Watercolor batik painting on rice demo- step by step guide

Ryan Fox, watercolor painting, New York watercolor, New York skyline

Painting watercolor batiks on rice paper is amazingly fun.  I melt paraffin wax in a cheap cooking skillet (available in the kitchen department of most stores), apply it with cheap natural hair brushes, and throw a lot of paint on.

As you can see from the photograph above, wax was applied to the whitest areas.  This is evident in the lower parts of the painting.

watercolor painting on rice paper

More wax was applied to the next lightest values.  I continued to build the darks to define the buildings of New York city.  The sky was completely covered in wax at this point- you can detect the glossiness of it in the photograph.


More definition…….


This was the problem solving stage.  I felt the building to the left of the Empire State building was not dark enough, so I darkened the top.  Also, the building and river to the far right of the painting needed separation.


This is what I call the “fun” stage.  I cover the entire surface of the 25×38″ paper with wax and let it cool.  Once the wax is hard, I crumble it up into a ball, creating cracks in the wax.  With a very watery solution of darks, I use a stiff bristle oil brush to work color into the cracks.  Once I see lines forming in the cracks, I cover the surface of the painting again with another layer of wax and let dry.

It is somewhat unpredictable where the water goes.  If you don’t like the look of a crack, run clear water of the area and soak it up with a dry cloth/paper towel.

Once dry, the painting is sandwiched between sheets of newspaper.  Using a hot iron, I melt the wax.  The wax is absorbed into the newsprint.  This step takes a lot of time, and a lot of newspaper- especially for a large piece.

Once the newspaper is no longer soaking up wax, I mount the pieces on hot tact foam core.


watercolor batik painting, rice paper, watercolor rice paper, batik, watercolor painting

Final image

The final image photographed and color corrected.

The original painting and reproductions are available on my etsy account:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/RFoxWatercolors

Hope you enjoyed viewing the batik process.


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