I'm back at last with another installment of my tutorial on masking techniques. Today I'm going to give you information about using frisket film and Con-tact paper, as well as a novel way to use masking fluid, and I also have some additional information on tapes. One of my happy discoveries -- the Nichiban tape shown above -- is explained in more detail later in this post.
I covered the common uses of masking fluid back in January -- you can see the posts here, here, and here. I also looked at various types of masking tapes in another post later in the month.
Guy Magallanes prefers frisket film (a sheet of low-adhesive transparent film) for masking larger areas. He explains his approach in this post. Connie Williams recommends using low-tack, clear Con-tact shelf paper in place of frisket film. It's inexpensive and the light adhesive won't mar your paper. She's written a wonderful tutorial here. I tried frisket film for the first time and, as you can see here, had a problem with a paint leak because I didn't get the edge of the film completely sealed.
Deb Ward uses a technique developed by Steve Blackburn for pouring masking fluid as a design element. Her posts showing this technique are here, here, here, and here.
Tape is one of the tools in Sandy Maudlin's painting kit. She creates some amazing textures and scenes using Manco masking tape. Sandy generously shares many of her paintings here. Unfortunately I haven't had any luck finding Manco tape in California and my online searches haven't been successful either.
Back in January, I discovered that my favorite tape for masking the edges of my paintings was actually the worst performer of all the tapes I tested (see the blog link in the second paragraph). But visually I prefer the white tape over the better performing blue masking tapes.
Fortunately, William Hook mentioned during a discussion online that he found Nichiban tape to be absolutely superior as a masking tape. I found it at New York Central Art Supply.* Although it's a bit more expensive than generic masking tapes, it does work incredibly well. For the sake of testing, I bought one roll each of four different widths, but I think I will probably make most use of the 1/2" width. I can protect the edge of the painting with that narrow strip and then make the border wider with my old white tape. The wider Nichiban tapes may come in handy for masking shapes within paintings.
As you can see in this image, the Nichiban tape protected the right side edge of this painting completely, while my old white tape -- 3M 256 -- allowed paint to leak under the bottom edge. (The paper had been soaked for approximately 5 minutes prior to stretching, but was completely dry when I applied the tape.)
*(A brief note on NY Central Art Supply -- you download a PDF of their catalog and then call them with your order. I found them very pleasant over the phone and they shipped promptly. They also called to let me know that one of my items was backordered -- a level of service that has disappeared in most cases these days. I recommend them highly.)