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Making Mashi Paper

Mashi Paper and Dosa Solution Tutorial

This sized paper is used for fine-line painting. It doesn’t bleed. Color gradation and ink tone are achieved by building up layers of color and ink and blending with a second brush.


Instructor: Takashi Ijichi


  1. Cut a strong, heavy paper such as backing paper (kozo, mino washi or hosho) to the size of a clean, smooth, unfinished picture frame, or the raised, framed edge of a cork board. Using nori or wheat paste, glue the edges of the paper to the frame. The backing paper should be touching only the edges of the frame, not the cork board. Trim the excess paper and allow the glue to dry, then tape the glued paper to the frame.

  2. Make the dosa solution. Stir together in a bowl 1 tablespoon hide glue,1 teaspoon powdered alum, and 1 cup warm water; mix well.

  3. Dip a wide soft brush in the dosa mixture. Scrape off drips then stroke the paper straight across the top, left to right. Re-dip and stroke under the first stroke in the opposite direction, right to left. Do not overlap strokes.

  4. Continue to the bottom of the paper, alternating the direction of the strokes and not overlapping strokes. Blot off excess dosa with paper towels.

  5. Let dry overnight or use a hairdryer.

  6. Once the mashi paper is prepared and dried, leave it on the frame. Using carbon paper or a sharp, hard pencil, trace your design outline onto the prepared mashi paper. Go over the tracing line with sumi ink and a fine brush, then fill in the colors.                                               

 Mashi Paper Painting Examples

Hen and chicks by Stephanie Mast


Pigeons and Oak by Karen Straus

White Pigeons and Oak.jpg

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