Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fishwife - complete

Everything is a learning experience and its good to go outside your comfort zone and just let creativity flow.  I found that doing this batik on paper hit all areas.   The original sketch was done from an idea in my head, no references, just thoughts flowing.   I decided that I'd try my hand at batik using hot wax on paper instead of the faux batik that I'd used previously.

The build up from the drawing transfer, applying layers of wax over pigment had me doubting that the mess in front of me would ever turn into something salvageable.  The final layers of wax over the entire piece after I had cracked the wax and applied a dark indigo wash to seep in the fissures really left me thinking this was only fit for the trash can.  I didn't take a photo of it at that stage and should have as it really was not a pretty sight.

However, I made my batik sandwich of white paper and newsprint and ironed it to soak the wax out of the piece.  When I changed newspapers to blot more wax, the transformation was appearing.  This is the final piece.  It will need some more tweaks and there are some things that I will  be careful of in future batik work.
  • I didn't use enough wax on the face of the fishwife, so the darker colour seeped under vital sections, darkening it more than I wanted.   I think I can fix this with a light wash of acrylic, well watered down or perhaps a touch of pastel.
  • I was too enthusiastic about cracking the wax and ended up with too much of the crackled effect.
  • I need to go in and add more detail to some of the small fish.  Their small size makes waxing detail difficult, so it may be simpler to wax them completely after a first wash then work on detail later.
  • Now I want to do more!


Ernest Friedman-Hill said...

Thanks for the post-analysis -- interesting and valuable stuff. The finished piece has something of your style in it, and yet it's completely different. Fascinating!

Christiane Kingsley said...

Congratulations, Jeanette! Well done! I hope that you will do a lot more of these.
Almost two years ago, I bought the Japanese rice paper, the wax, the pan etc...but, I still have not tried this technique:-)

Billie Crain said...

Not bad at all for a first go at this technique. I hope you'll make this a re-do as I love the concept of this piece.

Anonymous said...

Incredible that this is on paper. It really looks like fabric! I can't wait to see what you come up with for your next :).
Stay inspired!

Jennifer Rose said...

its a neat effect :D love doing this on fabric, but sometimes ironing all the wax out can take ages
like how it looks like the fish wife has a skull superimposed over her face :)

Dee Doyle said...

You have done a great job with your fishwife. I, too, have been playing with watercolor batiks and am loving the process. Results are not always what I expect, but, how can one "expect" certain results with such a wild process! There are a few of us "out here" playing with this technique. It would be great fun to compare notes! :-) You certainly are creative!

Trade Your Talent said...

wow, this looks really wonderful! what an exciting technique to work with!

Jeanette said...

Ernest, the piece is a side of me rarely seen. I don't do illustrational type pieces often but its fun to try now and then. And a different technique changes things up a bit.

Christiane, funny how we have the goods but sometimes don't use them isn't it? I've had the idea simmering in my mind to do a paper batik for a long time. Now was the time.

Billie, I'm not sure if this specific piece will be redone, but never say never. I have some other ideas in my head for more pieces though.

Thanks Michelle, it gives a unique look and really changes the feel of the paper after the wax is removed.

Jennifer,I've never tried it on fabric,seems even messier than on paper! :) You know, another person said the same thing about the skeleton on the face,but I can't see it! I'll have to look harder.

Dee, welcome to the blog. Its wonderful to see another who has some watercolour batik under their belt. Yes we will have to compare notes

I'm thinking of some type of water piece using this technique next. I do love the 'surprise' aspect of it,its a bit like printmaking, waiting to see what it looks like once the wax has been removed.

Trade you Talent,it is an interesting, but time consuming technique. The results are so unpredictable, that's what makes is fascinating I think.

Felicity said...

Gosh, this is beautiful, I can't imagine it needs any changes!

Sue Pownall said...

This is beautiful- I like the subtlety and the lack of detail which you said you wanted to add later.

Hedera said...

I can see a mosaic here Jeanette - lovely colours! Congratulations on staying with the process and for trying something new...

debwardart said...

It helps to have a value study or map, or use more simple shapes (to start) - yours was quite involved. Hope you had fun???
If you are interested, I've got a few posts on my blog (look under the labels for "watercolor batik") that show some of the process. Also, the August 2011 issues of Watercolor Artist mag has an article by Kathie George - the guru of this technique - a great step-by-step.
I think if you do this a few more times you will love it - and it would work well with your fish - I can only imagine the fun you could have waxing scales!

suzanneberry said...

this is sensational!!! i'm so afraid of trying different techniques! you are such an inspiration! just look at what you've done!!!! amazing work!

Jeanette said...

Felicity, thank you.

Sue, I always want to make things perfect. A bad habit :)

Thanks Hedera, its an interesting process with lots of possibilities that I'll be trying again.

Deb, thanks for telling me about more information on your blog, I'll check it out for sure.

Of course I always jump in with both feet and the piece was out of my head, so didn't do a value map for it, just pushed through. I have some simpler pieces in mind for the future. And yes, I did have fun!

Suzanne, it really is freeing to try something completely different, I can't begin to tell you how good it feels, if not a bit scary too.