Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Watercolour and masking tape - a mini review

I was recently sent a couple of different scotch masking tapes to try out so thought I'd put them through their paces with my watercolours.

The two tapes were 


  • Scotch 25 mm x 50 m Masking Tape for Delicate Surfaces - Beige
and
  • Scotch 24 mm x 50 m Greener Masking Tape - Beige

For my first comparison I used 2.5 x 3.5 inch 300gsm Daler Rowney NOT surfaced watercolour paper and my travel Artist watercolours from Cass Art. The colours I chose to use were cobalt blue, cadmium red and cadmium yellow.



This is what I did:


I taped the paper to a board all round the edges, this stayed in place for the entire painting. 

Next I put a couple of pieces of tape across the paper and painted the remaining white paper with my cadmium yellow watercolour paint. When this was almost dry I removed the masking tape that was over the centre of the paper, placed it somewhere else, and painted the paper that had no tape on it with cadmium red. I repeated this process with cobalt blue and then added a few more layers in thesame vein.

Finally I printed a few circles using the cap of my waterbrush dipped in watercolour paint.


Greener tape and NOT surfaced paper




Observations 

  • my lines are not clean, paint has seeped through to the underside of the tape
  • the tape stuck very firmly to the paper and left some sticky residue
  • each piece of tape could only be used once - if I tried to reuse it the seepage was even worse



Sensitive tape and NOT surfaced paper




Observations 

  • again, my lines are not clean, paint has seeped through to the underside of the tape
  • the tape was very easy to remove and did not leave any residue
  • again, each piece of tape could only be used once - if I tried to reuse it the seepage was even worse

My next experiment

After giving it a day's thought, I decided that perhaps the seepage under the tape was because NOT surfaced paper is slightly bumpy. So I repeated the experiment with 300gsm Langford smooth hot pressed watercolour paper, switching colours to Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna and Cobalt Blue.

Greener tape and hot pressed paper




Observations 

  • nice clean lines with little paint seepage
  • the tape was stuck so firmly to the paper that it damaged the surface when removing it, and on removing the third piece of masking tape the paper tore


Sensitive tape and hot pressed paper




Observations 

  • fairly clean lines with only a little paint seepage
  • the tape was very easy to remove, there was no residue left on the paper at all 

In conclusion, I can heartily recommend "Scotch Masking Tape for Delicate Surfaces" for use in watercolour painting. 


"Scotch Greener Masking Tape" is very strong and good for taping paintings into mounts (or matts) but I would not recommend it for use the actual painting process.











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