To some watercolor artists, liquid frisket is a must! Frisket? (I know what you are thinking... you start humming a tisket a tasket...while your brain summons up images of a steaming brisket coming out of the oven) So what is frisket?!!
Frisket is a rubber/latex-based, milky liquid that works as a color resist in watercolor painting. It is a bit like painting with curdled milk, but it is really helpful! If you have ever tried watercolor painting, you know that it is one of the hardest types of painting because water is so difficult to control! You are not only striving to keep it from running into other colors, but also maintaining the right balance of water and pigment to create the opacity and brightness of color that you wish for your painting. Frisket can be found at your local fine art supply store, for me it was Blick's (old Utrecht store) in the Short North area of Columbus, Ohio.
Frisket becomes your friend when you want white areas in your work, or clean areas that you wish to layer with pen or another medium. It blocks any pigments from bleeding into that desired white space. But...frisket, can be a bit like that friend of yours who is notoriously late for your coffee dates, it requires a little patience! You paint it on and need to allow it to dry completely before you launch into adding color! And it comes with the warning that exposure can cause allergic reactions, or damaging effects to the nervous and reproductive systems. So I don't advise you let your kids play with it...and if you use it, don't breathe it in, and try to reduce the exposure to your skin.
Having said that, the exciting part of the frisket process in painting, is removing the dried frisket after your finished watercolor painting is completely dried. You need to remove it gently (by rubbing it off) or it can tear your watercolor paper. The big reveal is a bit like that piece of bubble wrap that you can't stop popping! You peel off the frisket, see clean white space and your mind starts thinking of more patterns made possible by frisket! Try it (carefully) and enjoy!