Last month, I was busy preparing my stories and portfolio for the New Jersey SCBWI conference. Part of that preparation included experimenting with a new technique. With some convincing and encouragement from friends, I started to examine the idea of using batiks for illustrations, a medium I love to use!
Batik is the art of wax resist and dye on fabric or paper. Batiks can be traced back to the Middle East, Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Thailand, Philippines, and India. They are usually created on cloth by applying wax to the material and then dyeing it. Cracks in the wax often occur as the batik is folded or pushed into dying tubs. The “crackling” effect occurs when the dye seeps into any cracked parts of the wax.
Batiks can be done using a tub dye method. First, I draw my picture on white muslin. Then I melt a mix of paraffin and beeswax and painted it on the areas to keep white. The wax has to be hot enough to go on clear so as to not allow any dye to get onto those areas. Next, the fabric is placed into a dye bath of the lightest color. Wherever the wax was applied, that area would stay white. After the fabric is hung to dry, wax is applied to the areas that will stay the light color. The process is repeated until the last color (the darkest) is applied.
Using melted crayons on muslin been giving me the best option with regard to using lots of different colors while keeping the crackling the same color. After painting the picture with the melted crayons, I dye the batik in a tub as mentioned above, and when dry iron out the wax between pieces of newsprint. The crayons may bleed a bit but it can give some amazing effects (plus Photoshop is really great at adjusting colors and fixing errors.)
To learn more about this process, click here.
So in the end, any art process could work for illustrations. You just have to give it a try!
Angela Padron is a published illustrator of two books, including "The Hero in You" by Ellis Paul, as well as a Star Wars geek and chocolate chip cookie connoisseur. She also writes and illustrates her own picture books, board books, and chapter books. She is a teacher, a freelance writer and editor for educational publishers, and the new Children's Alley coordinator for the international Miami Book Fair. Angela spends weekends enjoying walks along the beach with her family. View her online portfolio at www.angelapadron.com. You can also "like" her facebook page, follow her on Twitter @angela_padron, and follow her own blog called "Show and Tell" with weekly posts about reading, writing and illustrating books for children.
Meet the Friday Blogonauts
First Fridays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer , man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
Second Fridays will feature awesome multi-award winning author Marsha Diane Arnold who will be writing about character-driven and/or nature-based books and/or anything she likes :)
Third Fridays will feature independent Aladdin/Simon & Shuster editor Emma Sector who has helped bring many books into the world.
Fourth Fridays will feature the great Christine Taylor-Butler who has published over 70 award-winning fiction and non-fiction and nonfiction books including the acclaimed new middle grade series - The Lost Tribes.
Fifth Fridays will feature the fabulous Carl Angel award-winning multi-published Illustrator and graphic designer.
Join our Tribe
and receive 7 Steps to Creative Happiness, access to free webinars, and lots more!
Your email addresses are always safe and respected with us.
Follow our Blog!