Watercolor Painting – using Masking Tape Part 1

I’ve been back in the studio trying to catch up on all the months I have missed because of family obligations. Now it’s my time to paint and share more exciting techniques of painting with watercolor

Knowing how to save the white of the paper is essential in watercolor painting. You can purchase a masking fluid or frisket to save the white. It’s easy to apply the frisket to the areas you want to maintain the  white, let it dry and paint right over the frisket. When the paper is dry you peel off the frisket and you have the white areas or shapes you intended to save.

You can negative paint around the areas you want to remain white. I prefer this technique because I love negative painting but sometimes it’s not the best option for saving the white of the paper.

Here’s where masking tape comes in handy. I’m referring to the plain old making tape you have lying around your home or studio. You know the beige colored tape you might have bought at the dollar store.

Watch how I use it to save the white trees in this painting

First I need to tear the tape into long strips. I’m using a 1 inch tape tearing it length wise. Do not cut the tape, you must have a ragged torn edge for this technique to work.

Place the strips of torn tape on the paper shaping it to form a tree. The second piece of tape is placed back to back with the first strip. It is extremely important to place the uncut edges against each other and the torn edges, or straight edges, on the outside or bark edge of the tree. The placement of the torn side of the tape will give your trees and branches a rough edge making it look like the uneven surface of the tree bark. You don’t want to have a perfectly straight tree shape.


masking with tape 8

With practice you can learn to tear the tape again to create even thinner branches. There is no limit to the size of the trees & branches you can make.

masking with tape 9

Take you time and place the torn pieces of tape onto the watercolor paper creating tree shapes. Make sure you press down all the edges so no paint gets underneath the tape. Once you have all your trees shaped out of tape you are ready to start the painting process. You can paint right across the entire paper while preserving the white tree shapes.

In part 2-  I will show you the painting process and removal of the tape.

To go directly to part 2 click here __________________________________________________________________________

Paint with Me


~ by Lorraine Rimmelin on January 22, 2019.

One Response to “Watercolor Painting – using Masking Tape Part 1”

  1. […] If you missed Masking with tape pt 1 click here […]

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