Watercolor Tutorial: How to Use Masking Fluid

I haven’t done a tutorial since my 55 step Print Gocco Tutorial in 2008. I think it’s time for some new ones! I fell in love with watercolor around 2001, when I started using them instead of markers to separate my presentation renderings from conceptual ones for interior design projects in college. I also worked at a wonderful independently owned art store, Pygmalion’s Art Supply in Bloomington, Indiana, where I got to learn so much and enable others to buy art supplies daily.

Today we’re going to focus on Masking Fluid, and how you can use it for your paintings. There are tons of details, and hopefully you can learn from some of my trials and errors over the years.


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Invitation Illustrations for Brunch Wedding at Valley Green Inn


A good friend of mine is getting married this November. We met on the SEPTA 48 bus, back when we had the same commute years ago. We bonded over knitting, poppy red scarves, and she is just a beautiful person. I’m so happy that she has found such a special partner to share her life with. When they asked me to help them with their wedding invitations, I happily agreed, and knew this was one wedding present that would actually be on time!

Marissa-Huber-Wedding-Illustration-Pen-InkThey’re having a brunch wedding at The Valley Green Inn. This is on the Wissahickon in Philadelphia, and is a scenic area to hike, bike, or take your kids, and was so much fun to paint. I was tasked to create watercolor, pen and ink illustrations based on their brunch celebration. Continue reading

To Move Forward, Sometimes You Have to Quit


Over the years, I’ve been so inspired by other artists who have incorporated daily practices into their daily routines. When I turned 36 this past November, I decided to do a daily painting exercise. My intention was to have fun with it, explore more with marks and pattern, and to push myself to try new things.

I read this interesting little book while I was visiting my family in Florida over Thanksgiving, “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work” by Mason Currey. The daily lives of artists and creatives of all types (painters, writers, musicians, mathematicians) were outlined. Many took daily walks, they slept few hours, some were tormented, some were refreshingly happy, it truly varied. (Note for perspective: Many of these artists, though not all, had maids, childcare, benefactors, etc.)

So I started posting my daily painting exercises on Instagram (my favorite social media) with the hashtag #paintcadadía. Cada día means “each day” in Spanish. It is a reminder to paint, but also that daily practice can make a big difference. I don’t speak Spanish fluently, but I understood way more when was practicing daily a few years ago with a tutor.

It has been four months since I started this journey. While I think that daily practice is amazing, and would recommend it for anyone, frankly, I am flagging.

But that is okay. I have a full time job. I have a two year old boy that I am the primary caregiver to due to my husband’s work schedule. I have to go to the laundromat. I have to cook. I want to draw more, but I cannot do everything I want all the time. At least not while maintaining my sanity and being present for my son, which is my most important priority right now.

What is that great quote? “You can do anything, but not everything.” Continue reading