Kelley Jones’ Batman

I wanted to paint a super hero as a present for my (first) godson’s 14 year-old birthday. He was going to get a real present, of course (grin). I went with a dark and pointy version of Batman by Kelley Jones, reminiscent of a genie out of a bottle.
I wanted to paint the black around him. I started with pencil sketching on a thick watercolor paper:
pencil sketch on a thick watercolor paper of a Batman with very sharp angles and standing on a sort of cloud
Then I used masking fluid. This time I did not add any water. It had been painstakingly long and tedious to peel it off the last time I tried this. And given the thin white lines I was aiming for, I didn’t use a brush, but … a toothpick. After a loooong time I was done and I framed the painting with masking tape:

I prepared a wash of lamp black and stroked with a synthetic and quite large flat brush. It was barely grey, so while the paper was still wet I added pure black, and another time , and another time. After the paper had dried, I peeled off the gum. It took me an hour. Tedious and painstaking again. I have no idea what I am doing wrong, and it’s possible the fluid I have is too old (I’ve had it for twenty years), or it’s my Hannemühle paper that isn’t right, but clearly this isn’t supposed to be so hard. Anyway, here goes the result:
Black paint applied all over. Masking fluid peeled off. Signature and date added in white at the bottom right. The Masking tape is still in place.
And here is the final result once fitted in its 20×30 cm frame:

Art: Daisies

In trying to master how to use masking fluid, I painted daisies. Here’s the pencil sketch:
Rough pencil sketch to mark where the daisies are.

I poured masking fluid in a small container, added a bit of water and applied it on paper using an old brush:
Pale green masking fluid that looks shiny under the light.

Once the fluid was dry, a used a wash of sap green and another of ultramarine, making sure to paint over the fluid but avoiding the center, so that areas between the petals that were not protected would be colored:
Watercolour wash in blue and green, still wet on paper.

Once dried, I peel the fluid off the petals, leaving the dots at the center untouched. The dry fluid had turned into some rubber-like gum. Unfortunately, a fair amount of paper was torn in the process:

For the shadows on the petals I used light blue, thin violet, some of my ultramarine wash. I used yellow at the center:

To the yellow I added some burnt sienna and a bit of red, I painted the stem with two shades of green, and once the paper was dry, peeled off the remaining dots of gum at the center:

Here is the result (9×14 cm), framed (15×20.5 cm), and ready to be given to Caroline as a gift:

Goldfish triptych

The exercise consisted in using masking fluid to paint the blue backgrounds and save the white for the goldfish:
Three postcard sized watercolour sheets where I drew the shapes of goldfish and painted the background in light blue. The watercolour pans, brush and water glass are visible.

The masking fluid was painstakingly slow to peel off, left some residue and I ended up scraping paper a bit in places:

Scrapped paper and residue of the green masking fluid that would not be removed

I filled the first goldfish with black ink from a Pentel Brushpen (which is awesome for very thin lines as well as large areas) after painting the fins, tail, eyes and mouth in bright orange watercolor:

The second and third goldfish were a mix of bright orange watercolor, black on some fins, eye and mouth, and to cover the masking fluid residue I applied a layer of white watercolor paint:

I framed those and painted the frame bright orange as well before adding a layer of varnish: