MASKING by Tyra Smith
First of all, I use masks for different reasons, depending on what I'm trying to do within a given scene.
#1... I mask an image to bring it to the forefront of a scene and put other images behind it. This is basic masking. Due to the design of Stampscapes images (the tiny stippling dots within it) you need to really be sure to cut your mask on the INSIDE of the black outline of the image. This helps to keep you from getting a halo around an image when you have to put a Stampscapes image BEHIND it. Just play around with it, you will get the hang of it in no time flat.
#2...I use masks to combine Stampscapes images. Remember that when you stamp one image and mask it, the second image you stamp will appear BEHIND the first one. This is very useful when you have to use several images in one scene. For example, I might be using the Lakeside Cove image and stamp it in the center of a piece of card stock. That leaves the sides to the left and right of it unstamped/unfinished. So I will make mask of the of the Cove image... then I ONLY cut out the rock area. You don't really want to mask those pines because when you stamp over them with more trees they combine and it looks nice. BUT...you want the second image to still be BEHIND the rocks of the Cove. This is how I "flesh" out a scene layout.
3. I use masks to cover an area while I stipple around it. Keeping an image covered with a mask as I stippled around it. I removed the masks as I finished stippling the backgrounds around them. It really just makes creating the artwork quicker... and you don't have to worry so much about controlling the dye inks and stipple brushes.
You can create masks in a few different ways. I use my exacto knife and post-it notes when I can. If the image is to large for my post-it note pad... I stamp it on scratch paper, cut it out, and then use a restickable/temporary glue stick on the back. The only problem with this I've encountered is that the temporary glue stick leaves a "residue" on your card stock. To remove this residue before coloring the image, I take a very soft cloth, (like the fluffy inside of a sweatshirt) and gently rub until it's gone. Do NOT use paper towels or a t-shirt or t-shirt like materials to wipe with. It must be a soft cloth of some type.
I've heard that re-stickable tape works..but I've not been able to find any to try yet. Seems like it would work nicely.
Sometimes I also use liquid friskit to mask with. This is a product you can find at about any art supply store. It is liquid, and you can "paint" it on the area you need to mask. Only a few things to remember here. It doesn't seem to work well on LARGE areas, it tends to dull the color of the outline of the image. BUT...it DOES work great for smaller areas. Here's how I use it. I take a small container, fill it with some water mixed with liquid dish washing soap. SO you basically have soapy water.
I then take my tiny sable hair brush, dip it in the soapy water (gently wiping off any excess on a paper towel)... then I dip the paint brush into the liquid friskit, and "paint" it on the area I want to mask. You need to occasionally rinse and re-wet the brush in the soapy water. The soapy water keeps the liquid friskit for drying and sticking to your brush. When you don't use the soapy water, and just dip the brush directly into the liquid friskit, you have a very hard time keeping the brush from getting "gunky" and the liquid friskit is also much harder to control when putting it on the card stock. Once you are ready to removed that liquid friskit mask, you need to gently blot it to remove any pooled ink. Liquid friskit dries and is "rubbery" and dye inks do not dry on top of it. I find that liquid friskit is an invaluable tool when I'm coloring in certain images. I use it on lots of little things every day.
BASIC MASKING INSTRUCTIONS:
Masking is relatively very simple. You stamp your main stamp on yourcard or whatever and then you take a post it note and stamp that sameimagine again. You take your exacto knife and cut the figure out right on the line. If you don't cut it on the line you will experience"shadows", which are also known as a "halo" when you go to use it. Once it is cut out, put the cut out post-it note mask on top of the figure on your card. Then you can stamp around and on top of the post it note mask. Lift the mask and you suddenly have a scene that looks like it is all one stamp.
The blank spots you sometimes get when masking the image is called a Halo. It happens because your stamp doesn't get the ink in that spot. This can be fixed by cutting your mask more.... sometimes you really have to get aggressive when cutting masks... cut just INSIDE the outline from the stamp image.... doesn't seem right I know..but it does work. Card stock is really to thick to make a good mask. You must use a thin sheet of paper...or post it notes... to make it work right. I also like using masking fluid, but it does buckle the card stock on occasion. Just make sure if you are doing several of the same card... cut several masks at the same time. Post it notes stick together... so you can usually cut 2 or 3 masks by stamping on the top sheet of post it note, and then pulling off like 3 sheets at once together...then cut. Cute on the INSIDE edge of the image...remember that you need to use a thin sheet of paper for the mask.... and also that some stamps require you to cute MORE on the inside of the image (such as Stampscapes)...and some less on the inside of the image. What do you use to cut your masks with???? Scissors??? I use an exacto knife, because I get greater control...and can cut a much better mask that way.
MASKING TECHNIQUE INSTRUCTIONS® by Tyra Smith.
All rights reserved. For private use. For commercial usage, contact T.S.