Tutorial - Reverse Masking

Today's tutorial comes to us from recently featured cardmaker, Bev T. In her feature, Bev mentioned she uses a reverse masking technique to color her images, and she was kind enough to do double-duty and give us a tutorial to demonstrate this technique! Thanks, Bev!


There are lots of wonderful images available. However, most of them need to be colored in and I don’t color very well. To bypass that problem, I’ve found a coloring technique that works for me: reverse masking. I use this technique pretty much for all my coloring and it’s great when you are making multiples. It works best with images that are not too detailed.

This is a card that I made using the reverse technique to color the bear.

1. To color this image, I first stamp the image on cardstock and then stamp it again several times on scrap paper to make the masks. I use a water resistant dye ink like Memento Tuxedo Black.

2. To color the bear, I cut out the ears, head, paws, and legs on the first mask so that you have the following:

3. Line up the mask over the stamped image (left). I use Elmer’s Repositionable stick glue to keep the mask in place. Apply brown pigment ink to the open areas with a sponge, kind of like stenciling. This gives you the image on the right.

4. Using a second mask, cut out the raincoat and rain hat to give the following:

5. Line the second mask over the stamped image (left), sponge yellow pigment ink to the open areas. After doing this, you have the image on the right.

6. On the third mask, cut out the umbrella and the bird and line it up on the stamped image (left). Sponge red pigment ink on the umbrella and blue ink on the bird, gives you the image on the right.

7. To finish off the image, I used gel pens or coloring pencils to color in the details

This method may be a little more work initially, but I like the results. With the masks, making multiples is easy and quick.

Thanks again to Bev for today's tutorial. Y'all share some love with her in comments.

Remember, if you see something that would make a great Tuesday Tutorial, or if you would like to share a technique with us, please email me at kate@operationwritehome.org.

Donna Hanley  – (September 27, 2011 at 4:38 AM)  

WOw a lot of work, but beautifully done. You must be a women with a lot of patience. thanks for sharing your technique.

Jen M  – (September 27, 2011 at 6:18 AM)  

This is a great technique! Thanks for sharing it with us!

Ronni Unger  – (September 27, 2011 at 7:50 AM)  

Great idea - I can see where it would be totally useful for multiples! And your card is great!

Anonymous –   – (September 27, 2011 at 7:53 AM)  

Thank You for sharing. This looks like alot of fun and I will try it. Not good at copic so hope this helps

Kathy V.  – (September 27, 2011 at 9:04 AM)  

Super cute!! Your mask making skills are admirable! With all that work, I wonder if you've ever tried using Eclipse tape for your masks? Since it's designed for making masks, I wonder if you'd get a little more mileage from all that hard work? Or does the sticky note hold up for repeated use?

Anonymous –   – (September 27, 2011 at 11:55 AM)  

Genius! I am no good at coloring so will definitely try this!

Kathryn  – (September 27, 2011 at 11:56 AM)  

Wow, wow, wow! That is a lot of work, but the results are great. I suppose you would only make the masks once for your stamp and just save them for later work. I might try this with a simple design because I am not great at coloring. :)

Paula S.  – (September 27, 2011 at 1:11 PM)  

Great tutorial Bev! This would definitely be great for multiples. The time spent cutting the masks would be well spent since you could then cruise through the coloring the rest of the bunch.

sf_crafter –   – (September 28, 2011 at 8:48 AM)  

Thank you all for you kind comments.
Yes, this technique is a lot of work initially, but if you've ever seen the way I color with pencils...
Once I have the masks made, (and as Kathy V said, they would last longer if I used Eclipse),and as Paula S said, I can make multiples and color them really fast.


TK  – (September 28, 2011 at 10:47 AM)  

This is an awesome idea for multiples!

Dotti's Hobbies  – (September 29, 2011 at 6:14 PM)  

That is a fantastic idea for multiples! Thanks!

Anonymous –   – (October 1, 2011 at 4:22 PM)  

Wonderful way to color, especially tiny areas. Thanks.

tasnia  – (December 28, 2011 at 11:41 PM)  

wow!! pretty post..happy to see.love it..

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