Paste Paper Part Two
One day I was browsing in the hardware store. On a whim, I decided to treat myself to a fairly good synthetic house painting brush. The bristles were firm, but not too stiff. As it turned out, it was the best brush I'd ever used for such purposes. Paste flows smoothly and the hairs don't fall out. It's quickly turned into one of those things I wouldn't want to be without. I wound up getting more in different sizes and with different handles. You really do get what you pay for. Now that I've experienced these, I never want to go back to the $1 specials!
If you want to make paste paper, good brushes will make a difference. My favorite paste recipe comes from Diane Maurer-Mathison:
Blend 1/4 C. cornstarch (or tapioca flour, etc.) with 1/4 C. water.
Add 1 C. water and heat on medium high, stirring with a whisk until it thickens.
Remove from heat. Add 1/2 C. water and let it cool thoroughly. Strain if necessary. When cool, divide into containers. I use roughly 1/4 cup of paste for each color, but this can be varied. Add a teaspoon or two of acrylic or watercolor paint to each portion of paste. I sometimes will also add a few drops of glycerin to ensure that the dried paste painting remains pliable enough for folding without cracking. But this additive is certainly not essential, and most paste papers work fine for books or cards without it.
This paper was done with copper acrylic paint mixed into the paste, painted on black paper. The pattern was created with a dental tool that came as a freebie from somewhere. I think it's supposed to be some sort of tongue cleaning device, but I much prefer it as an art supply. This dental tool decorated paper is in honor of a friend who almost just needed a root canal. (Hi there, M!)
The blue one below was done on Tyvek. The results tend to be a little more muted than when done on paper, but that often adds to the interesting effect. The golden pattern was done on the shiny side of some Japanese Masa paper. Most of the others (examples in the previous post) were done on Strathmore drawing paper, which I've found to be extremely versatile. In another post, I'll show the step-by-step process for wet on wet paste painting on plexiglass.