Here are my general instructions for painting a watercolor batik.
· Ginwashi rice paper
· Watercolor paint, I prefer transparent colors
· Wax Paper
· Micron Pigma #.01 or Sakura Identi-Pen Dual Point marking pen or Sharpie Extra Fine marker (black ink)
· Your usual painting supplies which should include at least 2 water containers, paper towels, pop up tissues, brushes (#6 and #14 round), a spray bottle
· Batik supplies: Canning wax, electric fry pan, various sizes of paint brushes for wax, iron, newspapers (not the shiny ads)
· Optional- Caran d’Arche Neocolor II artist water soluble crayons or any other brand of watersoluble wax crayons.
ABOUT PAINTING A BATIK:
General Concerns When Using Rice Paper and the Wax Batik Process:
Transferring the Pattern:
· Trace the pattern on the Ginwashi paper. Place the pattern on the table, then place a sheet of wax paper on top of it, then place your rice paper on top, smooth side up. The wax paper will protect your pattern from the ink bleeding on it.
· Use your permanent pen and draw every line that is on the pattern. Sign the painting with your pen which will assist you in determining the right and wrong side of the painting.
Painting on Ginwashi Rice Paper:
· I usually spatter wax all over the piece before painting. It provides for unity and hides areas where you slop wax on your piece by mistake.
· Wax the painted shapes you wish to save. It is IMPORTANT that the paper is DRY before you wax over a shape.
· Wax creates a hard line. Make sure you want the wax where you place it. Look at your waxing diagram and make sure you are finished painting an area before you wax it. You cannot remove the wax while painting, only at the end.
After You are Finished Painting.
· Wax out your entire piece. Be through. Wax horizontally and then vertically to make sure you do not miss any spots.
· YOU MAY CHOOSE TO SKIP THIS STEP AND THE NEXT. Let the wax dry, remove from the wax paper from the batik and crumple the waxed batik into a ball. Crumple gently but firmly. Crumple over an open grocery bag because this will be messy. Small cracks in the wax are fine. Smooth out your painting onto your wax paper but do not peel the chucks of wax away.
· Mix a puddle of purple or blue paint (or any dark mixture from your pallet) and brush over your painting. You can choose to paint just certain areas or paint it uniformly over the entire painting. This color will seep into the cracks and will add some areas of dark unto the rice paper.
· Choose where you want the spots of purple and choose how many. Make these spots of color small. Gently blot the beads of color with a tissue to remove any unwanted paint.
· Wax over the entire painting. This time, the wax can be applied over the wet paint. Do not over-brush the wax; doing so will give you streaks of color instead of just dots of color.
· Cool the batik and remove the wax paper.
· Put the completed batik between layers of newspaper. Use at least 5 layers of paper over and under the batik painting. Iron with a hot dry iron. Change the newspaper when it is saturated with wax. Continue to iron and change the paper until no wax is seen on the newspaper, it usually takes about 3 ironings.
· The finished painting can now be mounted on a white background with double stick tape. I have used watercolor paper or mat board for the support board. The support board has to be white to “pop” the batik. My experience is that taping the support paper and placing the batik on top of the tape sticks better than trying to apply the tape to the back of the batik.
· You may be able to paint over areas with your watercolors. It depends on how well you ironed out the wax.
· I have had limited success in trying to paint over an area with watercolor. In my experience, the wax prevents it from soaking into the painting and forcing the color damages the paper.
· It is usually best to do a minimal amount of corrections and allow the freshness of your painting to show through. Batik is not an exact painting process and should be appreciated as such. Don’t overwork your painting.
· You can do a limited amount of correction by using artist watercolor crayons on your piece, after it is ironed and before it is mounted on support paper. The colors won’t match exactly so be cautious.
· To use the watercolor crayons, you can scribble onto your batik and then soften with a damp brush, or you can apply your damp brush to the crayon and then paint on your piece.
· After mounting the batik on the background paper, if the signature is not easy to read because it has painted over it, also sign the support paper under the batik.