Paste Paper Part Two

A while back I was on the hunt for a decent pasting brush. I’d been using standard cheap brushes, and had invested in a more traditional round brush (for clear paste), which wasn’t going to be helpful for painting. None of the brushes I’d tried really worked well.

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 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.

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.

4 thoughts on “Paste Paper Part Two”

  1. M. didn't need a root canal after all but I will have to live with a temporary crown for two months! And I am very happy to see a good use for that dental tool. I will try your paste paper recipes too. Have you tried using acrylic pastes on the Tyvek?

  2. Do you mean acrylic molding pastes or gels? I do believe I forgot to add the critical step to the recipe of adding the coloring to the paste once it's cooked (oops—an oversight). I will go back and add that little detail. Thanks for the input!

  3. Sorry, I don’t quite understand–do you use paste paper to color the Tyvek??
    Or to cause paper to adhere to Tyvek??

    • Hi Roberta,

      Sorry for the delay! I don’t check my old blog very often, but I’m glad to know people are still reading it.

      I was painting directly onto the Tyvek using the same technique as for paste painting onto paper (using a mixture of paste and paint). I hope that helps!


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