Today we continued working on the project we started last class. I demonstrated a couple masking techniques: 1. using masking tape for sharp straight edges 2. "floating mask" which means the thing we use to mask does not have any adhesive to hold it down.
Masking is a very simple concept and I think some of you got confused during my demonstration because I was too wordy in my explanation. Basically masking in art is the same thing as a doctor or workman putting on a mask. We are using something to protect part or all of our artwork. The areas of the artwork that are covered are "masked".
In my demonstration I used really thin masking tape to mask off one of my pieces of collage (above-right) and to mask a straight line in the middle of the other (above-left) collage. After putting down the masking tape I covered the edge of the tape with some matte medium. The matte medium will creep under the edge of the tape a little and help seal that edge so when I paint with color I won't get little globs of color sneaking under the edge of the tape - you get a cleaner line this way.
Once the matte medium dried I used the pointy side of the brush to make a pattern of orange and yellow dots. In the above-right collage the masking tape protected one of the larger yellow pieces of paper from my dot pattern and made the pattern appear to go behind that shape. In the above-left collage I made a very transparent yellow by adding a lot of matte medium to the color. I also tore a piece of paper to create a "floating mask" this just means that I put the torn piece of paper down on my collage to cover the part I didn't want painted. So on one side I had the masking tape creating a sharp edge and the other side I had the jagged edge of the torn piece of paper. I painting my transparent yellow on the part of my collage that was exposed between the two masked areas. It is very subtle but if you look close you can see the part of the collage with a yellow glaze - sharp top edge and jagged lower edge.
There are a lot of ways to create and use masks. Just remember that it simply refers to anything you do to cover/protect one part of your artwork so you can work more freely on a specific area of your composition or so only the exposed areas are affected by alterations you make.
Said too much again!