One of the materials I wanted to work with this month was masa paper. It is an oriental paper that gets strange crinkled results. This is my finished 8 x 10 painting.
Here is a description of how to work with masa. This is basically what I did to get the effect above.
A popular technique with watercolor painters is to scrumple up a sheet of masa paper, pop it into a container of clean water for half-a-minute or so, carefully straighten it out again, and then drop some paint onto it while it's still wet. This turns the sheet of paper into one with a textured, wrinkled surface with random color. You can then flatten the sheet out completely using a brayer, and leave it to dry. Mark which is the shiny side before you crumple the paper, so you can tell which side you want to use when you flatten the sheet out. Once it's dried, you may want to glue the crumpled sheet of masa to another piece of paper to give it more support.
If you are interested in the process I used I took a few photos along the way. First I did a rough sketch of the sunflower and then I followed the instructions above. After flattening the paper out I added some color to the back (rough side) of my paper. The paper was still wet and the color was deep and rich. What I was looking for was some color in the folds of the masa paper to make that detail more prominent. This is the back of the masa paper. I read everything I could find that artists posted about using masa paper. Some prefer working on the smooth side and some prefer to work on the rough side. I remember that the last time the rough side started pilling after a while and I didn't want that to happen.
When the paper was dry I used matte medium mixed with a little bit of water to glue it to a piece of watercolor paper. Notice that on this side you can see some color in the folds but it is nowhere near what it was on the other side. I had some blotches from the color running under the paper, but I figured I would just try and make those work in the background around the sunflower. I darkened the lines of the drawing a little so I could see them better, and then I started painting.
I painted the petals and stem first and then the inside of the sunflower. I wanted there to be impressions of other sunflowers in the background so I lightly put in some yellowish greens.
Next I added the blues around the sunflower adding yellows and greens for the other foliage. I'm sorry I didn't take a photo as I started the blue of the sky, but I didn't want to get hard edges in the sky area. The next photo I took was the one of the finished painting above.
Here is a photo of the sunset painting I had done on masa paper at the end of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge back in January. For this one I felt I didn't get enough of the crumpled lines. It came out much too soft looking. For this one I painted it on the rough side of the paper unlike the sunflower. I liked the painting but it didn't get the effect I was after.
I hope to experiment on masa paper at least once more before the month is over.