Painting Using Masking Fluid and Watercolor or Gouache - Floral Rabbit

Art Creativity

I love the look of an animal illustration with floral motifs. I recently illustrated a rabbit with floral details for the Lunar New Year in red and gold. I thought it would be a fun painting project with masking fluid and watercolor or gouache paint. The floral details would lend itself well to the masking fluid resist and I couldn’t stop picturing the rabbit background in a rich, bold blue. I love the finished painting and would like to continue this theme in the future with more floral animals!

Hope you enjoy this project! 

Looking for a video lesson of our process? A video class lesson with painting demo, commentary + sketch template are available to our members, become a member to access.

Watch the speed painting process!


Canson watercolor paper, cold press, 140lb
Windsor & Newton Watercolor Masking Fluid
Holbein Gouache 18-color set
Gouache Palette
Round paint brush, size 8
Cheap round paint brush, size 1

STEP 1: Sketch out your floral animal illustration

I did a quick sketch in my sketchbook to get an idea of the shape of the bunny and floral design motifs that I would do on the inside.

STEP 2: Refine illustration and choose your colors

I like to refine my sketch and choose my colors on my ipad in procreate. As I mentioned above, I originally created this illustration for Lunar New Year 2023 (the year of the bunny), so my first design was in red and gold. I then went on to create a blockprinted style illustration of my floral rabbit in black and cream.

STEP 3: Paint the floral details with masking fluid

We paint the masking fluid with a cheap old brush, making sure to rinse out the masking fluid often in dish soapy water. Working fast is best to make sure it doesn't dry in the brush. Don't worry about perfection here, I think the beauty of masking fluid is the imperfections. 

STEP 4: Paint the rabbit in gouache or watercolor

Once the masking fluid dries, we can fill in the reset of the rabbit with watercolor or gouache. 

STEP 5: Peel off the masking fluid

Once the paint is totally dry, you can peel off the masking fluid. You can use a rubber pick up, like the photo shows or you can just use your fingers to rub and peel it off.

If you’d like to learn more, or see the painting demo with commentary and sketch template included, we have a video class available, become a member to access.

Please tag us @paulinestanleystudio or @rarebirdco if you share your work on social media! We'd love to see what you create!

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