Sunday, March 28, 2010

Masking techniques tutorial - part 3...


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.)

18 comments:

  1. Great info, Chris. You are so inspiring and so generous with your expertise.
    Manco can be found on line at Staples, but realize that it 'leaks' if ovelapped at all - great for batiky looks. Happy painting.

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  2. Thanks, Sandy!! I'll try Staples. I'm fascinated with the idea that a single layer of tape blocks out the water but simply laying another piece over it causes it to leak. This calls for more investigation!!

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  3. Very interesting! Thanks for sharing this information.

    Saludos!

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  4. Thanks for sharing all the info - especially about the Nichiban tape, had never heard of it! I also use the contact paper rather than frisket film for large areas and find it works well. And of course, thanks for mentioning my name!

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  5. You're most welcome, Deb!! Glad you were willing to share your techniques.

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  6. Thank you! Perfect timing as the cohesive thought to the rest of the idea!

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing your helpful information with all of us. This was a very informative and useful post.

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  8. Thanks, Earthula and Barb!! Glad you found it useful.

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  9. I have been a fan of Cheap Joe's masking tape (white) for years. I admit that it occasionally leaks if you don't burnish the edges with an eraser. I also wanted to mention that I have used packing tape...the light tan variety made by Ace for years also. It will only work on unpainted paper. But if you want a non-leak line (say you are masking out the roofline of a building before putting on a wash) It's the BEST. I put it on and it is partially translucent. I can see my pencil line through it and cut very carefully with a sharp craft knife what ever shape or curve I need. I burnish the edges slightly with an eraser and I can do juicy washes with no leaks. Try it out.

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  10. Thanks for the info, Ginny. I just finished a painting where I used Nichiban to mask the edges -- I am so impressed with this tape -- it doesn't mar the paper in any way and it gives a totally clean line. I want to explore this tape a little more before trying other types.

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  11. May have to check out the Nichiban tape, Chris, next time I need tape. I recommend and use Cheap Joe's white artist tape - it's never leaked and I almost always tape all the way around my painting to get a nice, clean edge. I know he has different kinds but this is the White Artist Tape.

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  12. Thanks, Rhonda!! I think I see a future post on tape and only tape!! I have just found the tape that Sandy Maudlin uses and want to experiment with that, but next time I do a Cheap Joe's order, I'll make sure to get some of his artist's white tape.

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  13. Thanks for the mention! I went and tried the low tac contact paper as Connie Williams suggested and I love it. It is certainly a great buy! So thanks for sending me to her post, and thanks for all this great education.

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  14. Hi Guy -- thanks for stopping by!! Glad you liked the Con-tact paper. I tried to get some, but the store only had solid colors in stock. I'm eager to try it!!

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  15. Thanks for all this informative info....I just love both your blogs....

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  16. Cynthia -- thanks for taking time to leave a comment -- glad you like my blogs!!

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  17. Hi Chris, don't know if I'm way too late with this in responding to masking tape types. Just "found" your blog. BUT, I use a very reasonably priced common brand masking tape that can be found in the supermarket: DUCK TAPE, red label. Must be RED label.
    I use this to tape my w/c piece to board; to tape fine rigging lines on boat (can create slight curve to line); to straight edges on all sorts of shapes; or whatever else that I don't want to use the liquid maskit on. Many are shown on my blog and my website.
    Only have to use fingernail to bray the edges. It releases totally as long as one pulls away from area.
    I find at $2.00 a roll this is fantastic and works perfectly everytime. Easy to find. Here in NH it's sold in Hanaford Supermarkets. I've seen it at other places too. Maybe Loews & Home Depot.
    It's perfect.

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  18. Thanks, Ruth -- I appreciate the information about the tape. I'm sure other people are still looking at these tutorials, so your suggestion may reach more folks than you think!!

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