Batik on Masa Paper Workshop: Dragon Design

Today, I took part in a workshop hosted by Catherine Cribbs, another artist in the Porcupine Art Club. Participants learned how to create a scene using the wax-resist dyeing technique of batik,  but using masa paper instead of fabric as the background.

Since the sheet of paper was quite large, I cut it in half and made two separate images (second one to posted later). I decided for the first image to use my linocut dragon template from last December. (The orignal template was 4 inches in diameter; I made a larger version 8 inches diameter and facing the way the final print would appear.)


In the first steps, the dragon (or in this case only the head and neck) were drawn out on the paper in pencil (a little hard to see in the photos), and then warm wax was painted in the areas I wanted to keep white. Originally, I was only going to highlight the eye and paint in my initials and year, but then I decided to splatter some wax randomly to give the picture a more free-form feeling.


When the wax hardened, I painted down a layer of yellow fabric dye and allowed it to dry. Next, I painted wax in all the areas of the dragon I wanted to keep yellow, and splattered some more wax randomly over the entire scene. When the wax hardened, I crinkled up the paper to create cracks in the wax for the final layer of colour to seep through. For this project I decided to use only yellow and a bright red mixture.

For the final layer of colour, I mixed red and vermilion ink together to create an intense orange-red, and then painted over the entire scene. When the ink layer dried, I then sandwiched the painting between layers of blank newsprint paper and ironed off the wax, which created the final picture, looking very much like it was done on fabric.

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