Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daffodils Are Blooming - It's Almost Spring!

Daffodils are blooming here in West Tennessee--daffodils and sunflowers are my two favorite flowers. If daffodils are not blooming where you are, paint the picture above and bring an early Spring into your home!

This painting uses a technique that gives the painted picture a batik-look achieved without the traditional batik use of wax.

Batik is a wax resist dyeing technique used on textiles usually found in several countries of West Africa, such as Nigeria, Cameroon, and Mali, and in Asia, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Iran, Malaysia, and Thailand. In Indonesia it is considered a national art form.

Instructions for painting this picture using this technique:
1. Do not tape down your paper before you sketch. Sketch in the flowers and leaves with little detail. Make the pencil lines dark enough on the flowers to be seen after the crumpling and wetting technique, but do not press hard enough to indent or scratch the paper.

2. Here's the hard part.....crumple the paper up in a ball as though you were going to throw it away. Concentrate on making wrinkles in all ares of the paper without tearing it....crumple it easily.

3. Submerge the paper ball into water making certain it is evenly wet. Remove from the water and unfold carefully. Smooth onto your sketch board and tape along the edges. The tape will not stick well to the wet surface; however, it will hold enough to keep the paper in place.

4. While the paper is still very wet, float in the background of green and blue working around the flowers. Use a large flat brush or mop to place in the background except for working around the flowers. Use a #6 round or similar size brush to work in the background around the flowers.

5. Let this dry COMPLETELY!

6. Once the background is dry, paint in the flowers using a wet-in-wet technique. Some of the blue and green from the background will be found in the wrinkles and creases of the paper and will look like veins in the flower petals. Also the wrinkles and creases will allow the flower colors to bleed into other ares. Don't despair that is what you want to happen and is part of the beauty of this technique.

7. The leaves are painted in only after the flowers are dry. If your leaves have become hidden under the washes, lightly sketch in some leaves. Using a mix of colors: gold, green, and blue - add leaves using deeper colors to indicate shadows. Some of the leaves are simply painted with a wash of water to lift paint and give the appearance of flowers fading into the background.

8. The painting can be matted on top of a mat board with a torn edge in keeping with the batik look.

Enjoy creating an early Spring at your house!

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