In the last post I mentioned leaving a white border on my paintings as a form of frame to give the painting a finished look. As I use ‘loose’ canvas, I have to anchor it to a solid surface and I use masking tape. I will leave about a quarter inch edge on the canvas. Obviously this only works if you are using ‘loose’ canvas or a board. Its amazing how better the painting looks when the tape is removed at the end of the painting session. If you have a lot of paintings you don’t intend to frame, but like to display, the white clean edge is a lovely finish.
There is another advantage to using masking tape, especially for beginners. There is, what can be described as the ‘edge-of-the-painting-syndrome’, where the painter’s brush stops short before the edge of the painting. The final painting will have an area around the outside which will be partially painted or have the obvious brush strokes of afterthought repair work. It’s easy to get into the habit of painting onto the tape before lifting the brush and this solves the problem.
Only one word of caution when using masking tape. This concerns the glue on the tape. Solvents can dissolve the glue and if it mixes with the paint, can stop it from drying. I’ve noticed this when I leave the tape on the painting for long periods. The painting will be dry but the paint at the edge of the tape will still be wet. A big problem at the ‘oiling out’ or varnishing stage. This wet paint will have to be wiped off with solvent and another period of drying will be necessary. Probably the glue has drying retarders which also work on paint or varnish.
Here is the video of the painting process. Remember there is loads of solvent at the beginning and this causes the paint to flow here and there. There is less at the end, but still no medium.
Do you have a particular tape you use? Do you think that the green or blue ‘painters tape’ is better than the regular beige coloured masking tape? I had an instructor that felt that the surround of coloured tape effected the colour used in the painting…
I use the standard ‘house painters’ masking tape. I think a coloured tape might affect the colour scheme, subconsciously. Having said that, I use a wooden palette which is a dark brown colour. I have heard some people say this is not good for colour accuracy in mixes and I occasionally have to adjust colour when its placed on the canvas. But this maybe, is the critical difference, the colours are assessed in situ and a coloured surround might have an effect here.
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