Watercolors Are Freaking Cool
You know it. I know it. It’s just a fact of life. And one of the things that’s so cool about watercolors is its ability to be crazy flexible for all kinds of projects. One of my favorite ways to create a poppy, stunning piece is with watercolor masking fluid. A bottle of watercolor masking fluid is like liquid magic. And what better way to utilize this magic than with some gorgeous brush lettering? Let me show you this easier-than-it-looks method that will add a whole new dimension to your lettering projects. Once you learn how to use masking fluid, you won’t be able to resist making a whole batch of holiday cards or even lovely DIY envelopes. So let’s jump in!
Materials You’ll Need
Watercolor Paper – I use Canson 140 lb paper
Watercolors – Dr. Ph. Martin’s Hydrus watercolors are my favorites!
Two glasses of water
In lieu of an in-depth explanation, I created this short video to give you the quick and dirty version of this method! Check it out below to see watercolor masking fluid in action – beautiful, beautiful action.
See? Not such a tough technique! I swear, it’s really easier than it looks. It’s pretty much the exact opposite of this type of lettering, which I honestly think is a little harder.
Watercolor Masking Fluid Tips
There are a few things you should know before you start using your watercolor masking fluid on your projects. A little preparation goes a long way with this unusual substance!
First and foremost, don’t let your masking fluid dry while you’re working with it. That means work fast! If you accidentally touch your brush to a partially dry section of masking fluid, it will stick to your brush and start to peel up. Be cautious about this and you should be golden.
Second, don’t let it touch your skin. Once you smell it, you’ll know what I mean when I say that this doesn’t seem like the kind of thing you want absorbing into your skin. And if you have a latex allergy, be very, VERY careful. You can probably still use it with no problem, but don’t rub the dry masking fluid with your finger! Use an eraser instead.
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Third, don’t use a brush that you care about. I have a few brushes that are my designated masking fluid brushes because masking fluid is gunky and will destroy your brushes if you aren’t careful. So don’t use your expensive brushes for this part. And when you’re done, clean your brush thoroughly in clear water. That way you can keep your masking fluid brushes in rotation for a while!
Fourth, let your watercolor masking fluid dry fully before you apply any watercolor washes. And on that note, let your watercolor dry completely before you peel up your masking fluid! While you’re waiting around for things to dry, you can clean your materials, grab a coffee, or do some jumping jacks. The trick here is patience.
And finally, use a separate glass of water to clean off your watercolor masking fluid brush. You don’t want to contaminate your watercolors with that dirty water, that’s for sure! Keep those two things away from each other and you shouldn’t have any problems.
Now You Try
That’s all there is to it! With a little bit of common sense and patience, you can create some truly stunning brush lettering with watercolor masking fluid. There’s always a bit of a learning curve with a new tool, but I know that with a little bit of practice, you will get the hang of it in no time.
If you want to learn lettering faster, then check out my course Brush Lettering 101! There’s no better way to get all the information you need to kick your lettering into overdrive and develop your skills crazy fast. And it’s a crash course, meaning you can learn all you need in a single weekend instead of piecing together info over the span of several months – which is exactly what I did.
If you use this technique to create something you love, share it with me on Instagram by tagging @Little_Coffee_Fox in the description. And if you want me to share it in my weekly roundup, use the hashtag #littlefoxfeature so I know you want to show it off 😉
What kind of incredible projects could you do with this technique? Let me know in the comments down below!