Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Creative Minds Tempera and India Ink "Batik"

I always LOVE this activity!
I knew after the first meeting of Creative Minds that this group of kids could handle the long term dedication needed to see this to fruition. I first did this with a group of elementary school kids in preparation for our first ever "After School Art Show." The image above, of Venus fly traps, is probably still my favorite. (Side story, this student was in 4th grade when she did this. I then had her as an art student in 8th grade when I was finally hired in the public schools. I now see her from time to time at the high school. Side, side note, five years later after I no longer work for the program, the "After School Art Show" still continues each spring!)

So I probably found this idea over five years ago at Kinder Art.
Since then, I have done this with three groups of kids, two of which were after school art clubs. When groups only meet once a week, this can take up to a month to complete. So heres whats up:

  1. Plan a design. I typically talk about motif and random pattern. Some of the most interesting works have been just simple shapes.
  2. Draw the design on larger paper using chalk. I have always used the standard 12x18 manila, school grade paper. 
  3. Paint the design with tempera paint paying careful attention NOT to paint on the chalk lines. It is also a good idea to apply the paint heavily. Not so heavy it cracks when it dries, but heavy keeping in mind that some may wash away later.
  4. When the paint is dry, evenly cover with semi diluted India ink. Adding some water I think helps to wash it away later. When applying, be careful not to "scrub" the ink into the layer of paint. I typically use a 2-3 inch wide brush so that only a few lines of ink are needed to fill the page. Due to the staining nature of the ink too, I have kids paint at a station.
  5. After the ink is dry, run a faucet to warm water. Using a board to support the page, have the warm water run over the inked page. I have used lunch trays in the past. If needed, use a paint brush to gently remove the ink. I reiterate to students that the more wet the page becomes, the more fragile it is. So they need to be super careful when rinsing the ink. I also explain that the more they rinse, the more paint that is under the ink, will rinse off too.

A handful of my Creative Minds kids are at the point of needing to rinse the ink. Hopefully I will have more images tomorrow.

Below are a handful of the final products.
Unfortunately, I think most of these are examples of washing off too much ink. In fact the student who created the first design told me that she felt like she washed off too much. Still a beautiful image though!

Water and fire

The seasons

detail of above

1 comment:

  1. Some great tips here for doing the batik style. I do it every couple of years or so with varying results. It's so unpredictable (in my experience at least) but when it works it looks so cool!! I've never heard to dilute the ink before- that might be my ticket to complete success! Thanks for sharing!