I do love art materials, but I love finding interesting ways to use cheap, accessible materials even more! One of my favorite materials to use in my art journal is masking tape (This is the brand I use.).
Masking tape is so versatile, it has a soft texture and comes in various widths, it can be easily torn by hand, you could use it to sculpt with, to paint on, to tape with, and there’s so much more you could do with it!
Here are my favorite five ways of using it in my art journal.
As a background
Masking tape is actually paper, so it’s generally very simple to paint on it, stamp it, or work on it. This is also what makes it great as ground. Because it isn’t smooth, it also adds texture and interest to your pages. In this spread in my art journal, the background is made from pieces of masking tape, randomly taped next and over each other, and colored with black and brown ink.
This page is from a very old journal of mine, probably one of my first, where I challenged myself to work for five minutes a day. What could you possibly accomplish in five minutes? well, I managed to put down some tape and draw over it with a sharpie!
To draw out lines
This is a detail from my art journal dated back to 2007. I painted the page and wasn’t able to write on top of the paint, so I laid down “lines” from masking tape to write on.
This is also helpful if you need some lines in your journal, but this time, instead of writing on the tape itself, I just used it as a resist. I put down the tape, painted the whole page, and then gently lifted the tape, to reveal the white spaces in which I could then write.
Create random images
When I’m working in my journal, I play with my imagination a lot. Most of the adults I know have a hard time letting go and just playing, and this masking tape trick may prove helpful. The idea is to use your hands to tear random bits of tape, then tape them down in your journal and see which creatures will appear. This is how I made the people in the following spreads.
Make your own designer tape
I love turning my masking tape into my own signature tape, by stamping, painting, stenciling and writing on it. I learned this from the wonderful Julie Balzer, and I use it all the time! The following are some journal pages in which I used my hand made tape.
This is what it looks like when I’m preparing my strips of tape.
Finally, a cool tip – I love to tear my tape. Cutting it with scissors is just too nice and straight, and that’s a totally different “language’ from the one I use in my mixed media art journals.
Those were five of my favorite ways to use masking tape in my art journals, I’d love to hear if you’ve used tape, and how! And before I end this post, here are some art works I saw at the museum, all amazingly done with masking tape.
Art work by Michal Ne’eman. two huge canvases hanging in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, all taped and painted/written on.
This is what it looks like close up.
Artwork by Lida Sharet Massad, this huge “carpet” is made from masking tape! It’s stunning.
Close up –
Rotem Ritov also has some stunning artwork using masking tape –
So, have you also fallen in love with masking tape? What other interesting materials do you use in your artwork?