Faux Batik Silk Painting

I forgot to mention before that this technique I'm doing is called faux batik, because I'm using wax as a resist. But because I'm applying the dyes with a brush, instead of dipping the whole piece in dye as in traditional batik, it's called 'faux'.

So more layers! After my first waxing of background leaves from the previous post, I painted on another layer of dye. (Forgot to take a photo of that stage). This photo here shows the following stage where I waxed in yet more leaf shapes and painted a further layer of dye.

When wet dye is painted over dry dye that hasn't been set yet, the wet dye causes the dry dye underneath it to move with it. This 'dance' causes delightful organic shapes and patterns to form, which suggest leaves, flowers or stems (or whatever). I just enhance the suggestion by waxing a shape and dyeing around it.


Well I'm done with the main painting now; all that's left is to create the crackle pattern, which is characteristic of batik. To do this I paint wax over the entire piece, remove it from the frame, crumple it to crack the wax and then re-stretch it on the frame. The cracked wax is what you see in this scary-looking photo! I'll paint dye over the whole thing - the dye will seep into the cracks, forming the crackle.