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Re: Masking, painting and lining.
Hi Sarah: This is not cheating, it is using your brain to augment your skills. The slightest shake in your hands shows up as painting errors. I try to do the most delicate work in the morning before coffee, or after dinner when I am a bit tired.
No matter how well you make a model, the painting is almost the first thing that is noticed.
I sometimes mask, but usually do free hand painting, with fine brushes, sometimes permanent marker pens.