The Perfect Marbling Mask

You may remember a previous post where I started using a technique to mask out parts of my lithographs so I could water marble the backgrounds. Well I discovered the perfect material for making reusable masks that don’t curl or break down.

Lamination Sheets/Pouches

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I already had these on hand because I have a laminator I use to do hot foil toner transfers (There is a post about that here). These lamination sheets are of a moderate thickness and don’t absorb water the way that the acetate did. They’re a little frosty, but they’re easy to trace through.

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For this experiment I used a smaller hole punch to minimize any issues with tape pulling up the mask.

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My marbling setup was pretty much the same as in previous posts. In this session I used some of the cheap craft paints in addition to the high flow acrylics by Golden. The craft paints worked fine, but were slightly temperamental – sometimes over spreading or not spreading as well as the high flow acrylics. They were definitely usable though.

IMG_9796.jpg1. I attached the mask using three stripes of artist tape through the tiny hole punches. Below you can see that this mask has already been used and is still nice and flat. IMG_97972. You can see that the mask is waterproof, preventing the marbling from coming in contact with the sheet. It is also flexible enough that it’s easy to curve and lay the sheet down.IMG_97983. The mask pulls away cleanly. My one bit of advice is to make sure you lay the sheet on the size in a way that prevents any size from sliding between the mask and the sheet when you roll it onto the surface. IMG_97994.  Here is the wet sheet directly after marbling. Be careful when removing them from the size as if you scrape the sheet along the size with the mask on it because you could push some acrylic in between and the mask and the sheet. IMG_98005. Simply wipe down the masks and they’re ready to use again. IMG_98016. I dry my sheets by interleaving them with blotter sheets, newsprint, or paper towels. I find this MUCH easier than hanging. It’s also less messy, takes up less space, keeps the sheets from ripping, and keeps me from needing to rinse my sheets. By blotting them thoroughly it pulls off the excess smeared size and makes things much neater.

IMG_9802These blotters are just drawing paper. I’ve used them plenty of times and they still work fine even though they’re wrinkled.IMG_9803Once the mask is wiped down it’s ready to go again. I didn’t even have to replace the tape. One thing to note – though I don’t think it’s important but I kept the shiny side of the laminate out (towards the size) and the frostier side against the paper. IMG_9804.jpg

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