Mask-erade: Day 3 – Recovering from Disaster

Wow, I can’t believe the Mask-erade class over at Online Card Classes is almost half over already! I’ve learned so much already, so I’m definitely looking forward to learning even more over the next few days.

The topic for day three was all about liquid masking. The instructors for this lesson were Jennifer McGuire, Shari Carroll, and Debby Hughes. I was really excited for this topic as I had never worked with liquid masks before, but have really been wanting to try them as they’re great for watercoloring techniques when a paper mask wouldn’t really work.

I definitely had quite the learning experience with my homework for this lesson. I had a major masking failure to the point that I was ready to just toss the card panel and start all over. Thankfully, in the back of my mind, I heard all the voices of cardmaking bloggers/vloggers who continually talk about regrouping and just making it work when you have a mistake, so that’s exactly what I did. Here’s my finished card:

Mask-erade Online Card ClassWhile it isn’t exactly what I had planned (a single layer card), and doesn’t really display any actual masking to the visible eye, I was still pleased with the final card in the end. Ultimately, that’s all that really matters. As for how I got to the final card, well, that was an interesting journey.

Mask-erade Online Card ClassSince I was planning to watercolor my background, I needed to stamp my yoga girl image on to some watercolor paper. For this card, I used the Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor Paper and Archival Black ink from Close to My Heart. The yoga girl is from the Work Out stamp set from Simon Says Stamp. Since I was stamping on watercolor paper, I decided to use my MISTI stamping tool for this step. It can be very challenging to get a good crisp image on watercolor paper, so using the MISTI gave me the ability to stamp the image a second time and have it land in the exact same place. That’s one of my favorite features about the MISTI!

Mask-erade Online Card ClassOnce I had the image stamped, I taped the watercolor paper down to a wooden art board with some painter’s tape. I colored the image using Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens and one of my Aquash water brushes. To see the colors I used, click on the photo to view a larger image. The color names are on the barrels of the pen.

Mask-erade Online Card ClassNext, I applied a layer of Fineline masking fluid over my entire stamped image. I did this so I could watercolor the background without the worry of messing up my coloring job. In retrospect, I should have reversed this process. I should have stamped the image, masked off the stamped image before coloring, created the watercolor background, unmask the image, and then color the image. This would have been much smarter!

Mask-erade Online Card ClassAnd now, you can clearly see why it would have been smarter! I completed the watercolor background using the Zig pens again in Orange, Bright Yellow, and Yellow as I wanted to create a bit of a sunrise background. I also used a bit of Gray Brown to create the ground beneath her.

As I was removing the liquid mask once the background was dry, it pulled up part of the paper even as carefully and slowly as I was trying to remove it. So, all the time I spent coloring was wasted at this point. I posted the photo on Instagram and Debby, one of the instructors, mentioned that it may have happened due to the extra moisture that was in the paper since I colored the image first. That makes complete sense, so I definitely won’t be doing that again!

Mask-erade Online Card ClassAfter spending about 15-20 minutes being sad and frustrated, I decided to regroup. I took a bit of the orange Zig pen and tried to patch up the background as best I could. I then stamped the image again on a piece of Hammermill 80 lb Color Copy Digital Cover. This is a new paper I picked up recently that works really well for Copic marker coloring. I colored her in again. Here are the Copic colors I used:

  • Hair: E33, E35, E37, E29
  • Skin: E51, E11, BV00, R20
  • Lips: RV02, RV04
  • Tank top & pants: C3, C5, C7
  • Top: RV02, RV04, RV06

I adhered her to the background panel using some 3D foam squares making sure to line her up carefully to cover the original stamped image and then went over her pink topic with a generous coating of clear Wink of Stella glitter brush pen. I stamped one of the sentiments from the Work Out stamp set onto the background using Versafine Onyx Black ink. Lastly, I adhered the whole panel to my card base made from Smoke Gray cardstock from Simon Says Stamp.

While there was a lot of disappointment along the way, I’m actually quite happy with how this lesson turned out for me. In addition to working with a new technique (liquid masking), I also learned two valuable lessons — 1) color the image AFTER removing the mask, and 2) I can recover from a card disaster and still end up with a usable card in the end. As recently as just a few months ago, today’s error would have devastated me and I would have just chucked the card and started over again. Realizing I have the skills to cope with such a major failure and regroup is a very big deal to me and probably the most valuable of the lessons I learned yesterday.

Once again, here’s how it all turned out in the end.

Mask-erade Online Card ClassUntil next time …



  1. Rubeena says:

    Love your card so much! I love that workout girl πŸ™‚ I mean, she’s meditating girl πŸ˜‰ I have made many mistakes, too. It’s okay! that’s how we learn πŸ˜€ have a better crafting day today πŸ™‚

  2. Irene says:

    What a fun, peaceful card! I can only imagine how frustrating that must have been. I used Liquid Frisket on my watercolored images with no problems. Perhaps it was the difference in product or the fact that I heat set the image before applying the liquid masking. This is all such a learning process. Love your final result!

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks, Irene! πŸ™‚ I definitely want to play around with this technique some more to try and figure out where I went wrong so I can avoid this issue in the future. As much as I love to watercolor, figuring this technique out will help me tremendously!

  3. Regina Cooper says:

    Great card! I am also trying to learn to recover and fix my mistakes along the way and save the card. You did an awesome job. Thank you for teaching me the right way to do it because I am new at using this product.

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