Today's post shows the step by step process of yesterday's batik post.

First photo - Finished batik on Kinwashi rice paper

Second photo - First layer of hot wax (Gulf paraffin, not bees wax) and watercolor... wax is only painted on the whitest shapes in the painting to preserve them, (similar to painting miskit to preserve the whites.) The first 'wash' is supposed to be only one value, using several colors, randomly placed for the most part.

Third photo - you can see the pale, second wash on top of the second layer of wax, carefully applied to the shapes that need to be very light, like the inside rim of the sun. Next, (fourth photo) the batik is hanging to dry after another layer of waxing and paint. A fan helps it dry faster, but don't use a hair dryer or the heat will melt the wax, making it spread into weird blobs.

The next step (fifth photo) shows the value differences even better with the fourth layer of wax applied to all shapes that need to be preserved for that value. Again, colors were more or less randomly washed on, and my focus was to keep the painting warm at this point. Only a few cool colors were touched in, but still about the same value for each wash.

The process continues... painting hot wax to cover the shapes which must remain the value of the previous wash. Follow up by painting over the whole page to darken one value darker, using mostly random colors. Dry and repeat until all the shapes are covered with wax except for the darkest shapes.

The step below shows the next to the last wash over a mostly waxed sheet of paper. At this point, I changed to strong, cool colors to make a good contrast with the earlier warms.

The wax makes the paint under it look a little darker. The edges of the unpainted ends of the Kinwashi paper show on both sides.

I added one more really dark wash for the darkest darks, then let it dry. When the batik was completely dry, I waxed all the remaining shapes, so that the whole paper was completely covered with wax.

Below, the 34 x 26" completely waxed paper has been crunched up and wrinkled, breaking the wax surface so that diluted Sumi ink can be applied to seep down into the cracks to create the traditional batik effect. The white jagged lines in the photo are actually the cracked paraffin. This is the really messy part, and I forgot to take photos of the inking and ironing.

The final photo below shows the full size of the painting before it was glued to the wrapped canvas. Two inches wrapped along each side of the canvas, creating a finished look.

The wax was ironed off the Kinwashi paper right after the inking was completed. I glued the Kinwashi down over a generous layer of acrylic matte medium on the canvas then left it to dry overnight. Often, there are tears in the paper which are easy to repair during the gluing down process.

Later, I added a thicker, dark border around the bird area, using fluid acrylics. Watercolor would've worked too, but would have been more difficult to use on the previously waxed surface. (See finished pix at top of post.)


cathyswatercolors said...


Vicki Greene said...

How I missed the post on the 28th I do not know but want to chime in here with I LOVE IT. I also am thrilled with the idea of putting it on a gallery wrap canvas. Once you have glued it down with the matte medium and it has dried do you then put something else on top to seal it? Thank you for sharing your step by step.

Sandy Maudlin said...

Thanks for the comments. Vicki, I do put a matte finish, acrylic varnish mixture over the whole canvas several weeks after it's dried, to protect it completely.

Meera Rao said...

Thank you very much for the step by step. I don't know if I have the patience to do it :(. But love the effect.

Dawn said...

wow now I am even more amazed at this painting. very cool process Sandy!!

Michelle Himes said...

I loved seeing how you did this, Sandy. Wow! You have so many cool techniques, and you are a master at all of them. This is awesome!

Nava said...

Sandy, the painting is both beautiful and haunting. And sharing the process - thank you!!! I'm very tempted to give it a try.

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi Sandy,
Stunning pieces! Thanks for sharing the process.

Anonymous said...


I have a couple questions if you have the time great, if you do not have the time, I understand.The first question about this batik technique and the technique that you used for the "Penguin Parade" do you find one technique to have a more randomness to it and or which one would you say surprises you more, or are they about the same.

The other question concerns the "Penguin Parade" painting do you have any prints left and what size are the prints you have left.


P.S. have you ever made any teaching videos?

Sandy Maudlin said...

Thnks to everyone for your comments. So appreciated:-) And Paul, there's different surprises/randomness for each technique. The difference between the penquins and the batik is that the penquins get the surprises early inthe process but the batiks aren't seen until the wax ios removed at the end. I like having to wait til the end, I guess - (more surprises with batik because of not seeing it til the end.)

The penquin prints are giglees and cost $125 plus sales tax and freight. Size is about 12" x 28".
Sorry, no teaching videos in my future. I love teaching workshops, tho.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the info about the different techniques,and I will be contacting you soon about the "Penguin Parade" giclee print.

My birthday is coming up so hopefully the wife has gotten my hints.

Nick said...

That's fantastic Sandy, and as I told a workshop last week, you're the one doing REAL batik with watercolor. I remember another one of your's with some crows that was killer. The Venice pics are a new look with the yupo, too. I'd like to do your workshop one of these days, how 'bout over this way?

Sandy Maudlin said...

Hi Paul,
Hope you have a great birthday. Check out this special penquin on YOUTUBE-


Sandy Maudlin said...

Hey Nick,
Fluid Acrylics are really really great on YUPO. LOVE THEM. Cannot imagine your takinga workshop at this point in your art journey... but ya never know. We only have 4 openings now for your workshop here in 2010. Sure looking forward to it, too.

Margaret Ann said...

Glorious! :)

linda Schuler said...

This picture turned out sooo wonderful. I really love it. Looks even better in person. I really love our classes and the new day has worked out better than I could have wished for.