How to Use Masking Tape to Make Horizons

I’m working on a painting of Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, Oregon.  It’s not quite finished yet, but I put together these images into a gif so you can watch the process of using masking tape to make a crisp horizon line.

maskingtape

If the gif isn’t working, here are the step-by-step images below:

I’m starting with my colors blocked in, but the overall image is pretty soft and the horizon is a bit crooked.  Time for masking tape!Cannonbeach-1

I measured from the bottom on each side to get the horizon level, and applied the tape.  Make sure your paint is really dry before putting tape on, at least 30 minutes, or longer if you are using blending mediums to slow the dry time.    Cannonbeach-2

With the tape in place, I painted down from the sky to correct the angle of the horizon:Cannonbeach-3

Then, I removed the tape and let it dry:

Cannonbeach-4

After the paint was dry, I moved the same strip of tape up to cover the sky I had just painted, and make a clean edge for painting the water:Cannonbeach-5

Then I removed the tape and added a little more definition by hand with a small brush: Cannonbeach-7

Much better!  I’m still working on this one and I’ll post the finished product soon.

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