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Batik on Paper + Salt Watercolor Experimentation

This amazing piece of abstract art is the result of a failed experiment, it just goes to show…

mistakes are often magic in the making!

watercolor experiments for kids, watercolor toddlers, creative art for toddler, watercolor technique, watercolor glue technique, abstract watercolors

Elmer’s blue school gel can be used to make batik fabric, it peels right off and leaves behind contrasting white stripes. I hoped to recreate the same thing on paper (like you would with rubber cement, but a less stinky option for working with kids). It didn’t work quite as expected. The Elmer’s Blue School gel that pulls effortlessly off fabric just tears paper.

We revisited this project for Valentine's day, what a hit!
We revisited this project for Valentine’s day, what a hit!

However, I’m not chalking this up as a failure, I think this is a pretty darn cool piece of art!

The glue reacted with the paint in such a unique way – the photo doesn’t really capture how raised it is. The organic shape, texture and the reflectiveness adds up to a cool finished product in my book! The white starbursts seen throughout the painting are pockets of salt on the liquid watercolors. Whenever Claire paints she usually asks for the salt grinder. It’s a clever little piece of magic to watch the salt chase away the pigment underneath it.

If you haven’t tried salt and watercolors together, you must add it to your to-do list. This is a creative, abstractor watercolor piece that any kid and toddler can make (and you can be proud to display).

Here is EXACTLY how we did this:
  1. Grab some Elmer’s Blue School Gel and “draw” all over a piece of thick water color paper with it.
  2. Let the glue dry, the longer it dries, the more “3D” the painting will appear. We left it 8 hours.
  3. Once the glue is dry, paint over your picture and the glue using liquid watercolors.
  4. While the watercolors are still wet, sprinkle with salt (any kind in your kitchen will do)

Speaking of liquid watercolors, check these out. I’m always receiving emails about where to buy them, and these are one of my favorite brands (and the ones that seem to be non-staining, especially important if you’re making Bathtub Puffy Paint!)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GPNLE6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=sl1&tag=chinmypo-20&linkId=63e20626d83e486884a60855b3073921          

Here are the exact products I’ve used. I think the watercolor paper in a pack of 100 is the most affordable option in terms of paper. You want something really thick and the 15 sheet pads are really pricy at my local crafts store.

Looking for even more fun with your liquid watercolors? Try bathtub puffy paint, a tactile art experience that is mess free — and actually made of soap:

bathtub puffy paint, diy bath paint, tactile art experiences for baby, hands on art

UPDATE 2.14.2012

 I finally got around to documenting with photos step by step our technique. Check out our Valentine’s Post below for more inspiration.
Happy Crafting!

47 thoughts on “Batik on Paper + Salt Watercolor Experimentation

  1. What a gorgeous effect! It's only through experimentation that discoveries are made, and I think you're on to something here. And thanks to you, I've also bookmarked the batik project. Too bad we don't live closer to each other to share materials, as I have the paint but not the glue!

  2. The picture is so truly amazing! I love your beautiful blog and you have such an awesome list of projects and fun DYI. You are very creative! I am now following you thanks to Boost My Blog Friday last week, and it would be so nice if you could share the love back on my blog:)
    And don't forget to check out our new Blog Tutorial going on today. It's pretty easy and it comes in handy, especially for creative people like you and your awesome bunch:) See you there!
    Happy Wednesday

  3. There is a new online community for teachers to share ideas, thoughts, and funny stories. It's also a great way for bloggers to find other like minded teachers to follow their blogs. Check it out today at AnonymousApple.com

  4. Hi Regina,
    I think we've met before at the Tinker Labs where you and I shared ideas over the art dice. :)

    The batik effect on paper looks really unique. Like, you suggested, there's much scope for trial and error here and lots of fun can be had in the process.
    Thanks for sharing. I am going to subscribe to your blog… :)

  5. Just landed over here (and subscribed!), so I'm not sure if you've already tried this. When I was in college I used to take rubber cement on both watercolor paper and illustration board to mask off areas to get the effect I think you were looking for here. I had so much fun with the technique I created TONs of paintings!

  6. will you please write out how you did the painting above. I know you used glue, salt and watercolor but not sure in what order, etc. I would love to try this with my kids next week!!

  7. Hello! I'm so impressed with your art and blog, and tell your daughter thank you for visiting my blog (asmalltowndad) and liking my Rhino painting. I tried to leave a comment yesterday but it failed to go thru, so I'm trying a different approach. Love the art and the time you and your daughter spend together being creative. My two daughters are now 21 and 18, and I don't get to do as much with them as I would like, but I have so many memories and hope to make more in the future with them. Thank you both and I hope to see more in the future!

  8. Hi,
    I want to know, too, how you did this. Did you paint and then sprinkle salt on? Did you mix the salt in with the paint and then paint? Please explain the steps. Thanks!

  9. Can anyone tell me what major chemical components Elmers Blue Glue is? We don't have the brand here in Australia and I would love to try this project. I'm sure there is a simple substitute I can purchase here without having to resort to buying it online. Takes the fun out of it if it's going to cost a fortune. Thankyou so much for your generosity in sharing this great idea.

  10. I love this technique and it is on my list of `gonna do`. I too am wondering about the glue, in australia we dont have that type of glue. I am gonna give Aquadhere a go. It looks so cool, and the one that you have created is definately worth framing and hanging.

  11. Absolutely. A reader sent me photos of a scene they completed on canvas — it worked beautifully. If you use rubber cement instead of the blue gel glue you can get an authentic “batik” piece with a resist area. Either way is beautiful but be aware the rubber cement should be used with caution around children and is extremely odorous.

  12. Absolutely. A reader sent me photos of a scene they completed on canvas — it worked beautifully. If you use rubber cement instead of the blue gel glue you can get an authentic “batik” piece with a resist area. Either way is beautiful but be aware the rubber cement should be used with caution around children and is extremely odorous.

  13. I am late finding this cool idea, but I am wondering if “regular” white school glue would work. Is there something special about using the blue glue? I am anxious to try this with my kids! :)

    1. Hi there! The blue gel stuff dries clear and appears “wet” and shiny even after the watercolors have dried. We have tried it with the regular glue and had great results though, just make sure the glue is really dry before painting over everything, the finish will be a bit more “matte” in appearance but equally as lovely!

  14. Hi there! The blue gel stuff dries clear and appears “wet” and shiny even after the watercolors have dried. We have tried it with the regular glue and had great results though, just make sure the glue is really dry before painting over everything, the finish will be a bit more “matte” in appearance but equally as lovely!

  15. Hi there! The blue gel stuff dries clear and appears “wet” and shiny even after the watercolors have dried. We have tried it with the regular glue and had great results though, just make sure the glue is really dry before painting over everything, the finish will be a bit more “matte” in appearance but equally as lovely!

  16. Hi there! The blue gel stuff dries clear and appears “wet” and shiny even after the watercolors have dried. We have tried it with the regular glue and had great results though, just make sure the glue is really dry before painting over everything, the finish will be a bit more “matte” in appearance but equally as lovely!

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