Using Dip Pens And Masking Fluid To Paint Honesty
Hi there, how are you?
Last week I picked a small twig of honesty and sketched it. I thought it would be fun to try to paint it with watercolour. I used three colours cerulean blue, raw sienna and burnt sienna, to try and keep it simple.
Drawn with a dip pen and Indian ink. Once the ink had dried I used a dip pen to draw some masking fluid around some of the pods, I also splashed some masking fluid across the surface.
Masking fluid is tricky stuff. If you use a brush it’s best to use an old or inexpensive one because it will eventually ruin the brush. Dip it in soap and wipe off the excess before using in the masking. This helps prevent the masking from sticking to the bristles. It always ruins the brush in the end so keep a dedicated brush for masking fluid.
I wanted fine lines on these paintings and as hard as I try I can’t get a fine enough line with a brush so I decided to use dip pen to apply the masking. I’ve read books where the artists say it works so I gave it a go. I pour a small amount of masking fluid into a tiny ceramic dish then put the lid back so whole pot doesn’t dry out.
I drew the honesty with masking fluid and dip pen (the masking dries blue so it’s easy to see where I’ve been) .
Let them both dry thoroughly. If the masking doesn’t dry thoroughly it sticks to your best watercolour brush, and it won’t come off! (You can guess how I learned this lesson) I use a silicone colour shaper for large areas, the masking peels off the tip when it’s dry but there were no large areas here.
It’s a bit fiddly but I did manage to load the nib, I just tip the dish to the side and load the nib against the side of the dish. I don’t throw away any left over masking fluid; let it dry in the dish, it will be used later.
After I had painted them I decided the pods weren’t going to stand out very well so I loaded the dip pen with watercolour (to do this pass a loaded paint brush over the nib) and drew in the details.
Once everything had completely dried (if the paper isn’t dry it may tear) I roll up the masking fluid that had dried in the dish into a ball and use it to remove the dried masking from the painting. This prevents me from smearing my painting with the oils in my fingers, and rubbing it lightly, not peeling it away stops the paper tearing as it comes off.
There is a masking pick up tool you can buy from the shops to do this but I don’t have one so for now this works for me.
Experimenting with the dip pen was interesting, there are two pens in the picture, the red one has a narrower rounder nib and I couldn’t find a way to load it properly with masking fluid. The blue one worked much better. I’ll try it again on something else to see what results I can get.
The Indian ink looked very bold against the background as you would expect, the other one is a lot softer, I think the extra line around the edge makes it stand out better.
Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x