ULTIMATE Watercolor Masking Test – 14 types of watercolor paper!

ULTIMATE Watercolor Masking Test – 14 types of watercolor paper!


– [Kristina] Hello
everyone, Kristina here. Welcome to the Ultimate
Watercolor Masking video. We’re going to be doing some tests with different ways to do
masking on watercolor paper. And I’m not going to be
testing any of these masks on regular card stock because I just want to test them with very wet mediums. And in my crafting, I probably
wouldn’t use watercolor on regular card stock anyway. I mean there are some exceptions, like sometimes I’ll do on
envelopes and things like that, but for the most part, I just want to see what happens when I use these masking
options on watercolor paper. So I made a list of every
single watercolor paper I have in my craft room, and there were 14
different types (chuckles), so quite a lot. And I’ve got four different options. I’ve got repositionable contact paper, which I kind of experimented
with in my last video. I highly recommend it. It was great. I’ve also got Gina K. Masking Magic, which is actually just
a regular masking paper, and it’s meant for, I don’t think it was meant
for watercolor mediums. But I thought since it is a little bit of a plasticky surface, I wondered if it would
hold up to watercolor. And I did one initial test, and this is that initial test,
and it worked pretty well on this particular watercolor paper. So it made me wonder,
does it work that well on other watercolor papers? Hence this video. So I’m gonna be doing some
Gina K. Masking Magic paper. I’m also going to do drawing gum, which is the liquid masking fluid that I tend to use the most. I like the color of it
because it’s a nice gray tone, so it’s easy to see. But I also have some, this is Removable Liquid
Mask from Winsor & Newton, basically the same type of
stuff as the drawing gum, but this one is slightly pigmented. There is also a colorless version if you don’t want to have
the color show at all. But I wanted to test
these two in particular because sometimes these
liquid masking fluids can behave differently depending on the type of watercolor paper. So since I was going
to be testing all these on all 14 pieces of watercolor paper, I thought it would at least be worth it to test these out at the same time. So instead of this being just a die-cut making watercolor test, this is a masking test in
general with also these used. I don’t have any of that Frisket film that I spoke about in my last video that is similar to like
sheets of contact paper. I don’t have any of
that so I can’t test it, but we’re gonna test with
what I have in my craft room. All right, so I’m gonna start out by putting the liquid masking fluid on all of my different sheets
of water color paper. And I’ve cut these out to be two by five, and this masking fluid needs to dry before you can work on it. So I’m gonna do all of these first. So this will be one round,
and I’ll do the next. Starting with drawing gum,
I’m just going to do a line of each one of these
because I need to have room for all of these die cuts
over on this side, you know? So I’m just gonna do
some on the ends here. Starting out with drawing gum, and I’m gonna go ahead
and paint all of these on. I’ve also coated this
inexpensive watercolor brush with a little bit of dish
soap, like diluted dish soap. That helps coat bristles and
helps it so the drawing gum or the masking fluid doesn’t
stick to the brush too much but I’m not too worried about that since like I mentioned it is a pretty inexpensive watercolor brush. So I’m just gonna do a
little line right here, just right on the end
of each one of these. I’m not being super detailed because I don’t wanna spend (chuckles) a lot of time on this because like I said, there are 14 of them. All right, and then these last three. You’ll notice I have down here at the bottom a black watercolor paper, which I have never used until today. So this should be interesting. I wanted to test it out. Having never used both of
these masking fluids together, I’ve never noticed if one
smells more than the other but I think the Winsor & Newton
has a more pungent smell, kind of smells like fish. It’s kind of weird. Drawing gum also has a
little bit of that smell but it’s not as strong as that one. I’m not sure why but, you know, if anyone’s sensitive to smells, that would be something to note. All right, I’m gonna let these dry, and I’ll probably come back to them, I don’t know, in about 10
minutes just to be safe. Sometimes it doesn’t need
quite that long to dry, especially such a small line, but I’m just gonna let it dry to be safe. I’ve taped each one of the
watercolor papers to hardboard, and I taped all the way
around, tried to be consistent, and now I’ve got my die
cuts for the masking paper. So the two dies that I’ve
used are the Simon Says Stamp “Windows to My Heart” because
it cut out six hearts at once so all you need is one
heart on each paper, for each masking paper. And then from “Words of Hope,” I think this was a Cathy Zielske, a CD design die set, but the word trust
didn’t, I picked this one because there are not any interior pieces that I would have to poke out. So just for efficiency
sake, that’s the word that I went for but I wanted to have both a solid, like very, like
no intricate pieces image, and then I wanted a word
so I could test both to see how well it works. So this is what I’m gonna do to try to keep it pretty consistent. I’m gonna go ahead and apply all of the masking papers to this one board. I have two more boards here. I’ve got more watercolor paper, and then this one has
the specialty papers, which is two types of Bristol Smooth, and then the black watercolor paper. So I’m gonna go I’m gonna do
these one board at a time, and before I start painting, I’ll come back and chat at you for a bit. (peaceful music) Okay, you may have seen
when I was putting this on that I did go over them and
burnish them with bone folder. That’s mostly because these
little intricate words really didn’t want to stick but once you’ve kind
of burnished them down, they start to stick
more but the problem is is that they kind of warp. They’re not real sturdy, both masking paper options, the contact paper and the Masking Magic. So it’s a little bit hard to get these down without them warping. However, it really does help it stick. I do like how it looks. So now I’m going to take a paintbrush, and I’m going to use the same watercolors that I used in my video
on, a couple days ago, and just go over the entire area. And then we’re gonna see how it looks. (gentle music) For these last three, I’m gonna switch up what watercolor paints I used. I was using the Paper
Fashion Watercolor set from American Crafts but now
I’m going to switch it up. I’m going to be using
ARTEZA Watercolor Markers on these two Bristol Smooth because that’s what I would use on these two papers. And then for the black
paper, I wanted something that would show up on black. So I’m gonna be using the
Pearlescent Colours from Finetec, and I think I’ll probably
just use this gold shade, or one of these two gold shades right here because that’s the color I use most. So just wanna give it
a really accurate test. So like I did before, I’m going to burnish each one of these before I actually start painting because especially the masking paper wants to peel up from these
(chuckles), this Bristol paper. I think it’s just too smooth (chuckles). It doesn’t have anything for that masking, the Magic Masking Paper to really stick to for these little
intricate ones, the words. So that will be an
interesting little test there to see what happens but I am burnishing everything to make sure. And interestingly, everything stuck to the Stonehenge Black
really, really well. I had no issues, nothing’s peeling up. It worked really well. (peaceful music) Going to let all three
boards dry completely, and then we’ll peel off the masks, and we’ll see how each one did. So I’ve removed them all from the boards, and I’m gonna go through these one by one, and peel up all the masks. As you can see, this top mask, this heart, is the contact paper. So I’ll peel this up. It looks really sharp. I’m just using an X-ACTO knife
to help me pull these off. It turns out great. Here is the Gina K Designs Masking Magic. That one’s pretty good, too. Not as good on the very intricate, and then there’s the Windsor & Newton Art Masking Fluid, and then the drawing gum. Both of those, no issues whatsoever. And that is the Saunders Waterford Hot. Now I’m going to do the
Saunders Waterford Cold, which is a little more textured. So let’s see how well these compare. So using the contact paper, looks about just as sharp as on the hot press paper. Word, not quite as good. It’s got a little more
kind of fuzzy edges. The Masking Magic Paper, more fuzzy edges. This could just be a result
of the texture of the paper. Let me zoom in here for you. Once again, this is
the Saunders Waterford. Okay, this one has even more color kind of creeping underneath. And then, the Winsor & Newton Art Masking Fluid, and the drawing gum. Both of those turned out great, no issues. Once again, Saunders Waterford Cold Press. All right, so now we’re gonna compare the Strathmore Hot
Press versus Cold Press. In fact, maybe I’ll
keep these side by side so you can see ’em. So hot press first. This one is really stuck down (chuckles), really sharp edges on that one. And I’ll say fairly sharp on the other, not like super-sharp but still good, really clean edges on the hot press. And, fairly clean on the cold. Here’s a little more,
I think it’s actually more little edges that
aren’t quite as sharp. All right, here’s the Gina
K Designs Masking Magic, really sharp on that one. Once again, this is a much smoother, this is a much smoother paper. So I think it just sticks down better. Yeah, you can see the comparison
between these two, right? All right, so Masking Magic, I really like how that one turned out on the hot press. And then on this one, it
looks like it didn’t stick down to the cold press
very much (chuckles). So I have quite a bit of seeping underneath in that one area. I could take off the Winsor & Newton. Both of these are looking really good, and then the drawing gum. No issues there either. Both area great. All right, so that was
Strathmore Hot Press versus Cold Press, kind of the
same results as the Saunders. I think Hot Press just
’cause it’s smoother, you get sharper edges around your shapes. And that goes for both
types of masking paper. All right, now we’re going to compare Fabriano Hot and Fabriano Cold. I’m gonna zoom out just a little bit so you can see in frame easier. All right, so this is the
Fabriano Artistico Extra White, one of my favorite papers. And the Hot Press has a really sharp edge. I would say not quite as sharp
as the Strathmore Hot Press but still pretty good. There’s the Cold Press. The Cold Press actually did fairly good. I think the Strathmore’s
a little bit better. We’ll compare at the end. There’s the hot press
of the intricate die, and the cold press of the intricate die. Both of those have similar results. There’s not a huge
difference between the two. All right, Gina K Masking Magic, super sharp. And on the cold press, pretty sharp, I think sharper than the contact paper. All right, and then we’re lifting this up. This is actually really good. It stuck down really easily. This one stuck down pretty well, also. I’m really impressed with
both of these actually. Yeah, I like that. All right, so we’ll take off both of these masking
fluids, working great. I don’t anticipate there being a big difference between these. I did wanna mention
that I considered doing a Molotow masking pen comparison but I had two masking pens actually, but both of them had dried out because I haven’t used
them in a long time. So I wasn’t able to test those but that probably would
been a good comparison, too. All right, so now we’re going
to test ARCHES Hot and Cold. So, lift this up. And I’ll lift this one up, too, kind of the same results as the hot and cold press comparisons I’ve just done. The hot press seems to be a little bit sharper edges. This is interesting. On this one over here, on the hot press, the intricate word die
didn’t go down quite as well. The cold version is better, overall, it’s kind of interesting. And the Masking Magic. Both of those are pretty good. I think they have about the same results as the contact paper. Really good on that word right there, much better on the hot
press versus the cold press. And I’ll go ahead and take the masking fluid off. Both of those are great. All right, we’ve got Canson XL, which is a more budget-friendly
watercolor paper. Just test and see how that one works. It works great with the contact paper. Got a little bit of seeping
underneath, right here. And with the Masking
Magic, it did really well with the Masking Magic, actually. I think that turned out well, and then even on the word die. I think that worked really great. And masking fluid comes off really easily. Once again, that’s Canson XL. And I’m gonna do Canson 90 pound. This is the paper I use
when I create envelopes so it’s a thinner paper. It’s not as thick. That came off really
well, really sharp edges. For the most part, this has
really sharp edges here, too, a little bit of seeping down
here at the bottom but not bad. Masking Magic, also really sharp, really sharp on both, actually. That turned out great. Masking fluid, both brands, came off, no problem. Canson 90 pound. Here we have Canson Montval, and I’m going to peel
up the contact paper. No issue there. This one was good. Looks like it had a little bit of color seeping underneath
this one edge, but not bad. Masking Magic paper, kind
of got the same results. And for the word, looks like it’s good. I just missed a couple
spots when I was painting, and I think that’s just user error. That’s just me (chuckles). And then, masking fluid came off
both without a problem. So that’s Canson Montval. Interestingly, if any of
you guys are wondering about the Molotow masking pen, Canson Montval happens to
be the only watercolor paper that I have really good results with when it comes to the Molotow masking pen. So just, you know, to note. All right, we’ve got both
of these Bristol papers. I’m gonna compare ’em side by side. I’m gonna take off the contact paper. It’s interesting, the larger
solid shape is very stuck to this contact paper here. There we go. Similar results, not super
sharp edges, but pretty good. I think they’d be okay for a big shape. The word has a lot of seeping underneath. Looks like I missed some color over here but still you can read the word. And on the Canson, kind of the same issue, maybe a little bit sharper. So, you know, there’s the difference. Masking magic paper, super clean, much cleaner than the one up here with the contact paper. And this one, kind of the same results. The Masking Magic paper
worked much better down here. All right, Masking Magic, kind of the same results,
really sharp edges, but I did have some seeping underneath. And on this side, quite a
bit of seeping underneath. And as far as the masking fluid goes, no issues. No issues with either. All right, and the very last
one is the Stonehenge Black. I did want to note that when I was removing the masking tape, it tore the paper quite a bit. There wasn’t a way to not
have it tear the paper. So just something to note. Like I mentioned before, I’ve never used this paper before today so, just you know, something to keep in mind. All right, contact paper, yep. I’m glad I tested this ’cause
the contact paper peeled up a lot of that black paper underneath. I think the paper, because it’s dyed, it probably is just much
more delicate and porous, and it just picks up anything that sticks. So contact paper, not a win on the black paper. The small word, not so bad. The small word actually
picked up really rather well. I think it’s probably just the fact that that heart stuck down even more. All right, the Masking Magic paper, see how delicate this is? All right, not so bad,
it peeled up a little bit of the black paper, but of the two, I would (chuckles) most
definitely use the Masking Magic. And kind of the same thing with the word. It worked really well, actually,
a little bit of seeping on the one little edge but not bad. And then, taking off the masking fluid, it did peel up, let’s see how
it does on this other one. Yep, both of ’em peeled up a little bit of the paper texture underneath. So it’s a little fuzzy but not terrible, not like this up here. Like this was a fail (chuckles). And all these little bits of gold are from the top of the contact
paper so that’s unfortunate. I mean I could probably just keep tearing that if I wanted to. Okay, so my final thoughts. I think that’s, for the most part, all of these masking methods work except for this one right here. I would not (chuckles)
recommend the contact paper on the Stonehenge Black. So they all have pretty similar results. I think it’s all just
about, you can go at this from two different approaches. One is starting with
your watercolor paper. Let’s say you have some Canson XL paper. So then you say, “Okay,
which option is better?” They’re both fairly the
same but it looks like maybe the Masking Magic
might be a better choice, depending on what your die design is. But let’s say you have
Saunders Waterford Cold, and you’re considering
which one you wanna use. Looks like the contact paper
is better in this case. So it really just depends
on what paper you’re using, and what masking medium you want. So you can go at it from
that way, paper first, or you could go at from
your masking medium first. If you only have Gina K Masking Magic, maybe you look at all
these options and decide which paper would look the
best for what you’re doing. It seems to be like the hot press papers are really, really good for that. So you might consider
just hot press papers when it comes to using the Masking Magic, but also, it works great on Bristol. I think it does some great things there. So it really just
depends on what you want. I think the only really
(chuckles) surprising thing was this Stonehenge Black,
and like I said before, I have never used it before. Anyway, I’ll have images
of all of these at my blog. I’ll have them labeled for
which masking medium was used, and you can kind of take your pick, and kind of put together your own recipe of which paper to use with masking medium. Thanks so much for joining me today. Don’t forget to hit that Subscribe button, and the notification bell
so you never miss a video. And I will be back very soon with another Card Video. This is little bit of a
different video for me where I’m just experimenting,
but I hope it was useful, and you guys have a little more knowledge when it comes to watercolor masking. Thanks so much for watching. I will catch you guys in
another video very soon.

59 thoughts on “ULTIMATE Watercolor Masking Test – 14 types of watercolor paper!

  1. This was quite the experiment! Thank you! I just bought the contact paper so I’m looking forward to giving it a try. Looks like the masking fluid did the job well on all papers. I’ve only used that in the past. Thanks again. Lots of great info.

  2. I think the seeping on the word masks was probably because you were having trouble getting them to stick. Thanks for the comparisons!

  3. This was great! I love comparative "experiments". Thanks for taking the time to do this and for being so thorough. I especially appreciated your findings on the black watercolor paper. I had just recently been wondering if there was a watercolor paper in black that would work well with mica watercolors such as Finetec. I have purchased some Strathmore black mixed media paper, but have not yet had a chance to try it out. Anyway…I do blather on.

  4. Thanks for sharing your results. You give us great information which saves us time and helps use our supplies more efficiently!

  5. it would be fun to start a card club where we all craft a card leave it blank and send it to another lady/guy in the club so they can regift it someone else, do a card a month and make sure each person has a buddy so everyone making a card and sending one out is receiving a card too!

  6. Isn't maskingfluids liquid latex? What I've foundis that they are the same and at least with latex you need to throw it away every 6months or so because it starts to rot. Latex is gum and gum when rotting starts to smell. Might be that one of your maskingfluids is just older than the other. But I might be wrong too.

  7. This video is awesome! TFS!
    I’ve always heard tthat rubber cement can be used for masking, is this true? I’ve never tried it.

  8. Erasing on the Stonehenge black watercolor paper also takes up some of the paper. Thanks for this great test . I think the results will inform me on what mask I'll use in the future. Thanks for sharing this video ♥️😊

  9. Thank you so much for this comparison video. It's really helpful to help me decide what to purchase. I hope you do more!

  10. Thanks for a very useful video. Even though I do have some masking fluid it's good to know that the gina k masking paper and even contact can be used as well, the slight fuzziness of the edges looks like you've taken the time to paint carefully around an outline and adds to the hand painted look very nicely.

  11. Dear Kristina thank you for this great "experiment" video! You were very thorough as you tested so many different combinations of papers and masking types and this is very helpful! ❤❤❤❤

  12. Great comparisons***You are a very talented water colorist and I really appreciate the fact that you share your talent and also offer budget friendly options***I love the look of watercolor on stamped images for cards and I have began trying my hand at it***Have you tried masking with vinyl?

  13. Excellent video! Thank you for using your watercoloring experience to truly judge how the various masking methods work. Very helpful indeed for me as a new card maker with little of my own experience. Love your patient teaching method.

  14. I noticed that if I use my heat gun to long on the masking tape it melts the glue and the tape then comes off on it’s own… just an idea for the black paper….

  15. Absolutely useful! Thank you for sharing your results! Watercolor is one of my favorite mediums. Paint on, sweet sister!

  16. Kristina this was such a great video! I’ve always love comparison videos, this has to be one of my favorites! 💗Not only is it extremely informative, but bright and colorful too! I would love to see another one with any other kinds of masking paper. Jennifer M had recommended in 2018 the Avery 8 1/2 x 11 adhesive I.d. Labels for masking. I know this works great with ink pads, but never dared to try with watercolor. I also recently bought a masking pen but have not tried it yet. Maybe if you have enough viewers that would like you to try a bunch of oother masking mediums, I’d love these 2 to be added to the list if you decide to do it. Thank you so much for taking all the time for making this video and all the others that you do. PS I would love to know what your top five favorite watercolor papers are? There’s a watercolor artist that has her top-five/top 10 favorite watercolors that she swatches and reviews, her name is Denise (I’m drawing a blank of her channel,s name) I know these are some of her most popular videos. Again thank you so much, Liz😊💗

  17. I love when you share your experiences. It's so interesting and helpful to make a decision what's the best buy. Thank you so much!!! ❤️❤️❤️

  18. GREAT video on these comparisons….I know we all learned a lot! Really appreciate your time and effort…thank you.

  19. I’m grateful to you Kristina for taking the time to look into this issue for us!!! I feel more prepared for which paper & masking product to use together. Blessings & hugs!!!

  20. Thank you for doing this Kristina, FYI-i have pebeo drawing gum but mine is light blue,not gray. So weird. I appreciate the time it took to do this comparison!tfs🙏💕

  21. I don't do much water coloring, but this was really interesting. Makes me think about paper choices for different things. I have two that I use for alcohol markers, but, now, I have information for when I do decide to pull out my water based markers, and play with mixed media. Thanks so much for taking the time to put this together!!!!!

  22. Just having all those swatches together is beautiful.
    The word “trust” started looking wrong to me after seeing it so much! Strange way our minds play with us.

  23. I’m probably spelling it wrong but I’m wondering if the molotow masking pen also has an odor and if you think it works the same. I don’t own a liquid masking product.

  24. Thank you so much for the tip about the dish soap. Now I will use my liquid mask more. And thanks for taking the time for the comparisons.

  25. Very informative. Do you know if Stonehenge is the only manufacturer that makes black water color paper? I've wonder about using black media for light water coloring, basically would it work. Thank so much for sharing.

  26. Kristina, this was such a worthwhile comparison and video. I never would have thought there's such a discrepancy between papers and masking methods. Who knew!  

    I saw someone else on YouTube make her own black watercolor paper by using black watercolor grounds. I know nothing about this, but after it dried she did beautiful iridescent work on it. Any idea if it would rip similarly to the black paper you have with masking paper? If you know anything about the grounds, maybe a video about that???  

    Right now my art room is dismantled and in the middle of my living room as I finally broke down and put in thermal curtain on the exterior wall (long story). Anyway, once my room is back in order, I'm definitely going to test my papers and masking methods. I can't remember brands but I have at least a couple other than Gina K's Masking Magic.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! If anyone tests Eclipse tape, or other brands of masking paper, I'm interested in the results. You rock!

  27. Ooohhhh! Black watercolor sounds like fun! (Bummer that it tore, though) I’d still love to try it, but probably not with masking.

  28. Thank you, Kristina, for such a thorough comparison/review! Good to know these things. But now I'm even more frustrated with my liquid masking. I have tried Winsor & Newton, Grumbacher, and some off-brand stuff that came in a needle-tip bottle from Hobby Lobby. I have NEVER had good luck with any of them. I've tried student papers, artist papers, thin coat, thick coat, shorter drying times, longer drying times. (I have always let it dry thoroughly, though, as well as let the painting dry thoroughly before attempting to remove the masking.) The paper ALWAYS rips when I remove it! Seeing you taking the masking fluid off so easily, well…. I did have a thought now, though. I know you live in Utah, which is a dry climate. I'm in East Texas, which is considerably more humid. Even though we run our air conditioning in the summer, the humidity can still be kind of high. Could that affect the masking fluid & contribute to it ripping the paper? If so, I guess I need to give up on it. 🙁 Super disappointing! Anyway, I'd really appreciate any thoughts you might have. I may google it, too. Thank you for sharing, and I hope you have a wonderful day! 🙂

  29. Thank you so much for this comparison. It's really helpful to see all those differences and make a good decision on which to use.

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