What I love so much about the Faux Batik Technique is how wonderful the colours always are in the finished pieces. I am such a lover of handmade backgrounds and love nothing better than to sit and play with different inks and mediums and let the colours do the work all by themselves. What I love best about this technique is how you can see all the gorgeous handmade fibers in the mulberry paper, even after you have added all the inks!

Faux Batik allows artists of any skill level to sit and play with colour, and create a masterpiece!

Traditionally Batik is created on sheets of Indian silk; a tool is used to draw patterns onto the silk using clear wax which acts as a wonderful resist. Wherever there is wax on the silk sheet, the dye cannot penetrate, giving the artist free reign to create wonderful pieces of resist art in their silk sheets. Once the wax itself has dried, the silk pieces are dipped into silk dyes to create a wonderful backdrop of colour. Once dried, the wax is removed using a heat process to reveal a wonderful resist object d’art!

That’s a little history about the traditional method, now I will explain about the Faux Batik method which stampers of any skill level can re-create using tools and equipment found in every stampers tool box.

Tools Needed To Create Faux Batik Art:

White Mulberry Paper: If you don’t have it you could substitute with white tissue paper or any pale handmade papers.
A Spray Bottle filled with water

Clear Versamark Embossing Ink Pad By Tsukineko: If you don’t have one you can use any generic embossing inkpad for this technique

Clear Embossing Powder: I used Stamps N Stuff, again substitute using the brand name you do have.

Artists Paint Brush

Posh Impressions Rainbow Inks: I used the Floral Brights set, you can substitute using your preferred colours. If you do not own Posh Impressions inks you can use any Artist Ink Mediums. For example inks by Daler Rowney or Winstor and Newton work well for this technique.

Embossing Heat Tool

Ordinary Household Iron

Sheet of Plastic to protect your work surface with

Plain Unprinted Newspaper or Blotting Paper

Baby Wipes or a glass of clear water for cleaning your paint brush out with

Creating Faux Batik Art:

First of all before you begin; completely protect your work surface with sheets of clear plastic (I use cheap food bags for this purpose and bin liners) This technique can get messy to better to protect against accidents.

Before I began adding colour to my sheets of mulberry paper, I tore the large sheet into smaller manageable sized sheets. To do this I dip a brush in clear water, and paint along the mulberry paper with the water where I want to tear the sheet. The water softens the paper and allows me to tear the sheet cleanly to create a nice feathery edge.

Once you have got the mulberry paper the size you want it, you need to stamp it! I find it best to use stamps which are bold and don’t have too much fine detail in them.

Stamp onto the mulberry sheet using a clear embossing inkpad, sprinkle on embossing powder and immediately apply heat from the heat gun to emboss the image.

Take an extra sheet of plastic, and squirt a tiny puddle of Rainbow Inks in the colours you wish to use onto the plastic; this will act as your artist palette.

Place embossed mulberry paper onto plastic covered work surface.
Next soak with entire surface of the mulberry paper with water from the spray gun.

Dip your brush into any colour of your choice from your handmade artist palette and working quickly brush the ink over the entire surface. Apply as many different colours as desired until you are happy with how it looks. Remember to clean your brush between colour changes!

Carefully lift your sheet of ink soaked mulberry paper and place it onto a sheet of unprinted newspaper or blotting paper. Apply heat from an embossing heat gun to dry the inks.

Once the inks have dried; place another sheet of newspaper or blotting paper over the top of the sheet of mulberry paper. Turn on your iron onto cotton setting, let it warm up first. Then quickly iron over the surface. The embossed image will start to soak through the surface of the newspaper. Once it has done that, carefully remove the newspaper from the mulberry paper.

Notice how the embossed image is shiny no more! All of the clear embossing powder has been removed and soaked into the newspaper! The image on the mulberry paper now resembles that of traditional silk batik art!

That’s how easy it is to create Faux Batix!

Tips For Using Inks On Faux Batik Backgrounds

You get a more striking contrast if you use darker ink colours over area of the embossed image.

Do not use too many colours on one faux batik background as you will end up with a muddy colour. Try to go for 2 or 3 colours. Choose colours which compliment each other; for example hot pink, blue and magenta, green and yellow and magenta.

Draw a line of colour around the entire edge of the mulberry paper to create a ‘frame’ of colour around your artwork!

Do not be afraid to experiment with colour combinations and movement with the brush. You can splash the paint on, swirl it, squirt on more water, drip the paint and generally go wild playing with the colours!

Faux Batik is a fun technique where there are no rules and everyone can be an artist! I hope you have as much fun creating them as I did!

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