This is a tempera batik project I did with a Grade 6 class. There are many variations of how to do this process floating around the internet. I essentially followed this one. The idea is to create a batik-type effect using tempera paint and black ink. I don't find it's so much like batik; more of a haunting textural effect.
With tempera batik I have found that you need to experiment ahead of time and test it out with your equipment (different brands seem to have different effects). Most importantly, use nice thick paper as it needs to be soaked in water later.
I used the French Expressionist artist George Rouault and his clown series for the inspiration for this project. I think his clowns look so dark and emotive and work well with this technique.
I took the photo below when I visited the Pompidou Center in Paris. There was a whole wall devoted to Rouault's portraits, including the clowns.
|Clown by Georges Rouault|
I started off by showing a slide show of his works. Have students discuss the characteristics of his work and the emotions the paintings evoke. Then students did practice sketches of clown faces in their sketchbooks.
Draw the good copy in pencil on heavy white paper. Then pass over all the pencil lines with a thick line of chalk. Above you can see the clown has been drawn in yellow chalk. Now paint everything with tempera paint, but not the thick chalk lines. Students need to let each layer dry and paint at least two thick layers. It's best to use lighter and brighter colours as the overall picture will get dulled down by the India ink in the later steps.
Then, using a wide foam brush, lay on an even layer of India ink.
I think I only let it dry about 5 minutes or less, then students washed them off in the sink. They wet the whole paper, then use their fingers to gently 'scrub' away the ink, revealing the paint below. If you scrub it too hard, or let it soak too long, the tempera paint will start to dissolve and the paper could tear, so be careful wih this step.
Some of the ink stays, hence the textural effect.
This display really creeped me out, I have to say...