Fun with Frisket

Today’s watercolor experiment:

I just love my new frisket (also known as masking fluid). The liquid latex that I used previously was pretty viscous. That made for interesting drops and splashes when poured, but the traces tended to be course when I would tilt the paper to encourage the fluid to run across the paper.


The frisket I now use is not viscous at all. For today’s experiment, I used an eye dropper to suck up the masking fluid and squirt it onto the paper. After doing so, I shook and jarred the paper to allow the fluid to form fine lines.

Here is the first stage of today’s composition including masking fluid and the first washes:

Watercolor : Abstract - Masking Fluid and Initial Washes

Initial Washes and Masking Fluid

The masking fluid traces looked like lines of fracture emanating from one source. This caused me to think about a sunset interrupted by lightning or cracks in space.  I wanted to achieve a transition from blue at the top of the paper to red at the bottom. I used Prussian blue, Hansa yellow deep and cadmium red light as the colors of my sunset. Payne’s gray colored the bottom right corner. After the first wash dried, the colors faded.

I glazed the composition several more times to end up with this:

Watercolor: Abstract - Latex Plus Several Applications of Glaze

After Several Glazings

I darkened the blue at the top by adding the deep indanthrone blue. I used several different yellows including aureolin and lemon yellow.

The composition looked like this after I removed the frisket:

Watercolor: Abstract - Glaze Removed

Composition with Masking Removed

Instead of leaving the white areas blank, I opted to use my inks to fill them in. The idea was to use ink the white traces with colors complementary to the background.

Here is the final stage of today’s study:


Watercolor and Ink: Abstract with Ink Tracings

Cosmic Splat
12″x16″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block


My original idea of a fractured sunset did not hold up. Instead, the thought occurred to me that this abstract could represent a giant splat of cosmic proportions. This idea may have leaked through my subconscious after reading that the Large Hadron Collider is about to start slamming proton beams into each other again, at extremely high energy.

Maybe among the fine traces of my frisket is a Higgs Boson.

2 thoughts on “Fun with Frisket

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