Sunday, January 9, 2011

"IF" Technique

Winter Aspens
Watercolor 11" x 15" Mats to 16" x 20"

My watercolor above, Winter Aspens, uses the "IF" technique to make the large trees in the foreground.  Being able to mask out these trees, makes it much easier to paint the sky and the background trees and shrubs in an unbroken line.

What is the "IF" method? 


One can use the “IF” method to mask large areas for watercolor painting. “IF” or ironing freezer wrap is a quick and easy way to mask large areas. It is not as messy and much faster for large areas than using liquid masking fluid.

The instructions are simple:

• Using a sharp pencil drew the painting on your watercolor paper making a dark pencil mark, but not pressing too hard into the paper to leave an impression.

• Place the freezer paper, waxed side down, over the area to be masked. Carefully trace this area onto the freezer paper. Secure the freezer wrap with small pieces of masking tape if needed to keep the wrap from slipping.

• Remove the freezer wrap from the sketch and cut the shapes from the freezer wrap using scissors.

• Apply the freezer paper, waxed side down, over the area to be masked on your watercolor paper. Make any adjustments necessary.

• Using a hot iron (linen or hot setting) and working quickly, press the shape onto the watercolor paper.

• Allow the paper to cool before painting.

So IF you need to mask large areas, give the “IF” method a try!

Happy Painting!

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