Today was the second week spent on this project. I demonstrated how to use and create a "floating" mask. A floating mask is simply a mask that does not make use of an adhesive to hold the mask in place. I wanted to mask the face in my painting so I could add impasto texture to the background without having to worry about painting around the face.
To create my floating mask I first used a piece of tracing paper to trace the outline of the face. I put the tracing paper down onto a piece of palette paper and used an xacto knife to cut through both tracing paper and palette paper along my traced outline. Then I set the tracing paper aside and used the palette paper to cover the face of my painting. Palette paper works well because it is non-absorbant and so doesn't warp when you get paint on it. With the palette paper covering (masking) the face I used a palette knife to apply a thick layer of paint. It was a floating mask, meaning it had no adhesive on the back to keep it in place so I had to keep my hand on it to make sure it didn't move around. I also was careful to start my strokes with the palette knife on the paper pushing out off the paper to try and avoid pushing paint under the papers edge.
Once I was satisfied with the way the paint looked I carefully lifted off the palette paper to see how it looked. There were areas were the paint had squished under the edge of the floating mask but it didn't look bad so I left it. If you want a more precise edge you would want to use a mask with an adhesive back like "Frisket Film".
Next week will be our last week on this project. I will be using oil paint to polish the face a little. I will be demonstrating transparent (glazing) and opaque paint application techniques.