How to Paint on Awagami Kitakata Paper?

How to Paint on Awagami Kitakata Paper?

Opening Statement 

As we know, every painting form needs different kinds of paint colours, different styles of painting techniques and various types of painting surfaces. 

This article will discuss the most unique painting paper, whose manufacturing history is believed to date back 300 years. The origin of these beautiful papers is a small country that is also a hub of the latest technologies, Japan's land of the rising sun!

No doubt, Japan is not only famous for its technological inventions, but it is also famous for its paper-making processes and also for its unique art forms. Let’s know about the Japanese papers, Awagami Kitakata papers!

Though Awagami and Kitakata are both different papers and are used for various purposes, raw materials used in their manufacturing are the same to a great extent.


What is Awagami Paper, and what is it made up of?

The word Washi means Japanese Paper, and Awagami is one of the types of traditional Japanese paper whose manufacturing started approximately 300 years ago. 

Awagami papers are made from natural materials like Kozo, which is a mulberry plant, Bamboo, Mitsumata, which is also a plant in Japan, and Gampi, which again is a Japanese plant and Hemp.

As the materials used in manufacturing Awagami papers were seasonal, the manufacturing of these papers also became a seasonal process. And these same materials are the reason for the durability, attractiveness and quality because of which their popularity among artists has been increasing. 

As a result, the Awagami paper is used in preserving the art, crafting, preparing fine arts, the latest inkjet printing, interior designing and much more. Awagami paper is not only liked by artists but photographers and designers also adore this beautiful paper.


How to paint on Awagami Kitakata Paper?

If you are an expert-level artist, then you must be very obsessive about trying different surfaces to paint with watercolours. It may take some time for you to be comfortable with that new experimental painting surface, but watercolours are a very versatile medium.

As a suggestion, you should try the interesting Awagami paper; they are treated like precious jewels by the art suppliers as they are made up of many natural materials which are full of fibres. The fibrous texture of this beautiful paper will always fascinate you while you are painting on them.

There are mainly two types of methods to paint an Awagami paper, tearing the paper sheets into different small shapes that you want and applying them on the canvas board surface, which is already coated with a layer of gesso. As the Awagami papers come in different fibrous textures, they imitate a landscape or an abstract painting to a great extent.

The other type of method is that you first paint the different sections of the paper and then cut them into varying pieces. To do this, you must make sure you use the highest quality watercolours. Once you are done with the colouring process, let the paint dry completely, but make sure that the watercolour paint you apply should not be thick or not too thin to maintain consistency. After the paper is cut into small shapes, stick those shapes to the canvas or any other matte medium. To add some detailing, you can use calligraphy to enhance the painting. In the end, polish the closing work with a wash of the colour.

Both acrylic and gouache paints are suitable for the painting process on Awagami paper. But be sure not to use oil paints in this painting process. Following this, always avoid too much water contact with the Awagami paper. So always place the colours and brushes at a distance from the Awagami Paper on the dry side.


Other uses of Awagami/Washi Paper

Block Printing

The durability and textures of these papers are very unique. This paper's special feature is its colour absorbency and how amazing it holds the colour, which is also used for block printing.


As stated in one of the painting methods, the painter can use paper sheets which are cut into small shapes and later adhered to the canvas or any particular matte surface; this method is also known as collage. In this method, the Chiri Papers are considered more suitable because of their bark fragments.


Awagami papers are very translucent and use this feature to lighten colours, and were also used in preparing screens for the lamps. After dampening Awagami papers, it will shrink slightly and tighten more firmly to the frame.


Because of the durability and versatility of Awagami papers, they are very popular for being used as book covers to protect the book pages.

Sumi-e and Shodo

This is a traditional Japanese printing and brush-writing technique, which is also known as Japanese calligraphy. For these techniques, the natural carbon-based inks work at their best on Awagami papers, making them the favourites for use.


Closing words

Painting on Awagami paper requires a lot of care and concentration; that does not mean that it is an artless material. Creating watercolour paintings on Awagami papers will result in a very amazing feeling of a painting. Experimenting with watercolours on Awagami paper can be an amazing art experience, and I totally suggest you join this exciting artist opportunity.