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Maria Gomez <[log in to unmask]>
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SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 5 May 2011 15:57:07 +1000
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Hi all,

I don't usually participate much on this list. I cannot call myself a professional illustrator but an amateur one and also I started using masking fluids fairly recently so my understanding of these comes more from reading about them than from using them. But here it is what I know and hopefully this may help others. Most masking fluids are latex-based and the 'masking' is achieved not by a process of drying but the latex particles in the liquid react with air and solidify. If you shake the masking fluid you are incorporating billions of little bubbles into the liquid, the air trapped in these bubbles will react with the latex in the liquid and harden it, hence creating the lumps. To avoid this, the liquid should definitely not be shaken but stirred instead. Think of the opposite of how James Bond likes his martini. Also aliquoting the liquid into several smaller portions and also keeping containers upside down (to avoid air entering the container) helps.



Dr Maria del Carmen (K-le) Gomez Cabrera 
Marine Palaeoecology Lab.
School of Biological Sciences
The University of Queensland
St Lucia, QLD 4072
Phone: +61 7 3365 7262. Fax: +61 7 3365 4755

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