Saturday, October 29, 2011

Paint Batik, or The Art of Stressing Out

The unaltered tempera painting by Nate1253

An example of a completely inked painting

The painting after rinsing off the ink

The painting with color reapplied in specific areas and rinsed slightly

The unaltered tempera painting by Michaela1229

The paint batik end product after some rework

The unaltered tempera painting by Brittany5262

The paint batik end product which she didn't need to rework

Here's a recipe to totally annihilate the "preciousness" of student  work:

           1.  Take one perfectly fine tempera painting
           2.  Completely obliterate it in a single coat of India ink
           3.  Let dry for no more than 15 minutes
           4.  Rinse off and totally freak out
           5.  Dry flat and hope for the best
           5.  Jump in and repaint areas for emphasis

Something must have changed in my standard tempera paint's formula.  During the rinsing process, instead of a little paint washing away leaving cool staining affects with India ink, we experienced a mass exodus of tempera pigment.  Paintings bled ink and tempera down the drain to such an extent that the color drained from my students' faces as well.

Frankly, the paint batik process balances risk and unexpected happy accidents.  So, I encouraged my students to repaint some areas to add emphasis and appreciate those happy accidents. I'm not sure I've convinced all of them that the end results were successful.  On the bright side, I think their altered works at least challenged them to think creatively.  When I repeat this project in a couple of years, we're adding a bit of Elmer's Glue to our paint for more staying power.

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