Lightning Strikes – Masking Fluid and Spectrum Noir Ink Refills

Isn’t masking fluid fun?Lightening

Sometimes yes and sometimes no.

This painting of lightning was a great way to study masking fluid techniques, introduce Spectrum Noir Refills and use lifting to get the light right.

I created several videos of the process with beginning inkers in mind.

Here are the videos in a playlist.

Or you can pick which ones to watch here:

Step 1: Tracing From A Reference Photo – This is a chance to see using carbon paper to trace from a reference photo.

Step 2: Protect Your Brush When Masking – It helps to see how much soap and water you should put on your brush to protect it when using masking fluid.

Step 3: Applying Masking Fluid

  • With a skewer
  • With a brush
  • How to know where you’ve masked.

Step 4: Welcome to Spectrum Noir Refills

Spectrum Noir Refills are another brand of alcohol inks.  The refills are very intense with little alcohol and have a eye dropper for application.  I find them more cost effective than Adirondacks as their list price is $5.95 for 1 ounce vs. $3.49 for 1/2 ounce of Adirondacks.  If you have never used them before this will be helpful to watch how they move as I paint in the background.  Here’s a link to their colors at Dick Blick.

Step 5: Removing Masking Fluid with Tweezers

Because the lightning lines were so small I used tweezers to pull it up.  I found that the metal of the tweezers worked really well and I didn’t have to always pinch to get it off.

If you look at the finished painting there were more steps to take.  This is what I did.

ShadingThe masking fluid lines were too stark so I used a brush to add a bit of color into the lines and to soften the edges.

Lightning GlowThe light in the clouds needed to be enhanced so I used the Chameleon Blender pen to lift and lighten.

I hope this information will be helpful to you.


2 thoughts on “Lightning Strikes – Masking Fluid and Spectrum Noir Ink Refills

  1. Cora May 11, 2015 / 6:14 pm

    Sheryl, I love seeing these videos of how to use various paints and things to create your paintings. I never knew to use soap on my brush to protect it from masking fluid. I have been using a fine crochet hook to do fine lines as it pulls right off the hook whenever I need to clean it. and it has worked for me as well. I will be using the soap now and I bought the markers but not refills – I will have to get some to try! Oh the possibilities!!! 🙂 Thanks!


    • sherylwil May 11, 2015 / 6:37 pm

      That is fantastic. It’s so much better to see the refills in motion and to be able to watch it all happen.


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