Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Color and Layers - A Little Tutorial

As promised yesterday, I took photos while painting my next little playful painting.
I had gotten masking fluid for a watercolor class I am going to take, but hadn't gotten around to using it yet. It occurred to me that I might be able to use it with acrylic washes and it worked! So, here are the photos of what I have been doing.
I just made some random marks on the clay board, which I was using. You could use any kind of heavy surface that isn't too absorbing as you'll use a lot of water with this. A heavy watercolor paper would work as well. These first masking fluid marks (use an old brush as it will ruin it or an applicator of some sort) will preserve the white of your surface if you want white in you final painting.
After this dried (it doesn't take very long), I sprayed the surface fairly evenly with water and dripped on some acrylic inks. These are Golden airbrush inks. I have to admit I wasn't thrilled with the colors and had to keep myself from wiping it off an starting over. The thing is, at the end you won't have a lot of the color mix showing.
When the color had dried (that took a little longer), I just peeled off one of the masking fluid marks to show you the white that was preserved (photo below). The rest I left on to keep the white in the painting.
And now I added more masking fluid. Totally random, but I covered some larger areas this time.
Again, waiting to let it dry (this is a great little project to do while you are working on other things at the same time!). After it dried, I covered the whole painting with fluid Turquoise acrylic and let that dry.
Finally it was time to pull off all the dried masking fluid. I just peel it off with my fingers. It comes off quite easily.
This is what I was left with. It was ok, but not really what I wanted yet. Still too busy for me with no real focal point.
It did remind me of a huge flower, so I took some more making fluid and drew a rough outline with it.
After that was dry, I covered the whole board in fluid Paynes Gray to create more of a contrast.
When I peeled off (after the paint had dried, of course) the dry masking fluid, I was left with a big flower. Nice!
In my mind's eye, I saw a little scene with houses and flowers and a tree, so I got out my white gel pen and started doodling.

The result is this little nighttime neighborhood scene with a giant flower in the background. Nice!
 Night Flower
acrylics on 5x7 in. clay board

Available in my Etsy Shop. 
That's all there is to it! It's really just a very intuitive layering process that is completely unplanned. I only go by what strikes my fancy at the moment and even though each of the little paintings goes through a phase that I don't like, by the time all the layers are done, I love the outcome.

I hope you've enjoyed this a little bit!!

Sending you lots of love, happiness and a beautifully colored day!



  1. Hi Silke,

    Thank you for this tutorial.
    I have heard of masking fluid recently from a gal I follow on you-tube. I really like this technique. Looks like you can have a lot of fun with it!
    This will be something I will try. All I need now is the masking fluid. :)

    Hugs xo

    Susan Rix

  2. So free and spontaneous and playful! What kind of white gel pen did you use?

  3. Thanks for the tutorial. I even have masking fluid!

  4. This is an interesting form of art!! I'm heading to Tenn. today for a weekend class of painting with oils and painting flowers!! Soooo excited!!

  5. I loved seeing this creative process and I love the finished product!
    Hope you are having a lovely Spring in Savannah! xx

  6. liebe Silke, das Bild ist so wunderschön, kräftig. Es fasziniert mich sehr ....
    liebe Grüsse