Lion Fish on Masa Paper

I have been wanting to try out Masa Paper for a long long time. It has been sitting at the very bottom of my art papers wating to get crinckled! 😉

Recently saw a thread on Wetcanvas by Jeanette which really inspired me to get going with it! Thanks a lot Jeanette! 😀

This is what the final painting looks like.

First I drew out the drawing on the smooth side of a 14×18 piece of masa paper.

Note: Masa paper has a smooth side and a fuzzy side. The smooth side is the top side, but that could be reversed for a slightly different effect.

Note to self: Next time I would be drawing it a bit darker as I almost lost all pencil lines by the time I was actually painting it!

I crinkled the masa paper up… yes this was the scary part! But I think next time it won’t be as scary 😉

Then I wet it under the running water in the sink, just for a 1/2 a minute or so, until it was soaked.

Now, I very carefully flattened it out on top of a couple of sheets of paper towels, making sure the drawing was on the bottom. So, in other other words, smooth side down and rough side top.
Here, I dropped in all kinds of colors almost randomly, that I thought I would be using on the fish.

The masa paper is a sized paper. But when we crinkle it, the sizing breaks at the crinkles and that is where the paint is going to seep into the paper and show up on the other side, giving it a batik-like effect.

I let this paper dry like this.

Next day, I turned it over. This is the front side. You can see the lovely crinkly effect this has.

Now, I squirted an acid-free water-based white glue on the back side, spread it very thinly and evenly everywhere and glued the masa paper to a half sheet (15″x22″) of watercolor paper. Use a brayer or a rolling pin to make sure it’s absolutely flat and roll out any bubbles.
Let this dry.

Now, I just picked up my brushes and started defining and painting the fish!

More color…

Painting on masa, you have to be very careful not to scrub or lift. You can’t use masking.

Starting on the background.

Almost done…

Finished! I will definitely be doing more of these! The colors seem so much more vibrant and I love the batik-like effect!

29 replies
  1. Christiane Kingsley
    Christiane Kingsley says:

    Srishti,this is beautiful and I appreciate your detailed information.I tried masa only once, but I think that I did not put any color on the rough side. I will have to try it again.
    I really like your use of color.

  2. Srishti
    Srishti says:

    Christiane… I think I have read some instructions in the past about using the colors on either side…
    But definitely give it another try! I can’t wait to see your masa painting!

  3. perugina
    perugina says:

    Absolutely stunningly gorgeous!!!
    I have never tried Masa paper or this process.. thank you for sharing it here.
    The Lion Fish a perfect subject marrying well with this technique – an inspiration!
    Thank you also for thinking of me for the Sunshine Award! 🙂
    Made my day. (((hugs)))

  4. Srishti
    Srishti says:

    Perugina! So nice to hear fromyou after a long time!!! I am glad you like my lion fish painting… You should give the masa paper a try. It’s fun!

  5. Srishti
    Srishti says:

    Wow! Michelle! I am glad you found my blog, because I am sure glad to have found yours this way! your paintings are just gorgeous!
    I specially love your zebra & giraffe! 😀
    Your paintings are full of sunlight 😀 Love them!

  6. Vanessah
    Vanessah says:

    Srishti, your artwork is so very beautiful! The first i saw were your Graha paintings and loved every one (Jupiter my fav – he’s gorgeous!) Now I found your blog and gallery and I am so happy I did – your lion fish on masa paper is astoundingly gorgeous! Thank you for sharing the creative process with us. You have given me inspiration (I am a fledgling self-taught *artist* too – well, just beginning…) Great Beauty, Srishti.

  7. Srishti
    Srishti says:

    Vanessa! Nice to meet you! Thanks so much for your kind and lovely comments 🙂 I am glad you like my artwork and that I have inspired you… Would love to see your art!

  8. Generic Viagra
    Generic Viagra says:

    When I saw the first picture and then you started in the beginning of the process. I didn’t expect the following steps. I can believe the process to make a draw in the mass paper. It took a lot of time but the final product. It deserves each step.


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