My beautiful Border Collie, Charlie makes a perfect subject to explain the various stages of 'How to do Batik'.
I use these step-by-step examples to help explain the process to the visitors to the Gallery.
The finished Batik, 'Charlie' is framed and back-lit and FOR SALE in my Gallery for £150
STAGE ONE First I make a simple line drawing of Charlie from a photo I took and transfer it to a piece of white cotton cloth (I use fine Egyptian cotton).
STAGE TWO Using hot wax, I protect the parts of the design that I want to keep white and dye the whole cloth grey. The wax acts as a resist to the dyes.
STAGE THREE Now I wax in all the stones of the drystone wall and then dye the whole cloth green, for the grass. In Batik, each colour goes on top of the one before and so is altered by that colour. Working out your colour sequence is the tricky bit but for this example I have purposely chosen to use a simple sequence simple of only three colours.
STAGE FOUR Having waxed in all the grass, the cloth is now almost entirely covered in wax. The only unwaxed areas are now dyed black, the final colour. I crack the wax on the grass area to let the black dye go into the fine cracks, creating a marbling effect, which is so characteristic of Batik. I crack the wax of the sky and paint blue dye over the fine cracks for added texture.
STAGE FIVE Most of the wax is now scraped off and the rest ironed between sheets of absorbent paper. The heat of the iron 'fixes' the dyes and the wax which has penetrated the cloth makes the finished painting translucent, like stained glass. Back-lighting the finished work brings out the vibrancy and depth of colour enhanced by the wax.
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