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Charles C. Finn
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watercolor batik on rice paper architectural painting France

"French Windows." 12x12" watercolor batik on rice paper. Click on the image to buy prints or original painting.

Watercolor batik is a painting technique that has been floating around for a while. I have painted on fabric before (not batik method strictly speaking), I knew the theory (basically, you use wax/paraffin in place of masking liquid and rice paper in place of regular watercolor paper) and I kept seeing paintings done in this technique here and there. Finally, months after bookmarking a demo by Kathie George on Artists Network, I decided to give it a try.

Materials and gear:

  • Watercolor paints, obviously
  • Some kind of oriental/rice paper. I used something looking like the regular sumi-e rice paper (the one that has no sizing and makes your paint run like crazy)
  • Ink pen (optional). I used Pigma Micron
  • Brushes – your regular watercolor brushes plus something designated specifically for applying paraffin. I used a 1.5″ flat bristle brush from a hardware supply store and a couple of smaller bristle brushes.
  • Electric griddle or some other way to keep the paraffin melted.
  • Paraffin – I used a candle stump
  • Iron
  • Lots of newspapers/tissue paper/any thin absorbent paper that you can use for ironing the paraffin off your painting

The process

1. Make your drawing if you plan on having the lines. If you need to make a sketch first and then trace it onto the rice paper, be my guest. I drew straight on the rice paper – I think the uneven lines are not so horrible and actually add character.

watercolor batik tutorial ink drawing on rice paper

Here, I already decided what my lightest lights are (a term meaning the areas of the artwork that will be the lightest in value. In watercolor, you typically leave them untouched, no paint at all). I masked them out with melted paraffin.

2. Apply first wash of color. You will be working from light to dark, so decide what your next lightest areas are and fill them in. Often those are going to be your yellows, as they tend to be light in value. I also painted the bright colors of the flowers on the windowsills at this stage. I wanted to keep them fresh, so no more layers of paint on top.

demo watercolor batik step by step

3. Apply more paraffin to areas that you want to keep the way they are. Paint middle values.

step-by-step tutorial watercolor batik

4. Same thing. Mask out the areas that you are happy with and move on with another layer of watercolor. Here I am about to add the darks.

ink and watercolor on rice paper batik technique demonstration

5. The image below is almost completely covered with paraffin.

original watercolor batik painting in progress

6. More paraffin, more paint.

french architectural watercolor batik painting in process

7. Once you’re done, cover it all completely with paraffin and crinkle the paper. Apply a wash of color on top. I chose rusty orange to match the color of my ink lines. It will bleed into the cracks and bead on top of paraffin.

batik on rice paper watercolor

This step is optional. If you don’t want the web pattern on top of the painting, feel free to skip it.

8. Newspapers and iron time. Place the painting between several layers of newspaper or tissue paper and keep ironing until all of the paraffin comes off. You will need to change the layers of paper to new ones in the process.

rice paper watercolor batik

This is what it looked like after removing paraffin. I was fine with it for a day but then decided the white spots in the bottom third of the painting were just too distracting. When I tried painting them over, I couldn’t: there was still some paraffin in the paper. One extra ironing removed it and I was able to tone the white spots down.

Here is the finished version:

watercolor batik on rice paper architectural painting France

Detail views:

watercolor batik detail view

watercolor batik on rice paper detail view

batik watercolor painting

And a handy time lapse video: French Windows

Hope you enjoyed it! Questions? Suggestions? Comments?

Originally published at:


I was watching some little Red Poles outside on one of our trees and I thought I’d try some new techniques; here is a step by step of the acrylic / water color painting. Here is the finished product:

New Techniques

Here is a method I stumbled onto that (for this painting anyway) has created a wonderful result.

With this painting I wanted a very loose background. Taking my sheet of watercolor paper I used a 1 1/2? wash brush and wet the entire paper. Now holding it elevated at one end I lightly applied blobs and streaks of color vertically. As gravity pulled the paint downward vague impressions of birch trunks emerged. Before the paper dried I lightly sprinkled it with salt to imply a light snow falling gently to the ground.

With the background done I switch over to acrylic paint. With thin, semi-transparent strokes I begin to block in the birch branches.

Now I mix titanium white and water to apply the snow. It is important to use semi-transparent paint when using this technique because you do not want your different elements to appear pasted onto the transparent background. By implementing these less opaque applications of paint we are helping the painting to become a cohesive unit.

With the addition of the Redpoll the painting is now finished. Watercolor and acrylic on watercolor paper. 11×15

These Common Redpolls frequent our bird feeder on the porch. They remind me of God’s provision. Though they seem so little and insignificant upon first glance, each little bird has his own personality and quirks. He doesn’t worry where or how his next meal will come to be, even in the long cold winter. It is provided.

To see more step-by-step tutorials visit my website here:

This Original, "Eying the Feeder" is Available through Artic Rose Gallery. (907) 279-3911. 420 L St # 201 Anchorage, AK

How to make needlefelted acorns

Posted by: viltalakim

Tagged in: wool , tutorial , needle felting , how- to- do , Autumn , acorns


Today I felt like sharing the needle felt technique as I love to do so during autumn. So here we start. Needle felting is different from wet felting. With wetfelting you use water and soap, with needle felting not. It is sometimes also called dry felting.  This is everything you need:

  • some wool fleece , (if you have roving it will be taking longer to get such a nice and even result. but it is usable too )
  • feltingneedle (this needle has barbs , which get a fiber down and another one up)
  • a sponge or styrpohor
  • glue, can also be a hotglue machine
  • acorncaps
making acorns

things you need to make needle felted acorns

Step 1:

Divide your woolfleece into long pieces of  approximately  10 cm  (3.9 inch) or longer or lesser if you want thicker or thinner balls.

make it smaller to get the desired thickness of the acorn

I made them like this

a 3cm (1.2inch) wide "lock" is perfect

Step 2:

Start rolling it up from one side to the other. It makes it easier if you do this on a table as you should try to get it as tight as possible, saves you time later:)

start rolling it up tightly

This is how it looked like when I finished rolling

ready to get to the next stage

Step 3

Now place this fluffy ball of wool on the sponge and get your feltingneedle. I mostly use two:  one to stab into the wool  and one which holds the wool on the sponge. I can also hold it with my fingers but it is quite painfull when you stab into your fingers. So the second needle prevents me from doing so as my fingers are higher:) You can also use  a little stick or  fork for this.

stabbing time! be carefull with your fingers

I stab it from all sides, I mostly start at the side my wool ended. Stabbing from the tops makes it get more round instead of longwise.

stabbing from all sides

Step 4

You are ready when your ball feels hard and no woolfibres come out anymore. Now it is time to search for a nice acorn cap which would fit perfectly.

searching for the perfect cap

Step 5

When you have a cap; fill it with glue, make sure to add enough at the sides and stick your ball to the cap.

use enoug glue as the wool and cap will absorb some

after adding it into the cap hold it tight for a few seconds

Step  6

You are now finished, start making a new one or find a nice place to present it. Enjoy!!!

a nice spot in my house:)

Enjoy trying this out!!
If you have any questions please contact me!!

PS1 , I have enoug of this wool and will upload it to my supply shop: if you want some:)

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