Diana Fenney - Batik Method of Painting

 Batik can be worked on many surfaces; cloth, paper, canvas and some plastics. Diana used ‘Tissuetex’,  a long-staple abaca tissue for her demonstration, together with water-soluble, light-fast dyes.  Like watercolour, the work is painted from the lightest tones through to the darkest. The palest dyes required are applied first and dried thoroughly.

 Hot wax ( at 78 degrees ) is then painted on to the areas which are to be kept pale. These waxed areas are then protected from further dye and the darker areas are gradually built up, waxed and then dyed. When finished, the wax is partially removed by ironing between old newspapers ( the ink on new papers may be absorbed by the wax on the painting ). It is essential to make sure that the whole of the picture is covered with wax as it changes the tone of the dye slightly and un-waxed areas may be very noticeable.

 

The brilliance of the dyes and the wax finish, which is never entirely removed, gives Batik its unique vibrancy. The wax also means that the picture is very durable to light and harmful atmosphere.

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