Malaysia

Batik painting at the Craft Cultural Complex

June 7, 2014

Last weekend we wend out with the girls to Kompleks Kraf (Craft Cultural Center) downtown KL for a fun project – batik painting.

You just come (they close at 6:30-7pm so make sure you come at least 2 hours before that) and say what you want to paint.

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Olga and I were doing it for the first time so we went for the smallest silk size. Elina is a regular there – she was making a beautiful wide scarf. I picked a sunflower from the sketches (there are a lot to choose from, so don’t worry if you don’t have any ideas what to draw).

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See the folders on the bottom right? That’s sketches of all possible drawings you can copy.

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So first thing – you make an outline of your painting on silk with a pencil (mine was in blue). And then cover it with wax.

I gave mine to the artist to cover, because he’s super fast and because my hands were too shaky and it would have taken me ages to do it and I was too excited to start the actual painting.

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He uses these little wax pens, gets some boiling wax in and quickly covers the lines on the silk.

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Very very fast! It’s important there are no gaps in lines otherwise the paint will get out of the outline.

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There were two other girls painting in the shop, look how beautiful her piece is! And it’s her first time painting batik!

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Ready to start. You get 4 basic colours and you mix them to get any tints you want.

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Halfway done. The colours are very bright (and Instagram filter helped too), they fade as the paint dries out. The golden wax stays as it is, but if you’re making a wearable piece, you need to leave it for the guy to wash – then the wax is gone and it leaves very nice white lines.

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2 hours later I’m done. Look at the beautiful pieces in the workshop! And the artist owner is making some outlines for tomorrow, so people can come and paint straight away.

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Voila! This is what the finished batik painting looks like. Quite ok for the first time, no? ;-)

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It’s a very fun art project, fast and very rewarding.

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And you know what the best part is? It only costs 25 ringgit (less than $10) for everything! You can frame it or bring home as a souvenir. Really like the process and the outcome, I’m so making a silk scarf soon. Just need to come up with what to draw on it. Ideas?

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