Whenever you are working on a project for a client, it is very important to keep it as professional as possible. One way to achieve this is to have clean borders, depending on what you are working on of course, not everything is going be boxed in; some elements may break the border, while others might reach the end of the page or canvas.
Some helpful tips on keeping your border sharp & clean:
1. Masking Fluid: Great for small or awkward shapes. Though I do not recommend this for airbrushing as it can peel the surrounding paint. It is a white, goop like consistency during application that hardens to yellow-ish rubber. There is an eye dropper attached to the lid, you can use this but I would recommend using an old paintbrush for more detailed areas.
I use Dr. Ph. Martin’s Masking Fluid, don’t let the aroma fool you, it is a great masking tool!
2. Transfer Tape by EM Plastic (4″ roll): This tape is ‘semi-transparent’ so it is easier to see what shapes you need to cut out once applied. Take an x-acto knife & lightly (emphasis on the lightly! as if you are scoring the tape, you do NOT want to slice your illustration underneath) slice the tape, masking the areas you do not want contaminated.
It is excellent for protecting certain areas of a project while airbrushing.
3. Good Ole Fashion Tape! Masking or Painter’s Tape To Be Precise: This is excellent for taping off borders, but be sure to stick the tape to your pants or shirt before applying to some surfaces – it can tear the top surface texture (i.e. illustration board) if it is too sticky.
Masking & painter’s tape is the easiest material to find anywhere!
4. Removing Techniques: Once your illustration is complete (and dry!) slowly peel off the tape; it is best to not rip off or lift the tape vertically when peeling but to slowly peel horizontally or at an angle, protecting your surface from tearing. As for the masking fluid, just rub it off with your fingers or an eraser.
Masking Materials from left to right: Transfer Tape, Dr. Ph. Martin’s Masking Fluid, 3M Masking Tape
Wet Masking Fluid
Dry Masking Fluid
Gather lint from your clothes to prevent tape from tearing the surface
Taped Illustration, taped a bit away from the sketched boarder to pull the watercolour closer to the edge
Freshly Painted/Wet Buffalo
Remember to slowly remove the tape horizontally or at a slight angle, never straight vertical
Completed Illustration by Noelle Fontaine
Here is the finished look of the featured illustration by Noelle Fontaine
Clean lines make for a beautiful presentation while keeping the illustration professional. Keep you client in mind, would you want to invest in a piece that is sloppily put together? Craftsmanship is key, show that you take pride in your work!
For further information about the materials used for the featured illustration check out my last post Water Colour Pencils you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter for instant illustration updates.
Thank you for reading 🙂