My secret to painting snow? 

Call in the Bad Boys!

See the snow fall in my limited offer Christmas Collection.

Time for me to get out my bottle of masking fluid.  "Oh my lord are you crazy? Have you lost your mind? You fool!", I hear you cry. Anyone who has used watercolour will have seen this stuff and thought "Wow! What a great idea", only to find out quite quickly that the results were not that great and you have clogged up all your sable brushes.

If you're a ‘pure watercolourist’ you would never let this stuff darken your door. Together with Chinese White, these are the bad boys of watercolour. These two monkeys will screw you over. If those two louts come trick or treating tell them to sling their hook.. or you will call in the SAS.

Invite them in, I say and lets get this party started! In fact, when I was painting the Nocturnal fox, 'Chinese White" saved him from ruin!  He was getting way too dark. I gladly paid for Mr White to come in and sort out the mess it was in.

Time to invite in the other bad boy and ask him for his help. Masking fluid.

For my Christmas Collection, I needed seasonal snow. The designs just would not stand up in a white space like my others simply because of the lack of colour. I needed a colourful background for this lot and I needed some snow.  So before the wash to create the backdrop of blue sky, I studded the paper with dots of masking fluid. 

Once the masking fluid was dry, the wash of blues began. As always I went light first, in this case with Cerulean blue, and slowly got darker with the Prussian blue (and a bit of Burnt Sienna). I did all the designs together so I would get a coherant colour across all of them. I had them all on the floor with three big bowls of  paint.


If you've seen my Nocturnal Collection, you'll know I love Prussian Blue. It can get really dark and moody but, for Christmas, I had to be careful not to get too dark!

Once the wash was dry - you have to make sure it is bone dry or disaster awaits!  - I just rubbed off the masking fluid with my fingers. It can be a bit stubborn (after all, it is a bad boy) but then nice clean snow drops appeared. Marlon Brando eat your heart out!

Get your limited offer DM Christmas Collection or shop all five designs as singles. 

All images © Daniel Mackie

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.