Tuesday, 11 September 2012



Tapa designs
Six year olds

The children looked at leaves collected from outside and photographs of leaves taken in Samoa. They drew 5 quick, large, black crayon drawings of the leaf shapes and chose their favourite. They drew it diagonally, from corner to corner, on a square piece of paper. They used earth colours to put wax crayon firmly on their design. They screwed the page up then smoothed it out. This puts cracks in the wax. They put black dye over the whole page.


  1. Hi Gretchen,

    When you say black dye, do you mean India ink? The leaves are so beautiful!



  2. Thanks Pat. No, it is strong black dye. I gave the children a wide brush, approx 3cm across, and said 'no double dipping'. So one brush full for the job.

  3. Hi Gretchen, you've mentioned using dye (rather than the tradition water color for an oil pastel resist) in a couple of your other blogs (eg. your Mythical Creatures) and the result looks excellent. I've actually wondered the same thing as Pat... is it fabric dye you use? Do you get a stronger color? - it can be difficult to tell from photos! :)

  4. Hi Elizabeth. The mythical creatures have a background of wax crayon rubbings with water based dye over top. I mix up a teaspoon (approx) of the dye powder with half a cup of water. This varies, depending how strong I want the colour to be. Oil pastel and this dye mix works well too.

  5. At school now and have checked out the make of the dye I use. Fas dye powder.



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