Masking the Moon

I’ve been working through the paperwork necessary to move home over the last few days so I’ve not been able to concetrate on painting in the same way I normally do.  Today I did an experiment with masking fluid.  I’ve not used it before and I wanted ot see what it’s like so I decided to do a simple seascape of the moon sitting low over the sea.  It’s not so much a painting as an experiment.

I began with some structural lines and developed them into a simple sketch to support my painting:

structural sketch

Then I painted on the masking fluid with an old brush I don’t use for painting anymore.  This was trickier than I expected – the fluid is all gloopy and doesn’t flow properly.

masking fluid painted on

Then came the good bit – doing a colourful wash for the sea and sky:


I tried to make the sky smoother and the sea with more visible horizontal strokes.  Then I had a nice cup of tea while the whole thing dried off.

Once it was dry I rubbed the masking fluid and it came off.  It’s a bit like removing dried PVA glue but not as sticky or as solid.

Then I painted the moon.  I tried to follow the real dark and light pattern on our actual moon but the paint did what it wanted so it wasn’t very accurate.  Here’s the result:



As soon as I’d finished I could see errors in my picture.  I’m going to list those I can remember here:

  1. Colours at the horizon should get less intense not more.
  2. Colour near the horizon should get lighter, not darker.
  3. If I’d have picked up the white highlights in the sea and joined them to painted ripples it could have been much more effective.
  4. If I’d have painted a small boat sillouette near the top right of the moon’s reflection I think it would have turned a boring picture into something a bit more effective.  I think having something out there would kind of draw the viewer into the scene much more.

All of that said I did learn a lot with this one!  🙂


8 thoughts on “Masking the Moon

  1. Your after painting reflections (pun intended) are great. Putting a boat in the scene would also give it perspective…that is to show how big the moon is. Love that you give things a go though. You are more courageous than me.

    Liked by 1 person

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