Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Technique Tuesday - Basic Masking 101

While I love searching for, and bringing you new and interesting techniques, sometimes it is good to go back and review the basics.  Today, Masking 101.
A mask is simply anything that covers (masks) a part of your background paper, allowing you to color only the unmasked parts.
You can buy commercially made masks, cut your own, or use whatever you have lying around that has a pleasing shape.
Here are some of the masks I used for this tutorial:

On the top, some chipboard shapes that I've had for years and know I'll never use.  Bottom left, a Tim Holtz mini flourish mask, and on the bottom right, some plastic masks that I believe are called ghosts.
Try a variety of papers in your masking experiments:

I used solid cardstock, patterned paper, textured cardstock and a scrap of old sheet music.
For adding the color, I like inks and sprays.  You can also use paint, but inks and sprays are my favorites.

I like applying the ink with a foam pad.  The little brush is a stipple brush and you'll see how that gives a different effect than the foam applicator.  The mini mister holds some homemade glimmer spray (or you can use a commercial product).
The nice thing about the Tim Holtz masks is their slightly tacky backs, which means they won't move around while you're applying color.  Simply place the mask where you want it.  Here, I'm using the foam applicator and a kind of light twisting motion as I add the ink to the patterned paper:

Just keep repositioning the mask and applying ink and you wind up with this:

For the next masking technique, I'm using the same mask and ink, but using the stipple brush instead of the foam.  You swirl the brush into the ink pad and add the color to the paper with a pouncing motion.  It is a softer, more subtle look than the foam application gives:

Now, for those chipboard shapes.  Just position them in a pattern that is pleasing to you.  Because of their thickness, I'm using them with sprays.  You could try the foam or brush with ink, but you'll have to hold them down to prevent them from moving around.  Once you have the pieces where you want them, spray away!

Remove the chipboard, wipe them off and you'll be able to use them many times for this technique.  Here's what the paper looks like after the spray has dried:

You don't have to stop with this.  Try adding more masks and a second spray.  Here, I've put some of the chipboard back in different places, and also added some of those little plastic flowers:

Spray again, this time using a darker color:

In addition to straight spraying, I did a little spattering to add interest.  Remove the masks, and you get this:

Pretty cool!  I decided to use this piece as the background for my entry in PID's March lottery.  The theme is "flowers and flourishes," and I made this plaque:

With masking, think outside the box and you'll find masks everywhere!  Put a variety of washers from the hardware store on a piece of paper and spray!  Ink, daub paint or spray around shapes you make with punches or a cutting machine.  Lay some string over paper and see what happens when you spray over them.
I'm thinking some old house keys would make great masks too.....you get the idea, right?

Paper Imagery Designs
Design Team

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2 friends said:

Angie Hall Haviland said...

FABULOUS Ms. Eileen!! Makes me want to go play :)

Lori said...

Great review of masking! An underused, underappreciated technique that gives wonderful results, this is fab!