Saturday, June 18, 2016

Watercolor Batik!

This month we are exploring innovative ways to paint, with or without paint. For this week's project, we tried liquid watercolor with masking fluid on paper to create a batik look.

Remember batik? This technique was popular around the same time as tie dye, in the '70s. You would "draw" or stamp your design on plain colored muslin with hot wax. Then you would dye the fabric with a cold water dye so the wax wouldn't melt away. Once it was dry, you'd remove the wax by boiling the fabric, then wash and iron it to use for whatever.

Now days, new techniques using Elmer's gel glue and Rit liquid dye in spray bottles has replaced the hot wax method in many classrooms. (Sounds like fun - we may try it sometime!)

Our current project uses the same "resist" technique, but on watercolor paper.

Our subject was a school of fish, all drawn using one template, overlapped to appear as a swimming school of fish. Then masking fluid is "painted" over the pencil lines and details to resist the watercolor. Once everything is dry, the masking is rubbed off (just like rubbing off rubber cement) to reveal the lovely white paper lines and details, just like batik!

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