Deb Ward, GWS, OWS, PWS, WSI - WATERCOLOR/WATER MEDIA - My passion is teaching adult “beginners”. Weekly classes in my home; workshops; classes for Cincinnati Recreation Commission. My work is nationally recognized and published - see “Featured” on my sidebar. I’m a Signature Member of Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana state Watercolor Societies, Cincinnati Art Club, past-President of Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society. Contact info below under “Class Information”

Saturday, August 15, 2009


This painting got quite a bit of attention at our GCWS spring show, and quite a few people asked me “how’d you do that”!! This is what prompted my recent batik workshops.

Here’s a “how to” for you, in case you missed my recent batik workshop (hint, hint!!). If you live in the area and are interested in learning how to master this technique, give me a holler via email! I’ll be giving another workshop either later in the fall or next spring.
Here is my flag drawn out on white paper (upper right), the photo I’m working from and my rice paper with the flag drawn onto it.

My first step was to put a light wash of raw sienna all over to “dumb down” the white of the flag. You must be careful with the paper while it is wet, it tears easily. I had the painting laid out on freezer paper and set it aside to dry.

After the raw sienna layer had dried I put in the flag shadows, both light and dark areas, and let it dry. It’s hard to control the paint on the rice paper, it tends to bleed quite a bit, so I tried to use thicker pigment in some areas.

Here is my set up:
I lay down foil so that any hot wax drips will not harm my table cover. My wax heats up in a small electric skillet. Problem is, you cannot maintain a steady heat in the skillet – it keeps cycling – heating up and then cooling slightly, just enough to make the wax begin to solidify before it re-melts and it’s annoying! (I’m going to try to locate some wax heaters). I use Gulf wax which can be found in the canning section of the grocery. Just be careful not to let it get too hot or it will catch on fire.
I use an assortment of old brushes to apply the hot wax.

I’m ready to begin applying the wax and since I don’t want to drip it all over my painting, I have covered most of the flag with copy paper.

The stars and white stripes have been waxed.

The red paint has been applied, and as you can see, it ran a little into the blue field. As I mentioned, it’s hard to control the paint on the rice paper. (I think I used permanent rose, alizarin crimson and cadmium red).
I also use old brushes when doing the batik painting since I don’t want any wax to accidentally get into my good brushes or paint or onto my palette – a lesson learned the hard way!!


Vicki Greene said...

Thank you for sharing your wip. I have started a drawing for a batik today. You and Sandy M. have inspired me.

debwardart said...

Good for you Vicki - it's messy but fun! Please share your experiment with us via your blog! You can batik anything, but subjects with defined edges work best. There will be more on this one coming soon!

Tina Steele Lindsey Art said...

I found you via Chris Beck's site. I read your last comment to him. I almost wrote about the seasons, as well, and opted not to. Maybe because it was meant for you to write it so eloquently as you did. Lovely work here, I hope all is well for you. My best.

Ginny Stiles said...

Deb...did I miss it somehow. Where is the flag when it was completely finished?

debwardart said...

Ginny - you are a step ahead - it's in the next post!