Thursday, December 31, 2015

How to make a wax resist acrylic painting on cotton cloth

Click 'read more' to see the steps in creating this simple image.


Step 1

 Draw a simple image in India Ink or any other waterproof ink on 100% cotton cloth.

Step 2

Apply wax. The wax is used to keep areas white in the image even after the paint has been applied. Use 100% paraffin wax or 80% paraffin and 20% bees wax to create the resist.  Paraffin is more brittle by itself and works well if you like lots of cracks in the wax. Heat the wax in an electric skillet and apply it with a paint brush. Don't forget to splatter some paint around the image for a more interesting final effect. If you want to check out the process and do not want to invest in an electric skillet to melt your wax, try a white unscented candle in a glass container.  Wait until the wax pools, and paint the areas you want to remain white in the picture. This image is a bit dark so that you can see where the wax is applied in some areas.

Step 3

Crumple the cloth to create cracks in the wax .  This is done so that some of the paint will seep into the waxed areas to create veins and textural effects.

Step 4

Flatten out the cloth and apply a layer of the lightest color paint.  I am using use blue, black and brown in this image so I will apply a watery layer of cerulean blue acrylic paint here.  You can see some of the areas where the wax is resisting the acrylic paint in this image.

Step 5

If you don't like waiting for the cloth to dry, you can use a hair dryer between layers of color to dry the cotton cloth.  Be careful not to melt the wax.

Step 6

Add another layer of blue paint to darken some of the areas.  Leave some areas alone so that you have two blue values in your painting.  Dry it again with the hair dryer.

Step 7

Add a bit of watered down lamp black acrylic paint to the background along the horizon line on the left and smudge it a bit on the right. 

Step 8

Dry the cotton cloth again here.

Step 9

Darken the trees by adding lamp black and rawt umber acrylic paint here. Also add a bit more of the cerulean blue to create a few shadows on the ground plane.  Don't worry about making mistakes. The mistakes can be interesting features in the final picture. This is a spontaneous process-have a bit of fun!

Step 10

Place your  image between a few layers of newspaper.  It's OK if it is a bit damp at this point since the next step will surely dry it out.

Step 11

With a dry iron on the linen setting, iron the image. You will only need 2 or 3 layers of newspaper on top.  The wax will transfer to the newspaper and the white areas will emerge.

Step 12

You are done! 

Step 13

Place it in a mat and you've got a winner! 

The owl was made the same way. Choose a subject that has enough white to create contrast and interest.