Friday, January 22, 2010
Masa poppy in progress
I have done some preparation with Masa paper to put it through its paces and see if I can achieve something that resembles what I envision in my head.
I started by roughly sketching my idea on the shiny side of the masa, crumpling and soaking the paper briefly then smoothing it onto a drawing board. I added loose washes of pigment onto the rough side of the masa, letting colours mingle and flow into the fibres and creases. The work is done on the smooth side of the paper and has a more subtle patterning than the rough side.
I left it to dry overnight and early this morning used a wash of white glue and water on the back of the masa to mount it on a piece of 140lb watercolour paper. I went to work and let it dry all day so it would be ready for me tonight.
So now I'm starting to gently add layers of watercolour to my paper. Masa becomes pretty fragile when wet, so I can't manipulate paint as I could on regular watercolour paper. That has good and bad aspects. I need to think about colour, value and placement before I put down a brushstroke and if I need to change anything I wait til my layer is dry before going back over it.
I used a couple of different references for this piece, the main one being a lovely old fashioned poppy that I grew. I love the crumpled tissue like texture of poppy petals and this paper and technique seemed like a good choice for rendering it. I want the overall image to be fairly pastel, making you look more closely to see the image.
So why a flower, when they are the objects that I paint the least? Because the pattern and colours simply said floral to me. It could be nothing else. Its still in very early stages, but so far, so good.