How to create a Cyanotype print with watercolour and masking fluid

How to create a Cyanotype print with watercolour and masking fluid

Posted by Cass Art on 8th Mar 2020

Read our masking fluid how-to with Cass Art Kensington Staff Artist Joey Abrahams and create your own floral Cyanotype style watercolour painting. For now, over to you Joey!

Thanks! Cyanotype prints are a photographic printing process that dates back to the 1800’s, and is a method often used to produce horticultural photograms. Today I’m going to show you how you can create your own Cyanotype inspired painting, using watercolours and masking fluid.

What You’ll Need

  1. Cass Art Watercolour Paper
  2. Winsor & Newton Masking Fluid
  3. Winsor & Newton Watercolour Paint – Blues
  4. Cass Art Synthetic brushes for painting
  5. Brushes or Dip Pen for masking fluid
  6. Sakura Gelly Roll Pens

Step 1

Use the masking fluid to draw out your design. Cyanotypes are usually created with found objects but you can draw whatever you like. You can use brushes or a dip pen if you would like more detail.

Take care to always keep your brush moist with the fluid, as it dries very quickly and risks ruining your brush. I’d advise not using your favourite brush for this part of the job! Also make sure that you clean your brush thoroughly straight after you’ve finished using the fluid.

Step Two

Wait for the masking fluid to dry - this won’t take very long but make sure that it’s fully dry before moving on to the next stage.

Then use your watercolour paint to completely cover the page, I’ve just a combination of Turquoise and cobalt blue for this piece. The paint will resist the areas where you have added masking fluid, keeping the paper pure underneath it.

Step Three

Once your paint has dried you can begin peeling your masking fluid away. If you have some finer detail areas that are harder to peel you can rub it with your finger or a clean, soft eraser. You will then be left with your beautifully drawn elements that will mimic a real cyanotype print.


Step Four

You can go back over your design with a white pen – I like to use a Sakura Gelly Roll. This can add further details or eye catching elements. You can also use the paint to go back over and add in areas you might have missed.

How to with Cass Art: Masking Fluid

Learn more about masking fluid with our Staff Artist Emilio Wroth as he takes us through the different types of fluid and shows us another fun project you can do with watercolour masking fluid - a bright tiger! 

Feeling Inspired?

Shop online for everything you'll need to create your own watercolour cyanotype. Don't forget to hashtag #cassart on social media to show us your creations.