How to use art masking fluids

Do you want the freedom to apply broad colour washes across your painting surface, without the wash covering key details within a composition? Here’s where learning how to apply Art Masking Fluid comes in.

Unlike Permanent Masking Medium, which is intermixable with watercolours, you’re able to apply Art Masking Fluid directly to dry paper. It can be used on white paper or previously coloured areas, and the mask acts like a skin that sits over the areas you want to protect from the colour wash.

Art Masking Fluid has a slight yellow tint, which enables you to more easily spot where it has been used. If a softer paper is used, or you’re concerned about risking staining the paper with the yellow tint, you may want to use the Colourless Art Masking Fluid instead.

Once you’ve finished applying the colour wash? Simply remove the masking fluid to reveal the protected area underneath, and you’re good to go.

Top tips to get the best results:

  • Shake the bottle before use.
  • Make sure the paper is dry – avoid using on wet or damp paper.
  • Use gelatin surface-sized paper, which will help prevent the fluid from adhering too strongly to the paper.
  • Use old brushes or dip pens so that you don’t end up damaging valuable brushes.
  • Give your brushes a wash in soapy water straight away after use.
  • Ensure fluid is dry before applying colour wash.
  • Avoid leaving fluid on paper for long periods of time.
  • If spilt by accident, wash item in soapy water as soon as you can. Once dry, the latex can only be removed by picking at it or rubbing with an eraser, as there are no solvents available to remove it.