Indian Batik, the Kid-friendly Way

Third through sixth grades have been creating art on fabric, in the Indian style. I’m not a fan of hot wax around children, though, and dye has no washability with student messes, so we did our batik the kid-friendly way. We used Elmer’s blue gel glue and acrylic paint. I first saw this technique on That Artist Woman’s blog, here. Some adjustments I made for my students are drawing their design on the wax paper with sharpie, then tracing that pattern on the fabric set over the wax paper using the glue; and for my older students, we added more glue design over the acrylic paint once it dried, and then added a second layer of paint over that in the background. I encouraged light colors for the underpainting for them, and we allowed the second layer of acrylic to only MOSTLY dry, so that some washed away as we washed away the glue. This created a much more batik-y look.

a third grade peacock

a fourth grade peacock

another fourth grade peacock

a sixth grade elephant

a sixth grade monkey

I think these turned out very well. The medium of glue was very new to the students, who couldn’t really forsee the results after it all washed out, and kept trying to paint the dried glue as if the lines would stay this painted color. The washing out step was a revelation to many! I also offered a much larger palette than I usually do, and some of the kids just went crazy with color, in spite of my warnings to select a few to work with. Those are a little harder to discern, but I’ll post a couple of those later. The water to wash out the glue really does need to be hot, so we only did a preliminary wash at school, and I took them home to really wash them completely and press.

I plan to finish these squares by mounting them to foamboard backing. Maybe. We’ll see how it goes!

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2 Comments

Filed under Art, Fifth/Sixth Grade, Teaching, Third/Fourth Grade

2 responses to “Indian Batik, the Kid-friendly Way

  1. Kristen Maier

    We have no art teacher at our school, so I try to do an art project every week or two with my 4th graders. Thanks for the great idea!

  2. myriah

    I LOVE this one. The elephants are wonderful, all of it is really great. LOVE. 😀

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