Last January, after working under a lot of pressure a whole year, I took a little vacation to Yogya and decided to give my self a break. I actually looking for a short workshop make Batik (traditional Java fabric). Instead, I found one day Batik Painting workshop at Kelik’s House. Have you seen any Batik Painting? Here’s some gorgeous ones I found on the street of Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia.
Indian Lady. Nice isn't it?
…or maybe you will like this one too.
Horses. Fabulous ones! I heart this one, cos those outlines are crazily beautiful!
Now I want to learn how to make one. Happy painting, guys!
First thing first you must make sure that you’re using 100% cotton for the fabric canvas. Frame it with a simple wood and staples, just enough to keep canvas still. Then, you must drawing some sketch/outline on the canvas with a pencil because you’re a beginner), don’t push it too hard though, just a simple sketch/outline will do.
Ready? Now with Canting filled with Malam, I started to draw the outline. There’s a way about how you hold Canting, so Malam won’t drop streamy or spill out and comes out exactly as needed. With a little practice, you will get used with how you hold Canting.
Canting. Painters use them to draw outline over the pencil sketch.
Malam. Liquid to make outlines.
This is how you hold Canting, with Malam inside the little tube.
Now let’s make some outlines with Malam over those pencil outline I made. Careful, you don’t want to spill Malam all over the canvas 😉
drawing outline using Canting and Malam
Since not everybody is an artist, you may make some mistakes like I did. Some Malam dropped accidentally out of line (I swear I didn’t dropped Malam in purpose to mess the sketch :P), here and there. So my teacher taught me to erased spilled Malam using hot water and a knife. Hot water will make Malam comes off of canvas, while knife cleaned the rest of Malam. That’s easy 😀
erasing accidentally-spilled-out-malam, he he. watch that knife, pals...
Malam will get dried in a few minutes and wecome to the fun part! Coloring! My Teacher gave me some color options, I chose pink for the flower (so happy to know that it can be done in gradation colors), bright green for leaves, brown for branches and definite black for the background, so that pink color of the flowers will come out like ‘hellooooo…’ 😉 I realized how important the outline was. It helped to keep colors inside their areas.
Fun, fun, fun!
I waited for the colors to dry, when my teacher asked me if I want to add a texture for the painting. “What kind of texture?” I asked. Then he showed me of of the painting using textures. I spontaneously said, “Yes, yes, yes, I want that tures on my flower painting!” He laughed and gave me this Liquid chemical (I forgot the name, sorry :P), a simple version of Malam. So I cover all of the color areas with that Liquid and keep the white areas clean! 😀 Then, we put the canvas under the sun for a couple minutes.
put canvas under the sun for 2-3 minutes
When Liquid chemical is half dried, I come to break those Liquid chemical cover, only on pink areas, cos I only want textures on pink areas. This will give a little channels for those black color and makes some texture. I had to do this under the sun and very careful, because too many textures will make it looks cheap (because it’s too much), and if there’s too little textures, it won’t shows on the painting.
making channels for black colors to come in later, by breaking some liquid cover, carefully.
Some of Liquid cover now broken, I hoped textures will come nicely, not less and never too much more.
…and it’s time for lunch!
Oh one meal I really miss in Yogya is Lotek. It’s made of boiled vegetables and peanut sauce. With chilli? Yes, with chillis, please. And oh don’t forget, an ice tea.
Lotek with chillis for lunch! what a wonderful life. nom... nom... nom... 😀
Walking back to the workshop place, I remember Scorpion’s song: Under The Same Sun. I loved their song even up ’til now. They’re rocks!
cos we all live under the same sun, we all live under the same moon... - Scorpions
Aren’t those guys cool?
Well, now I know my batik painting must be dried now. I continued bleach canvas with black color. But first, I must pour some yellow liquid (again, I forgot the name ) on the canvas, black coloring, and another yellow liquid to keep the color lasting longer.
yellow liquid 1, front and back.
black coloring now, front and back. no need to dry them up before.
continue to yellow liquid 2, front and back.
Then, I waited for canvas to dry again. That’s when I met him, the cutest guy in Yogya, sitting calm in front of his food, too cool to even care about anything else outside. Oh… *fainted
well, elowww there, cutey-matey...
Oh how handsome he is, how adorable those long ears. Enjoy your vegan lunch, huh?…
My teacher called me, canvas has dried, so I took the canvas out of the frame and start to cook it. Yup, cook the canvas in boiled water, on a stove! Relax, I didn’t eat it, this process was done to lose Malam and Liquid chemical.
boil the canvas in about 5 minutes...
Canvas then washed with cold water, until all Malam and Liquid chemical is gone, but I can see those white outlines now. Those outline once covered with Malam. And also, texture on flower looks great! Look, look…
see those textures on the flowers? I made it, he he... and gradation worked okay too 😀
And those white outlines? That’s what Malam were for. Gee, I wish I could be more careful with the outline. Anyway, it’s time to put canvas under the sun again. And this is for the last time! Happy last-time-sun-bath, canvas!
it looks like a very small batik painting, he he...
It was going to rain and canvas hasn’t fully dried yet, Mrs. Kelik (who just came home) take it and ironed it. And Voila! My first Batik Painting!
My first Batik Painting 😉
I will never forget this experience, since every time people forgot about how and lead an instant lifestyle. I can’t imagine how those Batik painters made this in a short time, under pressures. Somehow I’m lucky that my work wasn’t purely art. Because you see, it shows. In your art, how you feel when you create it, it shows.
Bye Mrs. Kelik. I took your big heart and spirit with me, hopefully someday will be back again to learn more. And more!…
me and the nice lady Mrs. Kelik at Batik Kelik, Salakan, Yogyakarta
That day I learned to ride my own rollercoaster. As I packed my backpack at Mrs. Kelik’s workshop, I ran to catch my plane to come home, to meet my boyfriend. He wasn’t there.
And I know something were wrong.
The next day I knew he was cheating on me, I was torn. Then I put up my first Batik Painting on a frame, on a wall of my kitchen, and I know that this is not my loss, it’s his loss.
Let there be wounds, I have all the time to heal, again and again. No worries. Both world and I have a lot to offer.
Carpe diem, my wonderful friends!
Nite, babe. Love you.