Cape Breton ferry on masa July 2013Cape Breton ferry – watercolor on Masa paper

Well, I finally did it.  A painting on Masa paper.  And here it is.   Ever since I saw Leslie’s paintings on Masa paper I’ve wanted to try it.   So what did I do when I wanted to start this project?  Go directly to Leslie’s blog, search for masa paper and viola!  Step by Step instructions.   She’s the best.    I also visited Beth’s blog because she has paintings on Masa paper too.  Here’s my quick tutorial.

Get some Masa paper.  Cut it to about a 1/2 inch all around shorter than your watercolor paper.  Take a sharpie and put a small dot on the shiny side of the masa paper.   The masa paper has a shiny side and a fuzzy side.   The shiny side is considered the “right” side, but I’ve read blogs where people have painted on both sides.   For now we will go with the shiny side as the correct side.

Ball it up and wet it until it’s soaked through. Squeeze the water out of the ball and then CAREFULLY un-ball the masa paper.  Check out where your sharpie dot is.  I put mine on the bottom right corner.   It might bleed through when the masa paper gets wet, but if you lay down the paper with the sharpie dot in the same place, i.e. the bottom right corner, you’ll know that’s the shiny side.  Now, flip it over to the un-shiny side with some paper towels underneath.  Spread it out and “tone” it.  Toning it means you take some of your watercolor paper and paint the back.  Keep in mind what it is you want to paint.  I think I toned mine to dark, but hey, that’s the way it goes.

Let dry and then, using matte medium mixed with a little water (3:1) spread it on the back of the toned paper, flip it over and adhere it to your watercolor paper.  Spread out carefully on the watercolor paper, let dry and then paint!

Now, some people draw on their paper before balling it up and wetting it.  My drawing disappeared in the water.  So I just waited and drew on it once it was all dry.

Here’s what the painting looked like in an earlier stage:masa paper start

Have fun.
And here’s some paintings from one of my wonderful teachers.  She paints about a subject all New Yorkers are familiar with.  The Subway.  Her name is Joan Iaconetti and her website is here:  www.joaniaconetti.blogspot.com.  I love them!
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