This batik pumpkin art is meant to imitate the real thing, a resist-dyeing process that originated in Indonesia. Children can simulate the look of cracked wax and color by working with crayons and watercolor.
• Black Sharpie marker, fine tip
• Crayola crayons
• Liquid watercolor paint, black or blue
1. Show students how to draw overlapping circles to start their pumpkin picture. Stems are added near the top, and lines that radiate out curve down to the bottom. When complete, the drawing is traced with a permanent black marker.
2. The pumpkins and background need to be heavily colored in with crayons. More advanced students can try to make a highlight spot on each pumpkin by coloring it with a lighter orange. Remind them that any highlight spots should pretty much be in the same position on each pumpkin (a quick light-source talk could be added).
3. This is the fun part as students are usually shocked to see how they need to take their carefully colored picture and just crumble it into a little ball like trash. Open the balls and recrunch about 3 to 4 times until the paper starts to soften. Take care to crunch gently as rough handling might create tears or holes.
4. I’ve tried both black and dark blue liquid watercolor, which are brushed slowly over the entire paper, and will help flatten it too. The students will be able to see the cracks in the paper, which absorb most of the watercolor. Smooth out, place on something firm (like cardboard) and let dry.