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A unique way to create your next eye-catching masterpiece: try a batik painting workshop in Toronto today!

A unique way to create your next eye-catching masterpiece: try a batik painting workshop in Toronto today!

Have you tried your hand at acrylic painting, watercolour painting – maybe even oil painting? Still looking for a new and exciting activity through which to unleash your wildest creative imaginings? Look no further!

What is batik?  

Batik is a textile-painting technique of Javanese origin, traditionally explored by cultures within Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, India, Nigeria, and China. It is a method of dyeing cloth, like cotton or silk, into patterns made by applying dye-resist mediums. These mediums range from hot wax to starch, bean paste, rice paste, — even mud! Batik has been historically essential for a range of cultural and ceremonial costumes, largely in Indonesia; Indonesia even celebrates a National Batik Day annually! Batik textiles are decorated with flora and fauna motifs as well as geometric and organic patterns. While traditional batik produces patterned textiles, batik painting is a modern conception that combines tradition with contemporary design and modern media.

Batik techniques and mediums

Hot wax is one of the most commonly used resistance mediums, applied onto fabric in intricate details using a spouted tool called a ‘canting’.  This allows the artist to colour select parts of the design, following the partitions that hold each segment of colour. The wax is then removed with boiling water, leaving an intricately dyed and patterned fabric. The most traditional type of batik is made using only a canting (a copper block-stamp can also be used), and by dipping the fabric into a dye-bath three or four times. This process can take up to a year to complete!



Alternative methods of batik dye-resistance differ culturally and based on local resources, amongst many other factors. For example, mud cloth (or Bògòlanfini) is a method of creating patterns with fermented mud and dye on fabric. Traditionally Malian, Bògòlanfini refers to clay slip with a high iron content that produces a black pigment when applied to handwoven cotton textiles. First, handwoven cloth is soaked in a dye-bath made from boiled leaves which turns the textile yellow. The cloth is then sun dried and painted onto with mud – collected from a riverbed and fermented for close to a year. A chemical reaction between the mud and dyed-cloth creates a variety of earth tones that dye the fabric even after the mud has been washed off. The yellow dye is then removed where no mud was applied, rendering any unpainted parts white. Over time this results in a fabric patterned in a variety of rich earth tones and high contrast designs.


Batik painting

Batik painting is the product of batik art (usually perfectly tessellated patterns), developed over centuries, which explores non-traditional colours and motifs using traditional batik dyes and resists on fabric. That’s what we offer at Fresh Paint Studio in Toronto: a chance to explore this traditional medium to create unique, eye-catching art! We’ve modified our dye-resist and prepared the materials for you, so give it a go with our unique batik painting kit and workshop! Learn to apply resist-medium onto canvas and feel like a kid again when you paint ‘inside the lines’ of your pattern or design! Learn from a professional artists skilled in contemporary batik painting and see how you like it compared to watercolour or acrylic! Want to try all three? Fresh Paint Studio offers a range of unique workshops including batik, acrylic painting on canvas or wood, watercolour painting, and abstract acrylic paint pouring. Check out our unique art workshops listed in our virtual or in-studio calendar.