Use Molotow Masking Fluid Markers to save back the whites in your watercolour painting without ever tearing the paper when you remove it. Many masking fluids will remove some of the surface of your paper but Molotow (pronounced molotoff) doesn’t damage the paper at all. Molotow Masking Fluid rubs off in crumbs leaving little bits to brush away like a rubber eraser. And your sparkling white highlights are revealed! The refillable marker is available in two nib sizes, so you also don’t need to worry about ruining a brush anymore.
Molotow Masking Fluid will change the minds of those painters who won’t use masking fluid because they are afraid to tear their paper.
Six methods for application
Masking fluid is applied to dry paper so that it sits on top and doesn’t soak into the paper, then let dry itself and then watercolour or an acrylic wash can be painted over.
A common method for applying masking fluid is with a watercolour brush. Some artists save a brush just for this because it gets gunked up and can’t be used for much else afterwards, although I have found you can prevent ruining a brush by coating the hairs with some washing up liquid before you start using the brush. But if you prefer not to use a brush then as these are marker pens, you already have the applicator built in. There are two sizes of nib in the pump markers – 2mm and 4mm and you can change the 2mm nib out for a harder tipped 1.5mm nib that is a lot finer.
The markers are easily refillable with the 30ml refill bottle, so it is economical and the refill bottle comes with a nozzle that could be used for application, though it comes out quite quickly, so it not very controllable. You can also squeeze some out and apply it using a brush. For this test I used a brush without first working a drop of washing up liquid into the hairs as I usually wood and after using it with the masking fluid I dropped it into my water pot right away and it cleaned up perfectly. You can also use the refill masking fluid to fill an empty Molotow brush marker if you’d like the thick-to-thin variation that you can get with a brush nib.
Quantity to apply
The markers lay the masking fluid down evenly and thinly, just as required. You will need to pump the marker occasionally to be sure the tip is filled, if the tip is a bit dry it will not lay down enough and the paint can seep through when it is applied. You pump the marker to fill the nib from the barrel by placing the nib on a scrap of paper on your table and pressing down a few times, you will see the blue fluid flow into the tip. If you are using the brush marker you also need to pump these but not on the table, instead you pump the Molotow Brush Markers by turning the cap around and pumping into the the slot on top. Using either a brush or the refill bottle as an applicator can mean areas of masking fluid that are too thick and in my testing those very thick areas left blue stains on the paper. So the key is to apply just enough but not too much!
Removing the Masking Fluid
The masking fluid is blue so you can see your marks while you are painting. I painted over the dried masking liquid with both a watercolour wash (Ultramarine Blue) and an acrylic wash (Phthalo Green). It worked equally well with the watercolour paint and the acrylic that was used like watercolour (with a lot of water). There was no bleed-through the masking liquid, it was bright white and it all removed completely in small crumbs. (I also tried it with light and heavy applications of acrylic paint, but as I expected it didn’t work because the masking fluid was sealed under the acrylic.) The bottle warns to remove the masking fluid from your dried painting within two days, this is standard practice for all masking fluids, they get harder to remove as they age.
Click on the underlined link to go to the current offer on the Molotow Masking Liquid on the Jackson’s Art Supplies website.
Postage on orders shipped standard to mainland UK addresses is free for orders of £39 or more.