I tried a new masking fluid recently and preferred it to my original, so I’m sharing. The one on the left (Winsor & Newton) cost more and is colorless, so it’s harder to see on Yupo and on top of dried alcohol inks, which are somewhat glossy. It also ruined pretty much every brush I used with it and dried too fast (on the paper, this is a good thing – but I mean it dried too fast and/or got “boogery” on my palette before I could paint it on.) Also, it takes an act of congress to get the lid off every time I want to use it, despite the fact that I have cleaned the inside of the lid and the top of the bottle several times.
The masking fluid on the right costs at $2-$3 less for the same amount. I found it at (drum roll, please) Wal-Mart. I was skeptical. (Sorry, Wal-Mart.) But it performs better – stays wet on the palette longer and still dries quickly on paper. The yellow tint makes it easier to see, and I have not seen any yellow residue left behind on white paper…and I pile the stuff on pretty thick in some instances. The smell is a little worse than the one on the left, but it’s a small price to pay for better results. I have found that when I use white, synthetic brushes with this masking fluid, I CAN clean the brushes and re-use them, so that’s a total win.
Ultimately, the moment of “reveal” is the most important, and the Daler Rowney masking fluid (on right) has proven to be more reliable in leaving behind few to no boo-boos. It’s also easier to remove. Daler Rowney wins.
I’m sure I’ll try other brands and types as I continue to experiment, but this is where I am with masking fluid for now.