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Paper Batik Flower Paintings

Paper Batik Flower Paintings
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Find out how to make wonderful batik style paintings with flowers as the theme.

By Rebecca Engelman [Rebecca is an Art Specialist at Cathedral School, Bismarck, ND]


Students will:

  • Recognize the basic shapes that define flowers.
  • Use these repeating shapes to draw simple flowers.
  • Apply paint within a restrictive area.
  • Understand the technique of Batik.
  • Discuss and use overlapping.

What You Need:

  • Sheets of scratch practice paper
  • Markers
  • 12″x16″ Manila paper
  • White chalk
  • Tempera paint
  • Black India ink
  • Assorted brushes
  • Large, soft house painting brush
  • Flat cookie sheet

What You Do:

Day One

  1. Using repeating shapes, demonstrate for the students how to draw very simple flowers. Begin with a circle. Add ovals or triangles for petals. Rotate around the circle. Use simple details for the center of the flower.
  2. Direct the students to create two different flowers on their practice sheet with a large marker. This helps the students to draw large and also eliminates constant erasing. Display the results. Tell the students, “In art, it is ok to share ideas with each other. If you see an idea you like, try it! You can always make small changes. This will make it your own.”
  3. Give each student a sheet of the Manila paper and a piece of white chalk. Have them redraw their two flowers on the paper. Repeat these two designs till the paper is full. Encourage the students to overlap some flowers or allow them to go off the page.
  4. Using a limited palette and small brushes, have the students paint in the flowers. The trick is to keep all the paint OFF of the chalk lines and to use very thick, heavy paint. This may be difficult for the students to visualize. So be prepared to demonstrate several times for each group. All chalk lines should be FREE OF PAINT. The paint should be applied very heavy. Watch for students who try to spread the paint too thin. Encourage them to dip their brush in the paint frequently. Work slowly and carefully repeating colors.
  5. After the flowers have been painted, mix several shades of light blue paint, one shade for each table. Have the students use this paint for the background. Again, emphasize the need to keep the chalk lines free of paint. Dry.

Day Two

  1. Pass back paintings. Mix a dish of slightly diluted India ink for each group. Make sure the students are wearing paint shirts and that the tables are covered. Give each student a large easel brush.
  2. Have the students gently paint the India ink over their flower pictures. Use a generous amount of ink. Do not brush back and forth, but rather float the ink over the paper. Dry.

Day Three

  1. Have the students bring their paper to the sink, one at a time. (This is a great time to have them bring a library book to class!)
  2. Lay the paper face up on the back of the cookie sheet.
  3. Run warm water over the painting to remove the ink.
  4. Use a very soft paintbrush to gently remove stubborn ink. Do not try to remove all the black areas. Too much brushing will also cause the tempera paint to fade.
  5. Lay the wet papers flat to dry.
  6. If the papers have curled, iron them between two pieces of paper when dry.

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