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21  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Re: Iron Man Mark II Arc Reactor (with process pics, of course!) on: February 14, 2013 10:56:09 AM
Nope, no wholesale mesh here. The center piece is a bell-style faucet aerator. Included in the package are several pieces of wire mesh in a few different degrees of fine-ness, as well as several other parts that ended up being crucial to the final look of the arc reactor. I used two of the pieces of mesh that were included, one finer than the other, and fit them together with the pattern offset.

I found my faucet head in a box of spare parts in the garage, but you can get them at your local hardware store for a few bucks. Look for the one labelled "designer bell-style faucet aerator" (like this, although mine was polished nickel, not polished brass).

22  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Re: "Alive," final piece in Sentient Machinery collection- lots of process pics!! on: January 14, 2013 03:28:57 PM
Yay, thank you!
23  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Iron Man and Captain America cross-stitch iPhone case. on: November 10, 2012 07:00:37 PM
I love it, what a great idea! Where did you find the case? Stony is nice, but I may have to make myself a Science Bros case, lol. Smiley
24  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Re: Iron Man Mark II Arc Reactor (with process pics, of course!) on: October 28, 2012 01:38:47 PM
Thanks, everyone! I always love when people share some how-to or process photos when they post their projects, so I try to do the same (yeah, I know I tend to go overboard, lol). I've seen some really great arc reactors out there, but it bugs me how many cosplayers are so secretive of the construction process, like it's a trade secret or something. Everyone should have their very own arc reactor!

I'm really excited about getting the rest of the costume done (I wish it could've been before Halloween, but alas...). I've got the guts of my old computer torn up, the flash components from two cameras, and a whole mess of EL light wire and aluminum stripping all ready to go into the gauntlets. I'm looking forward to some nice cozy fall nights holed up in the workshop (or my "lab" as I like to call it) making this costume come to life. 
25  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Iron Man Mark II Arc Reactor (with process pics, of course!) on: October 22, 2012 09:57:46 PM
OK everyone, I finally have a moment to breathe, so heres a little (i.e. extremely long and detailed) tutorial about how I made my Iron Man Mark II arc reactor, with tons of pics and thorough descriptions of the process!

I am a ridiculous fan of Iron Man and all things Marvel Comics as well as costuming, so I decided to make Tony Stark's mech test framework as seen in Iron Man I; just the arc reactor, gauntlet and arm frame, and palm repulsors for now, the boots are going to be a Christmas break project (gauntlets are currently a WIP). Smiley Ooooh, and I'm so excited about the palm repulsors, I'm rigging up a camera flash so that even though they'll glow with continuous LED's, when I cock my hand back, they'll also flash like a boss. Squee!! Anyway! On to the arc reactor!

This will eventually be the end result:


I had all these materials in my garage, but you can get them all at your local hardware store, I estimate that the materials will cost $30-50, depending on how fancy you get.


    -Clear acrylic patio table ring with plug (mine came from a pool and patio store, you can also order one here, make sure it has the ring and the center plug)

    -Large staples like what you use in a staple gun (mine were 9/16 or 14mm)

    -Designer bell-style faucet aerator

    -Either individual LEDs with necessary resistors, wiring and tape (try Radio Shack, remember not to use acid core solder), OR ribbon-style pre-wired LEDs from your local auto supply store, like these Flex-LEDs

    -24 gauge copper wire

    -22 gauge brass wire

    -A round mirror about the same size as the acrylic plug (I popped mine out of a makeup compact, it was about 2 in diameter)

    -Plastic regular size mason jar lid (my local hardware store sells these individually, farm supply stores tend to have them pretty cheap, too), like these

    -Solder with flux or acid core (or Tacky Glue and silver metallic paint, Ill get to that later),

    -Black craft paint

    -Silver and gold metallic nail polish (I used Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Celeb City and Golden-I, just make sure its a very fine, very concentrated flake that looks more like metal than glitter)

    -Clear nail polish

    -Wire coat hanger

    -Super glue

    -Hot glue

    -Three very small screws

    -Some kind of thin but stiff plastic that you can cut with an X-acto knife, like the cover of a 5-Star notebook


    -Hot glue gun


    -Paddle drill bit large enough to fit inside the center of the acrylic plug

    -Drill bit small enough for your three tiny screws

    -Soldering Iron

    -Needle-nose pliers

    -Wire cutters (or just use the cutter part of the pliers)

    -Very fine-tipped paintbrush

    -Ruler with inches and mm

    -Fine metal file

    -X-acto knife

    -AC/DCs Back in Black to help you get into the right frame of mind Smiley

OK, so start by spreading all your materials out on the dining room table, so when your husband/wife/partner/parents/roommate comes home, theyll have something suitable to freak out about. Assure them that the mess definitely wont still be there three weeks after youve finished the project. Now that the mess is out of the bag, put on your jams (or the Iron Man movie) and make yourself a snack and a gin and tonic. Youve done a good job so far!

Now you want to separate the acrylic plug from the ring, and drill out the center of the plug. I recommend not doing this at the table, and using a clamp would probably be a lot safer than just holding it with your fingers (who says I did that? Nobody saw anything). Youll see in the following pic that my paddle bit wasnt quite big enough (you want the hole big enough that the wide end of the faucet can nestle loosely inside). I cleaned it up later and made it more round with my X-acto and file.

The ring part has two lips, youll want to trim one of them off with the X-acto knife. In this pic, you can see that the plug has been drilled out (left), the ring has been trimmed and Ive started with the staples (right), and the piece of ring that I trimmed off is in the upper right corner.

I used the staples to create segments for the copper wire, so it looked more like the wire was part of something that could actually conduct a current, rather than just wrapped around a patio table ring. So that the staples stayed in place, I trimmed each with my wire cutters so it didnt extend past the end of the inner part of the ring, then bent a corner so it would stay in place. Once I pressed each into place, I used my pliers to crimp the bent part into place so it wouldnt budge. I made 18 even segments (9 segments of copper, use your ruler to make sure theyre evenly spaced) so the 3 prongs of the final piece each line up with a copper segment (looks more intentional that way, rather than just decorative, youll see when I get to that step).

Using your black craft paint, paint several layers of black on every other segment on both the front and back, so the light wont shine through the wires and make it look inauthentic.Try to avoid getting paint on the staples.

When the paint is dry, start wrapping every other segment with the copper wire, trying to keep it smooth, tight, and even, bumping each piece up against each other (there will have to be some overlap to cover all the black, since its a radial shape rather than linear shape). I anchored the wire ends on the back of the staples, and tucked the ends under, as you can see here.

Ta-da! Time for another drink and Iron Man II!

Now comes the fun part (or frustrating part, depending on how many gin and tonics youve had by now). Youll want to cut little tiny pieces of the brass wire, so that you can solder them to the staples. If you dont have flux or an acid core in your solder, it wont want to stick, and youll end up with drops of solder stuck to everything but what you want it to stick to. ANYWAY. I purposely didnt get too tidy here, I wanted it to look like it was made under duress in a cave with a box of scraps.

You can also use Tacky Glue to glue the wire bits on, then paint the globs of glue with silver paint or nail polish once its dried. I like to make things difficult on myself, so I used the random unlabelled solder I found in the garage, because I like to make 15 trips to the hardware store to track down the right kind when the first kind didnt work. The second pic shows that I put the plug back in place to make sure that I didnt put the brass wires too close to the center for it to fit. The plug will be a tight fit with all the staples and copper wire, so just be firm but gentle to get it back into place.

Now take the plug back out, because were going to paint the black perforated ring. I looked all over the garage, hardware store, craft store, and interwebz for an appropriate substitute to no avail, so I decided that I would just have to break out my mad paint skillz and make it happen. So I just free-handed a black ring with holes with several coats of black, then coated it in clear nail polish to seal it in.

OK, this next pic shows two steps. First is making the plug that you just painted look like an actual, oxidized piece of metal. To do that, I dipped my finger in a little bit of the silver nail polish and rubbed it around the surface of the plug, concentrating most of it around the outer edge. Dont be afraid to get messy, you can wipe excess off with a damp paper towel. Imperfect is the goal here, you want it to look naturally oxidized.

The other bit in the pic is from the faucet aerator. If you unscrew the back and take it apart, you should end up with two silver metal pieces, two mesh screens, two clear acrylic washers, and 2-3 plastic pieces. Dont lose any of it, and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, remember how you took them apart so you dont waste 45 minutes fumbling like an idiot because theres a thousand different ways they could possibly go together and you dont remember which of those ways is correct!

I used the gold nail polish to paint the plastic pieces (they hold the mesh in place and are visible in the final product, so I wanted them to look like metal (gold-titanium alloy, maybe? Eh? Eh?). When the nail polish was dry, I dipped my finger in a little of the black craft paint, and rubbed it into the crevices and textured bits (wiping away excess with a damp paper towel), so it also looks oxidized.

You really want to use your fingers for these steps, a brush is too precise and wont give it that built-in-a-cave, battle-damaged, oxidized look.

Now were going to make a spring to go around the faucet. Its not really part of the original design, but it hides some of the LED guts, adds a nice textural element, and diffuses the light a little. I made two springs, but well worry about the other later.

Get your hanger (NO WIRE HANGERS!! JK, you need one here), and cut the long straight part off. Hold the end firmly with one end of the copper wire, and wrap it tightly around the hanger, keeping it tightly and closely coiled. I suppose I made about a 2 coil, but I stretched it a smidge to open the coils and trimmed some, so YMMV. I twisted the ends together, then popped it onto the faucet, where it hugged a groove nicely and stayed in place. Never mind the other pieces in the pic, we arent there yet.

Now youll need to reassemble the faucet, leaving off the back metal piece and the solid plastic piece with the stem, since theyll block the light and make it too tall. Eventually youll have to put a drop of super glue around the edge to keep it all together without the back piece, but dont do that yet because youll need to trace part of it in a later step, and youll need to take it apart to do so. Heres the pieces weve done so far assembled. Nothing is glued, theyre just sitting together, just to make sure everything is fitting as it should.

Here it is sitting in the mason jar lid. Theres plenty of wiggle room, but youll need that for the LEDs.

Use your X-acto knife to cut a rectangular hole in the mason jar lid on the side near the base to accommodate the LED wire. Youll be able to kind of see it in the following pics, I tried to make it pretty subtle.

Now you need to paint the entire inside and outside of the lid (not the back that goes against your skin though, if you use spirit gum and actually wear it, it could pull the finish off). Use the silver nail polish for this, it really looks like metal. I used 2-3 coats, and made sure I really got it in all the grooves.

Next it needs to be oxidized (after the polish is dry), so use your fingers and the black craft paint again. Rub the paint all over, concentrating in the grooves, and wiping away excess with a damp paper towel. Streaks, fingerprints, and splotches are all desirable imperfections; remember, were shooting for battle-damaged here.

And its definitely time for another drink, and maybe a pizza.

OK, here is a fiddly bit. I used the stiff plastic cover of my 5-Star notebook to make the little 3-prong cage thing (henceforth referred to as The Assembly) that sits over the top of the center of the reactor. Before I reassembled and glued the faucet, I took the part that holds the mesh in place (the small part thats visible that i painted gold), and traced the inside of the circle onto the plastic.

Now VERY SLOWLY AND PATIENTLY AND CAREFULLY use your X-acto to cut out a circle about 1mm inside what you just traced, then cut out on the line that you just traced. You should now have a ring where the widest diameter is the same size as the smallest diameter of the faucet piece. Still with me? Anyway, you should cut the inside first, because its otherwise impossible to hold onto that little piece and get an even circle.

Now cut three rectangles, about an inch long and 2mm wide. I carved a center groove in each, then painted these and the ring with the gold nail polish, front and back. After they were dry, I burnished each with the black paint as I did in the above steps. The grooves pick up the paint, and make it look like a piece of cast metal.

I super-glued them all together with super glue flat on the table, then glued them to the plug, which I of course dont have a pic of. Note: make sure that when viewed from above, the ring is on top and the prongs are underneath. Since The Assembly was flat on the table, I used the acrylic ring to make sure that the three prongs lined up with a segment of copper (with two copper segments between each prong).

While in that step, I marked on the ring where the prongs would fit, and drilled tiny pilot holes for the screws while the glue dried. Once it was dry, I super-glued The Assembly to the ring, lining the prongs up with the pilot holes and making sure the whole thing was centered (youll need to trim off some excess length, I made it so they ended just under the screw heads).

Once the glue is dry, put in your screws, and re-insert the plug into the ring (very carefully, it will be a tight fit and now theres a bunch of little wires and bits that can be easily dislodged).

See! Its purty!

Now you want to glue your round mirror to the inside bottom of the mason jar lid. I used hot glue for this. My mirror came out of a makeup compact, which I heated up with a heat gun (a blow dryer works too) to loosen the glue.

Whee, its time to wire your LEDs! If you feel like making a circuit board, go ahead. In all honesty, its not that hard, but you need to bone up on some basic electrical skills first, which can be intimidating for a beginner. Heres a nice Instructable if you really want to earn bragging rights. If youre lazy or otherwise time constrained, use the pre-wired strips. You can certainly get more precise placement if you wire them from scratch, but if you put enough reflective surfaces on the inside, it wont matter much. I used the super-bright tape kind from the auto supply store, which have a convenient adhesive strip and can be trimmed to length (dont look directly into them when lit, yo. Seriously, theyre bright. The finished arc reactor will light up the entire room, no joke).

I pulled the strip through the hole that I cut in the lid, and after some measuring and cutting, stuck them around the perimeter so the lights shine inward. The power switch is the kind that you have to keep pressed down, so if you want an on/off switch, you need to rewire one. I got mine at Radio Shack, and now I can turn it on and leave it on.

Get your wire hanger piece and more copper wire out, and make another spring, maybe 5 inches long this time. Twist the ends together, and spot-glue it on top of the LED strip with a very tiny amount of hot glue, so that neither the glue or LED tape will be visible when everything is assembled. The acrylic ring and plug will sit on top of the LEDs, rather than nestle inside, once its all assembled.

OK, now remember how I told you not to lose all the parts of the faucet aerator? In all likelihood you did, and now those extra parts are on the floor or in the cats mouth. You need to find the two clear rubber washers that came in the faucet. Youll super-glue these together, then glue them into the narrow end of the aerator. This will raise it up a little and allow the light to shine through the center; otherwise, the very center of the arc reactor will be dark, and we dont want people to think youre in danger of shrapnel because of a malfunctioning electromagnetic heart.

You may now proceed to super-glue the washers together, then to the faucet, then super-glue the faucet to the very center of the mirror, widest end facing up. Be sure to test the lights first, to make sure they shine through the center. If not, youll need to come up with something else to raise the aerator and let the light shine through.

Now nestle the ring into the mason jar lid, adjusting it to find where it fits most snugly. I lined it up so that one of the prongs of The Assembly pointed down and lined up with where the wire comes out, which I intend to hide in my epic cleavage. Looks a little less random this way. Once you find the right position, spot glue it with hot glue on the back of the copper segments, using an X-acto knife to trim away any visible glue that squeezes out. Youre all done, time for a dance party!

All lit up!

Dont forget to leave your mess for the rest of the household to observe and admire!

Time to party, you just made a nuclear-plasmic electromagnet with a fully-integrated miniature particle accelerator! Fuck yeah science, get on wit yo bad self! Hopefully you finished it sometime in the middle of the night, so you can stick it to your chest with double-stick tape and prance around in the house pretending to be Tony Stark. Dont forget to put on a tank top and take a bunch of pics with it shining through your shirt, then lie in bed and marvel about how Tony can possibly sleep with the fucking beacon of Gondor shining out of his chest. Yay!

26  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Re: "A.I." part of my Sentient Machinery collection on: May 09, 2012 08:55:06 AM
Thanks! I've used it with acrylics, but not with much success. The paint is thicker, so when you pull off the mask, it pulls big chunks of dried paint with it. The watercolor is absorbed into the page, so unless you using almost pure gel/cream pigment, there's nothing there to get pulled off. Maybe if you try thinning the acrylic, it would work the same as the watercolor?

I've not tried it with oil, but I don't think it would work; the longer you leave the mask on the surface, the more it binds to it and is harder to come off. With the long drying period and flexible, sheet-like finish of the oil paints (in combination with the lengthy amount of time the masking fluid will be left on it), I don't think it would work out all that well.

But hey, most of the art techniques we have today are the result of accidents and experimentation, so I may be proven wrong! Smiley
27  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Re: "Alive," final piece in Sentient Machinery collection- lots of process pics!! on: March 26, 2012 07:34:45 PM
I just want to say thank you so much, everyone!! Cheesy My "I, Human" collection will be on display at Final Friday this week, and I'm hoping I have some buyers! I think I'll do a video of my next painting and speed it up (The Amazing 2 Minute Painting!), some of the ones I've seen on youtube have been really nifty. Thanks again, I'll post some more soon!
28  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / "Alive," final piece in Sentient Machinery collection- lots of process pics!! on: March 07, 2012 08:58:09 PM
Yay, this is my fave piece of my "I, Human" collection!! I love Daft Punk, as much for their beats as for their enigmatic, machine-longing-to-be-human personas. This is a larger piece, 15x22", and really saturated and vibrant.


I've been getting a lot of questions about this technique and requests for process pics (it seems that a lot of people associate watercolors with sheer, pastel washes of tint, depicting pastoral scenes or animals). I thought I would include process pics showing what I do, with a little explanation on each of how to do it. Would that make this a mini-tute? I'm not sure, but if anyone decides to experiment, I really want to see the result!! Caution: this is a long post, LOL. OK, on with business....

OK, I always use gel watercolors in the tube. They are so much less work, because you don't have to sit there and scrub a pan of dried cakes to rehydrate them, only to come up with a pale wash and a ruined brush. With the tube paints, you can use them completely undiluted if you want, and really get that vibrancy. I also use soft, thick, squirrel hair brushes that hold a lot of water and paint, because using a lot of both is the secret to really saturated color.

Also remember that there's no such thing as a mistake! As Bob Ross says, "there's no mistakes, just happy accidents." Smiley One of the best things about water color is that it's so forgiving. Put too much or too dark a color on? Just rinse your brush, dab it on a paper towel, and use it to sop up the excess. Rinse again, and use it to spread and blend whats left. Went out of the lines or dripped in the middle of your lovely ocean vista? Here's the best part- if you take a stiff-bristled paintbrush with clean water, you can scrub at an area (dabbing with a paper towel), until you erase the offending area. If the paper pills, let it dry, and smooth it out with some fine-grit sandpaper.

One more thing for this technique- think HIGH contrasts! The darks should be super dark, the lights equally light. Think more like black and white, and less like dark grey and light grey. The contrast is what gives these paintings such an eye-catching quality- no hazy, pastel washes here! OK, now really on to business...

Mini-Tute! (Lots of hints and tips throughout)

So first, I always sketch out what I'm going to do; I never just start slapping paint down. The technique for watercolor is really different than with oil or acrylic. With them, you paint the darkest stuff first, and add the highlights last; you create the object first, then add the dimension. With watercolor, you paint the lightest parts first, then the darkest; in other words, you paint the dimension first, then create the object around it. You have to know which areas will be the lightest, because those might not have any paint at all.

I sketch very lightly (I increased the contrast here so you can see), and sometimes I do the bulk of the sketching on typing paper, then do a rubbing onto the watercolor paper, if I haven't drawn the subject before and expect to do a lot of erasing. I've also been known to do a pencil rubbing of an image from a magazine or google image search, when trying to learn how to draw certain proportions. No sense in ruining the good paper!

Since I have to decide where my highlights are first, I decided that the "sun" is shining from the upper left of the page, meaning that the lower right will be in shadow. I don't use brushstrokes, but instead use a soft squirrel hair brush that holds a lot of water, and sort of dab it all over. I purposely don't blend the colors smooth, but leave it "chunky," so that later I have definite contrasts in shade or color that I can outline.

I do a lot of layering with the watercolor, using a lot of paint and a lot of water, to get the deep, rich colors. Here I'm continuing to layer the color, being sure to keep the lightest parts in the upper left free from paint for now (or with just a very sheer layer).

Here's the fun part, adding the lights! Here's a little tip for painting light: never paint the light itself, only what's around it. Ever see Star Wars? Notice the light sabres- they're not actually red and blue, they're white! The color is just a halo around them. So when painting light, leave the actual light white, and paint a haze of color around the light, with the most color saturation concentrated right against the white. Even if it's a white light- the white halo will wash out the background, creating that glare. There, I've spilled Thomas Kinkaide's secret. Go forth and make millions. Smiley

More lights! I like how the LED strip around Tomas' (silver) ear came out (I added more contrast in later pics). All the colors on Guy's (gold) helmet are flashing lights. His is my favorite, and it's kind of funny that his helmet is so vibrant, since he's the quiet, shy, introverted one.

Now I've added the face covers. Since I wanted more of a flat finish here, I went ahead and used brushstrokes, but still left light areas in the upper left. Black takes a few layers to really look saturated, as you'll see in upcoming pics. With watercolor, you'll want to let the paint dry totally before adding another layer, or you risk your paper pilling or warping, creating potentially undesirable puddles.

I've added the leather jackets (they look grey because this is just the first layer). With clothing, I'm not usually too detailed. The subject is the face, and generally I'll just do a skeleton outline of the clothing, and the viewer's mind fills in the details. Smiley As long as you get the basic shape, you get the dimension. Another tip- I always add a hint of shoulder when I do a portrait, because otherwise it's just a weird random head floating in space. It anchors the face, and provides greater depth to a painting, since the viewer can imagine the rest of the body just out of sight.

Now I'm adding the color! Again, I use a LOT of paint and a LOT of water and a BIG soft brush, always dabbing, never stroking. Let the colors blend, blob, and flow how they want, leaving areas of light and dark, and some with no paint at all (this will give a lot of dimension). I always butt the color up to the subject, but never closer than about 1/4 inch. That little slice of white really makes the subject pop, and ensures that it doesn't all become a muddy mess. I also make the part next to the subject the darkest, so that it pops even more (you'll see in the next pic). The splatters are from blowing through a straw, or just leaning over and blowing on the page (although I've dipped my boobs in the paint a few to many times to keep doing that).

First layer of black, while it's still wet.

I've gone through and deepened the contrast on the helmets more (meaning, I've made the shadows darker), as well as in the black cloud around them. Now I've started the white outlining. You can do this with a liner brush and white paint mixed to about the consistency of ink, or do what I do, and get an ordinary white gel pen from the office store. Mine is a Pentel, but Bic sells them, too. For this, I outline around anywhere there is a sharp contrast in color or shade. I try to make each line closed, or have it end either against another line or off into the white page. It just looks odd with too many random white lines floating all over the place, but a closed line looks intentional.

Even though you can't really tell in the pic, there are color variances within the black, where the colors underneath are peeking through. Those are the areas in black that I'm outlining. I'm also outlining in the colored areas.

I suppose I should've done this with one of the darker colors, but it was getting late, lol. Here is the yellow before I had done much outlining, so you can see the variations in the color...

...and now you can see where I've outlined those variations.

Here's a closeup and full shot of the final products!! I added some little twinkles to the LED's in Guy's helmet (full disclosure- I want one of my own. I would totes go grocery shopping in that thing). To make twinkles, just do a little 4 or 5 pointed star in white over the color haze around any light.

29  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Questionable Robot Series on: March 06, 2012 04:01:46 PM
Love them! I'm currently painting a collection of sentient machinery, so these are right up my alley! Very nice work, you're a crafter after my own heart. Smiley
30  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Re: "A.I." part of my Sentient Machinery collection on: March 06, 2012 08:38:33 AM
Thanks everyone! And thanks, Blacksmith- that really does help. I came up with about that price range too, once I added up hours, a little bit for supplies, and the frame/mat expenses. I suppose I gotta start somewhere!

Fancybutch: No, the latex is easy to remove. It has a rubbery consistency, and you can feel it if you run your hand over the paper. I just rub at the corner of an area with the butt end of a paintbrush (so I don't accidentally get oils from my finger rubbed all over the page), then just lift it up and pull. It comes off like a mask. I've also found that since it sticks really well to itself, it's easier for me to just keep a wad of dried latex in with my paints, and use that like a kneaded eraser to pick up the latex. either way works!

I just use ordinary colorless masking fluid by Windsor and Newton, about $10 a bottle. I've been through about 1.5 bottles in a year and a half, but I have also masked off some pretty big areas and wasted a lot from a spill, LOL. There are two kinds, one labeled "colorless," and the other is regular. They both look white in the bottle, but one dries clear and the other yellow. The yellow one stained my painting once, so I don't use it. And it's not like you can't see the clear, it's raised and shiny and very visible, even when dry. The other thing is, the latex won't work well on handmade paper. It's not pressed to a dense enough texture, and the latex will pull the paper up with it when you peel it off. Ask me how I know... Angry Just be sure to use watercolor or drawing paper, and you'll be fine! Cheesy
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