Fun & frustration

Finally finished my niece's birthday present (see beginnings here) but not without a bit of bewilderment, foot stomping, and yes, admittedly, cursing. This was my first attempt at using masking fluid (I can hear the collective groan). Although I love the effects - it is so exciting to peel back that weird stuff to reveal the pristine white paper beneath it - it is a pain in the %$!!! to apply. My problem is I don't paint fast enough, so it starts drying on the brush before I can finish and then creates this goopy mess which is too hard to paint with. Luckily I found out that turpentine dissolves it completely which is great, cause I thought I was sending that brush to the bin, but I'm not sure how I'll get around having to turp it out multiple times per painting! Any tips from fluid gurus out there?

So anyway, here is attempt #1. I was trying to use gouache how it is 'supposed' to be used (I tend to use it more like watercolours) - but apparently it's good for creating flat, even colour. It is for a baby's room after all so I wanted it to be simple shapes and bright colours. But I'm not very good at doing the flat colour thing. I also did the koala and platy too dark. And then added my 'normal' ink lines on top for the kookaburra but it is too dark for this. so. take 1.

Take 2 I got the colours right, still not completely flat, but I'm happy enough. I used coloured pencil for the linework, and I think it works a lot better for this piece.

So, this will be off to the framers. I think I'll actually be able to mail this on time for once! I hope they like it...