6/19/09

NOT AGAIN!?!?!?!

One of my favorite subjects is an ancient street in Valetta, Malta, and I've taken lots of artistic license to change it to work for me. I've previously posted several renditions of this same ancient street, painted with various watercolor and collage techniques. This is the first time it's been created with the batik process.

This painting is a wax batik, painted with watercolor on Kinwashi rice paper with sumi ink added for the cracked batik look.

First photo = the painting in progress, along with my wax skillet and old brushes. It's tough to find these little skillets with temperature control, but often, right before school starts, Walgreens, etc, have them in stock for the college kids.

Second photo - all of the painting and waxing process is finished on the kinwashi rice paper. The paper, which is now completely covered with wax, is then heated with a hair dryer to totally soak the wax into the fibers of the paper. Next, it's rolled up and popped into the freezer for a few seconds to make it easy to 'crack.'

After cracking the wax over a trash can, pinching some of the areas to create deeper cracks, it looks like a disaster, as shown here. Lots of chunks of wax fall off during the cracking process. Most of the dark shapes at the corners of this photo are shadows on the crinkled paper, not dark paint. Since the paper tears easily, this step was done very carefully.

Third photo = diluted sumi ink has been applied by pouring it over the cracked, waxed paper and jostling it into the cracks.

After blotting off the excess ink, making sure to not rub it into the wax, I gently sprayed water onto the inked painting (while it was hanging over the sink) to help remove more of the ink. This results in a softer, 'grayed tone' to the inked cracks, rather than such a strong, black effect.

Fourth photo = all wax has been ironed off, and the rice paper is smooth and flat again. Overall, I like the painting, but it's so, so, so warm. A bit of cool color relief would be nice somewhere in all those oranges and reds.

It's ready to glue down - to be done before I add any cooler colors to the painting, although the corrective painting could have been done before gluing it down as long as enough of the wax had been removed with the hot iron. Adding paint without compromising the integrity of the batik effect is a major key to keeping this a successful painting.

Methyl cellulose wallpaper paste, applied liberally to really white watercolor paper, works well to secure the painting permanently. However, I was so intent on pasting this really large batik down without messing it up ..... and ended up pasting it down wrong side up! (The wrong side of the batik is similar but the other side was better with more clarity to the shapes and colors.) Rats! Now there will be even more corrections to make, since once it was embedded in the paste, it would have undoubtedly torn too much if I had tried to remove it.

Fifth photo = The finished, corrected painting, backwards, of course. Cool colors of blues, teals, and purples have been added, using both a Pat Dews' atomizer as well as a one inch flat brush, to adjust the outer edges of the painting. I like the warm focus now on the street and the center of the walls, enhanced by the cooler temperatures at the edges.

Last photo = original reference photo/inspiration with many artistic liberties taken.

"ANCIENT WALLS - MORNING LIGHT" Transparent Watercolor and Sumi Ink on Kinwashi Rice Paper, adhered to 140#CP Arches, 25 x 35"















15 comments:

RHCarpenter said...

The addition of the cools really make the warm central area glow even more. Good work - and esp. since you had a minor mistake. Afterall, you always learn more from the mistakes, right? Think it may be time to show them all again side by side so we can pick a favorite!

Vicki Greene said...

I am always thrilled when you show us a batik and I study the information you share so that I can get busy one day and give it a try. This one is beautiful.

Ginny Stiles said...

Oh Sandy..this is JUST what I was waiting for! I am about ready to try a second one and the tips in this are just wonderful. There are a lot of steps to remember and it helped me to see you glue it backwards so I know that even that mistake can be corrected!!! It is so helpful to see the photo too so that one can see how artfully and skillfully you have made that into your own vision. I continue to be wowed by your work.

Chris Beck said...

Sandy, this is fantastic!! Your finished painting is SO much more interesting than the resource photo and the mistake of pasting it down wrong just seems to have added to the character of the walls. Bravo!!

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Wow, what an incredible process. Thanks so much for sharing all this detail with us. Mind you, I can't see me having the patience - or the time - for all the different aspects before finding a finished painting at the end.... but your finished piece is worth all the work in the world. Amazing. You make me feel so old fashioned with just using a brush or palette knife.

Anita Davies said...

Beautiful Sandy

meera said...

Oh wow ! Talk about making the best of every situation--I really like the 'ancient' look of the finished painting. And once again I am in awe of your patience, discipline and your generosity! many many thanks for sharing.

S*Ja Znaju, Scrappar Liv said...

It is just lovely, and reading of the prosess makes me breathless.
Thank you for sharing.
Love it.

masmoulin said...

thank you for this step by step

Deb L├ęger said...

WOW! Beautiful, Sandy! Thanks for showing the different steps. It really helps to see a shot of what you're explaining. I really want to try this one day....

Dawn said...

Holy Crap Sandy, this is beautiful and amazing even upside down ;)
another great lesson, thank you!

Cindi said...

sandy is this spectacular or what..?? im printing it out to just peruse.and see if it will sink in my pea picking brain.. i love it!!. thank you so much for sharing... also speaking of brain.. or lack there of.. you posted on my blog and i pressed publish and it disappeared???? so thanks for posting. sorry i missed what you said.. me and puters dont see eye to eye always.. LOL

Mike said...

Holy Cats!! This is amazing! WOW !!!!

Sandy Maudlin said...

Thanks fo stopping to see five of the same thing. After I posted them, I thought they looked pretty boring. I so appreciate your comments.

Billie Crain said...

Sandy, I'm also extrememly impressed by your results with this batik method! May I ask what type of wax you use for this process? Anything special? I'd love to know.:)