface while using the other hand to paint. Obviously, this is OK for broad areas with a soft edge, but not for detail.

3) Using drafting tape (preferred) or blue painter's masking tape (never had a problem) to hold up cardstock or plastic grocery sacks to block off large areas with coarse contours.

4) For tempera and for dry oil, nothing beats vinyl electrical tape for a sharp edge. I use this for gently curving contours, straight lines, or to tack other masks in place. You can cut into it as Alessandra mentions with drafting tape. It can sometimes pull up underlying paint film, so either make sure your paint is dry and well on its way to being cured, or is an area that you will be readdressing. Adhesives vary, and while I've never had trouble with residue, I do favor more expensive brand name tapes for their lower-tack, gentler adhesive. Drafting tape is probably better, but I have habits. . . .
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Old 04-08-11, 01:59 PM
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vermillion9 vermillion9 is offline
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Thank you all for the replies and advice. I read a previous post about using the frisket but I can't find it locally and if it leaves a residue, I'm glad I wasn't tempted to spend $$ on it. I do have art-masking, low-tack, tape but I am concerned about leaving it on for too long. I'm kind of a slow painter (I don't often get a chance to sit down for very long at one time) and I have a strip of it on a test piece right now, so we'll see what kind of effect it has, if any.

I thought of a super cool way to do this in the middle of the night but can't, now, for the life of me, remember what the heck it was!!
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  #7  
Old 04-08-11, 02:37 PM
Silver Lining Silver Lining is offline
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Great idea on the electrical tape, Mat, I will have to try it.
I have experiemented with liquid fristket as well and the only issue I had was that since the E.T. is waterbased, it kind of puckered up at the edges of the liquid frisket and some paint bled underneath the frisket. Since you didn't have all of the problems I have had with regular frisket (lots of residue, etc.), I would encourage you to go ahead and try the liquid frisket just in case your technique works with it better than mine.
Good luck,
Silver

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Originally Posted by MatG View Post
I've always wondered about liquid frisket, or diluted rubber cement as a brushable/splatterable liquid. Is this something anyone has used? I'd love to try it, but I'm worried it will absorb into the gesso surface, and prevent paint adhesion. Mostly I'd love to be able to apply a splattered, gestural mask.

I've used four methods, mostly for controlling spray from a toothbrush, but sometimes for regular painting (I primarily hatch and wash).

1) Frisket film - I had no problem with residue. In fact, it was so low-tack I was surprised it even stayed in place. This worked great for masking larger areas with detailed contours.

2) Hold up a piece of cardstock, just above the painting surface while using the other hand to paint. Obviously, this is OK for broad areas with a soft edge, but not for detail.

3) Using drafting tape (preferred) or blue painter's masking tape (never had a problem) to hold up cardstock or plastic grocery sacks to block off large areas with coarse contours.

4) For tempera and for dry oil, nothing beats vinyl electrical tape for a sharp edge. I use this for gently curving contours, straight lines, or to tack other masks in place. You can cut into it as Alessandra mentions with drafting tape. It can sometimes pull up underlying paint film, so either make sure your paint is dry and well on its way to being cured, or is an area that you will be readdressing. Adhesives vary, and while I've never had trouble with residue, I do favor more expensive brand name tapes for their lower-tack, gentler adhesive. Drafting tape is probably better, but I have habits. . . .
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  #8  
Old 04-08-11, 06:16 PM
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Koo Schadler Koo Schadler is offline
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Hello Vermillion,

Lots of good info already given, but here's a bit more...

I create masks by making xeroxed copies of my drawing, or laying my painting on a copy machine or scanner to make a copy of it, and then cutting out whatever shape I need from that copy. Its a fast way to get an accurate mask. I know other people prefer to lay acetate over their painting to draw the shape they need to cut, but I like how a copy gives me the shape exactly. I also prefer the thinness of copy paper. It doesn't hold up to water quite as well as acetate, and can get a bit wrinkly with use. But I find that when I use a mask with any thickness, like acetate (even the thin sort) the paint is more likely to travel around the edge of the mask and leak onto the painting. Its also easier to cut out complicated masks in paper with a pair of sharp scissors than in acetate. But to each their own - I know painters who love acetate

I too don't tape my masks. I either hold them in place by hand; or I lay my table easel flat, place the mask where needed, and then weight it along its edges with coins, or flat, heavy pieces of hardware. This latter technique is particularly useful when splattering.

I haven't had great luck with friskets or tapes used directly on fresh paint - everything I've tried lifts to some degree, more or less. But then again, I build my layers relatively quickly, and don't give them much curing time in between. If you let things cure for a bit the best tape I've found to use is, as Mat notes, the blue paint tape at hardware stores, which is also more affordable than some of the fancy artist low tack tapes.

The other problem I've run into with friskets (paper or liquid) is that if you use a hairdryer at all (which I do) the heat will cure the frisket to the panel and make it very hard to remove (I don't ever let my panel get hot, but its still enough to cause a problem). But I know other tempera painters who don't use hair dryers and who have success with friskets. Liquid frisket on raw gesso works fine in my limited experience with it (again, as long as you don't use a hairdryer when you paint), but not so fine on tempera paint (unless, perhaps, you let it cure a long time? Don't know....) Paper frisket, as Matt notes, works well on both raw gesso and paint, but still I would recommend staying away from a hairdryer. One of the handy things with paper friskets is that they can go through a copy machine, so you can make copies of your drawing on frisket paper and cut out a mask directly from that.

Next time I re-edit the book, Vermillion, I'll be sure to include more on masking. Thanks for the heads up.

Koo
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  #9  
Old 04-08-11, 08:24 PM
Silver Lining Silver Lining is offline
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Hi Koo,
Great point about the hairdryer. I learned the hard way.
Any idea how to remove frisket residue (i.e. 'gum') from an E.T. painting?
Thanks,
Silver

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koo Schadler View Post
Hello Vermillion,

Lots of good info already given, but here's a bit more...

I create masks by making xeroxed copies of my drawing, or laying my painting on a copy machine or scanner to make a copy of it, and then cutting out whatever shape I need from that copy. Its a fast way to get an accurate mask. I know other people prefer to lay acetate over their painting to draw the shape they need to cut, but I like how a copy gives me the shape exactly. I also prefer the thinness of copy paper. It doesn't hold up to water quite as well as acetate, and can get a bit wrinkly with use. But I find that when I use a mask with any thickness, like acetate (even the thin sort) the paint is more likely to travel around the edge of the mask and leak onto the painting. Its also easier to cut out complicated masks in paper with a pair of sharp scissors than in acetate. But to each their own - I know painters who love acetate

I too don't tape my masks. I either hold them in place by hand; or I lay my table easel flat, place the mask where needed, and then weight it along its edges with coins, or flat, heavy pieces of hardware. This latter technique is particularly useful when splattering.

I haven't had great luck with friskets or tapes used directly on fresh paint - everything I've tried lifts to some degree, more or less. But then again, I build my layers relatively quickly, and don't give them much curing time in between. If you let things cure for a bit the best tape I've found to use is, as Mat notes, the blue paint tape at hardware stores, which is also more affordable than some of the fancy artist low tack tapes.

The other problem I've run into with friskets (paper or liquid) is that if you use a hairdryer at all (which I do) the heat will cure the frisket to the panel and make it very hard to remove (I don't ever let my panel get hot, but its still enough to cause a problem). But I know other tempera painters who don't use hair dryers and who have success with friskets. Liquid frisket on raw gesso works fine in my limited experience with it (again, as long as you don't use a hairdryer when you paint), but not so fine on tempera paint (unless, perhaps, you let it cure a long time? Don't know....) Paper frisket, as Matt notes, works well on both raw gesso and paint, but still I would recommend staying away from a hairdryer. One of the handy things with paper friskets is that they can go through a copy machine, so you can make copies of your drawing on frisket paper and cut out a mask directly from that.

Next time I re-edit the book, Vermillion, I'll be sure to include more on masking. Thanks for the heads up.

Koo
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  #10  
Old 05-08-11, 03:13 PM
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Koo Schadler Koo Schadler is offline
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Denatured alcohol should do it. Its not a solvent for ET, but the abrasive action of rubbing it over your surface could affect the paint, so you'll have to do so carefully. How well it works will depend, I think, on how cured the underlying layers were when you put the frisket on and how much heat was used. Let us know how it goes...

Koo
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