Carrie L. Lewis, Artist & Teacher

Helping You Create Art You Can be Proud Of

Portrait of Blizzard Babe

EE The Wonders of Masking Fluid and Colored Pencils

Have you ever wondered if there was a faster, easier way to draw around exquisite details? Something other than spending hours working around even the tiniest shapes?

I know I have.

One of the reasons I enjoy drawing horses so much is all of that gorgeous long hair. Flowing manes and tails are visual delight in real life. Well drawn manes and tails can be as much of a visual delight when drawn in colored pencil. This drawing of the Standardbred mare, Blizzard Babe, is one of my favorites because of the mane.

Original colored pencil drawing, Blizzard Babe

It wasn’t difficult to draw this because there isn’t much background visible through the mane. I also choose a support that provided the base color for the drawing, medium gray.

But what if you’re working on white paper?

Or if the intricate detail you want to render has an equally intricate ground? Is there some way to preserve the foreground detail and still lay down the background quickly and easily?

The short answer is yes! There is!

It’s called masking film and it’s the subject of my recent article on In How to Use Masking Fluid in Your Colored Pencil Drawings, I show you how I used masking film to quickly create a rich, dark background for a horse running at liberty and still preserve the long, flowing mane that is the subject of the drawing. Click on over and read all about it at EmptyEasel. I learned a lot in the process and I think you will, too.

Then come back here to ask questions or leave comments.

Also let me know if there are any other topis you’d like to know more about.

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EE Setting Up a New Drawing: How to Measure and Create Borders on Your Paper


Using Masking Film with Colored Pencil


  1. John P Garrett

    Hi Carrie,
    interesting article on using masking fluid. I noticed you touched on Frisket film. Are there any advantages/disadvantages to using the film over the fluid?


    • John,

      There are some advantages and disadvantages of masking film over masking fluid. Personally, for the type of work I do, film seems like a better choice, but I’ll have to alter the way I use it.

      Next week, I’ll describe my initial experience with masking film and will get into detail about how I used it and how I might use it differently the next time.

      As always, thanks for reading and commenting.


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