Usine Tape as a Masking Product for Watercolor Painting


I saw this technique in a book and thought I would try it and share the results with you. Gently tear a strip of masking tape lengthwise. Use tape at least 1″ or wider. Lay the strips back to back with the straight edges facing each other & the torn edges facing out. Position them on your watercolor paper as the shapes of trees. The tape will act as a masking product to save the white of the paper.

Paint the first background wash of the painting.


Torn Tape 1


Continue painting the background while the tape is still on the paper.


Torn Tape 2


I have removed the tape and the negative shapes of the trees are ready to be painted.


Torn Tape 3


You can choose how you want each tree to be painted. Add additional branches if desired.




Upon completion of the painting I see several things I will do differently when I try this technique again, and I will do this again because it was fun & easy to do. As I look at the composition I see that the spaces between each tree are almost exactly the same size. I added an extra tree between the 2nd & 3rd tree to change the size of that space. The placement of the 3 trees still bothers me but not as much now. The 3 trees are still too alike and uniform, I’m not finding this painting to hold much interest for the viewer.


Torn Tape 5


Not everything we paint must turn out to be a masterpiece but it MUST be fun and rewarding for me as an artist to go through the painting process. Each time I journey through a painting the trip takes me into a delightful learning experience filled with the choices of colors & shapes. There are no bad paintings. All paintings I do are successful because I become a better artist with each new painting I create.


Paint with Me






~ by Lorraine Rimmelin on May 19, 2014.

4 Responses to “Usine Tape as a Masking Product for Watercolor Painting”

  1. Nice!!
    I love little tricks like this.

  2. I’ve seen this technique before. It works really well for white birch trees.

  3. wise words Lorraine… great way of looking at things. thanks for sharing!

  4. Just love the trees.

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