Batik Painting Art Evaluation

1. The visibility of the design on both sides of the cloth.

Quality batik tulis paintings have their designs clearly seen on both sides of the cloth and they are nearly indistinguishable from one another. An easy way to tell which side is the front is to look at the artist’s signature.

Lower quality batik will only have the designs visible on one side and the other side of the design will be half faded to slightly faded. Usually, cheaper batik will use either a specialized printer or a stamp (also known as batik cop). These two methods are rapid and the process is only done on one side of the cloth. Therefore, the colour will not permeate through both sides of the cloth.

2. The designs are not symmetrical.

The reason for this is that batik tulis is completely handmade and no human can draw 100% symmetrical drawings. If the design is completely symmetrical, it is not batik tulis. A good way to test this is to fold the cloth in half and see if the outlines mirror each other. If they do, it is not a genuine batik tulis.

3. No two motifs are the same size.

Though they may look the same and be similar in size, they will never be exactly alike. If the motifs are repeated look out for the “joining lines” which happens if the batik produced is using a stamp. This is a sign of batik cop and should be avoided as it is a flaw, even for batik cop.

There are minute errors.

Well, this proves that the artists are human and not machines. The mistakes will probably be very well concealed; to the point you would have thought it is just part of the design. Usually, the errors stem from some accidental drops or spills of wax from the canting. The waxing process is deceptively simple. It requires great skill and experience to know when the wax is ready for batik-ing, controlling the flow of the wax from the canting and knowing when to stop waxing because the wax has cooled in the canting.

If the wax is not properly melted when applied to the cloth, slight bleeding of colour will occur (though it rarely happens with batik masters). This happens because the wax line is too thin or is cracked and it is unable to resist the colour. Nevertheless the batik master will always be skilful enough to incorporate it into the design.

5. The smaller or more complicated the design, the more expertise needed to produce the painting. The details in the painting, no matter how small, will tell you just how much effort the artist has put into his or her work. It may be just a series of dots but each dot is painstakingly dotted by the artist’s hand. A dot out of place or a spill could destroy the piece and the artist will have to either discard the work or somehow creatively incorporate it into his or her work.

6. At first glance, the strength of the colours will call out to you.

As the paintings are symbols of the artists’ pride, the artist will ensure the intensity of the colours on the artwork. Another way to ascertain the handmade aspect is to look for shading. Shading needs to be done by hand.

For the stamped and printed batik, once they are done, they are done. They will not be retouched, thus rarely having any gradation in colour. On the other hand, handmade batiks may even need to be dipped in the dyebath many times to get the striking hues needed.

7. The quality of the cloth. The texture of the cloth is smooth and soft, never stiff. Usually cotton or silk is used for batik purposes. Some may prefer a mixture of fibres, but all quality batik cloth is never thin or see-through. If pure cotton is used, the fabric must have a high thread count. After all, it would not make any sense to do quality work on an inferior fabric. A high thread count is able to handle the repeated dyeing batiks require and shrinks less.

8. It is produced in small quantities. Batik is a time-consuming process. Therefore it is only logical that an artist can produce only a limited amount of batik tulis pieces at one time.

9. The time taken to produce a piece of batik. Making a masterpiece may take up to a year! It is a labour of love that not many have the patience for.

10. The price. Undeniably, due to the exclusivity of owning a batik tulis and its time-consuming process, it is quite expensive; but one cannot put a price to a labour of love for their cultural heritage.

11. The smell of the cloth. Traditional batik usually uses natural dyes, therefore the smell of the roots or leaves will infuse the painting. The smells are distinctive and will remind you of nature. However, due to our artists contemporary nature, synthetic dyes are used as well. In no way do the synthetic dyes destroy the beauty of the painting.

*Some may say that a crackle or marbling effect is the sign of a handmade batik tulis but nowadays, the industry puts a layer of wax over printed batik during the dye process to make it look handmade. Therefore, the crackle characteristic cannot be used to signify handmade batik.

Interested to know what a master’s batik painting looks like?

Art to Soothe the Savage Child

Your four year old is having a hard day. He’s whiny and uncooperative, and even a hug and a tickle won’t lift his mood.

Time to bring out the sand painting.

That’s what Michelle Kahan of Bedford, MA does when her almost five-year-old daughter gets cranky. “It’s like magic if she’s in a bad mood,” says Michelle. “It makes her feel better instantly.”

There’s a reason: sand is nature’s way of calming us. Imagine how you feel when you’re on the beach, digging your toes into the sand, letting the grains run softly through your fingers. Remember tirelessly building sand castles, carving out moats, and watching the water fill them and then sink away. Think how the sand invites you to lie down on it for hours, listening to the rhythm of your own heart.

Art sand has that same ability to soothe and inspire. Sand painting requires no tools or glue: colored sand is applied directly with the hands onto sticky canvases and then rubbed gently to make it stick. This tactile activity enhances the sense of touch, building and improving fine motor skills while it helps kids slow down and enjoy the process. And they love the colorful results, which can be different every time.

For a child, painting with sand can be a satisfying way to soothe himself when he is upset. It can also help him communicate how he’s feeling. Sand canvases have a simple picture cut into the top liner – a friendly dog, for example. The picture can turn out differently depending on the child’s choices. He peels off parts of the liner, pours colored sand on the sticky, and rubs the sand gently. As he gains mastery over the basic steps, he will learn ways to create more complex pictures that reflect his own mood – the dog becomes a sad-eyed beagle alone in a room or a big red dog romping in a field of flowers.

Sand painting works to calm kids down because:

  • it’s sensory, bringing together physical energy with imagination
  • there’s a natural rhythm to it – peel, pour, and rub – that is comforting
  • the picture tells a story that helps kids talk about their feelings
  • it’s easy to be successful: even very young children can make colorful, pleasing designs

Get the most out of sand painting with your child by scheduling art as part of daily “down time” for the kids. Keep a supply of favorite sand canvas images on hand. Get involved! Work together with your children, even if they already know how to do it, so you can talk about the pictures together as they create their masterpieces.

Purchasing Original Paintings

 

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Whether you’re seeking original paintings or art prints from noted artists or even inexpensive reproductions, the more information you have the better decisions you will make concerning selection, condition, conservation, and framing of the pieces you’ll acquire.

The cardinal rule is to always buy what you love. If you have an initial positive response to the art, then chances are you will appreciate the work more as you live with it. Fortunately, today, different venues through which fine art is presented offer many opportunities to enjoy art in your own environment regardless of your budget.

Not everyone is able to consider the acquisition of fine art originals. However, a number of printing techniques and reproductions make available a good deal of pieces with the aesthetic value we all enjoy along with varying collector values.

Original Paintings

An original painting, be it created with watercolor, oil, acrylic or some other substance, is generally considered to be one in which the paint is applied using a brush or other means of application to an appropriate surface to derive a single work of art. Its value is based not only by its aesthetic, circumstantial, or historical attributes but also by the fact that it is one-of-a-kind.

Original Art Prints

Some artists utilize methods of printing in which different materials such as linoleum or wood blocks, stones, copper, steel, aluminum, plexiglass plates, or silkscreens, are utilized to apply ink. While a number of prints might be generated from the same plate, each is considered to be an original print due to variations inherent in the application process by which each piece is produced.

Collagraphs are created through the construction of collage-like “boards” which are used like a plate to apply the ink to paper. Louis Pohl developed his own special technique of collagraphic printing utilizing mixed media to achieve the varying textures and intensities that he felt were lacking in the traditional methods being used. The short life expectancy of the boards generally limited the number of prints that could be generated in this fashion and along with the individual variations from one print to the next this provided the different attributes upon which the individual prints are valued.

Serigraphs are created by a process of silkscreening which allows for more accurate and higher-quantity printing of the master than is provided with collagraphs.

In traditional Lithography, the image is created or transferred onto a limestone or photosensitive plate, inked up with rollers and printed by hand on paper on a large flat press.
Digital Art Prints are created directly on a computer with an image or drawing application, then printed on an inkjet printer on archival quality paper.

Most original art prints are printed in editions, bearing a number and the signature of the artist certifying the total number of prints that were made for the particular work. For example, a print bearing the number 3/10 would indicate that it is print number three of a total of ten prints in this edition.

Reproductions

Offset Lithographs and Giclees are both printed reproductions of art pieces offering popular works at consumer prices. Offset lithographs are produced using commercial offset printing as for magazines and brochures, and are generally run in large quantities to allow affordability.

Giclee is the French word meaning to spray or squirt. Giclee prints are a popular form of reproduction where a digital image of an original work of art is printed from an inkjet printer onto paper, canvas or other media. Giclees are more expensive than offset reproductions, but offer the advantage of producing one or a few prints in a cost effective way on a variety of substrates.

As stated at the outset, the cardinal rule of buying art is to buy what you love. The business of collecting art for investment sake is a speculative one. The learning curve is steep and it’s always reassuring to know that whether or not the pieces that grace your space are valuable, they are objects that you treasure!

What Can You Have Painted in Photo to Painting

So you’ve just heard that you can have your photos turned into paintings. This is pretty cool, since you can take a small photo and turn it into something much larger and even make it accessible to those who may not have a copy of the photo or perhaps use the portrait for memorial purposes. But the question is-what exactly can you have changed from photo to painting?

First of all, you can have a picture of your pets changed from a photo into a picture. You can pick a simple picture, one of them sleeping, or pretty much anything that you can think of and have it changed. If you just recently lost your pet, this can be a really nice way of reminding the family of how special that they were.

Secondly, you have the option of having wedding photos painted. This is perfect for anniversaries or for those who have lost their spouses. It’s a special way in order to remember a very special time and to also have it forever memorialized.

You can also have pictures of newborns painted. If you want to show off your little one at their best and first moments, you can have their photo to painting painted and then put it up in a special place in your home.

Or perhaps you have an older relative who can’t see very well and you want them to have a few photos that they can see well again. This would be a perfect opportunity to give them a painting of a few of their favorite pictures and bring them back to life for them. Take the time to really examine what types of paintings that you want to use.

You can either buy from a company online or you can instead go to an art gallery. Keep in mind that shopping at an art gallery for an artist who will paint your picture might be a bit more expensive. You cannot be sure of how much it will end up costing you and in most cases it is simply cheaper to go by the online route.

There are also several options as to what medium your painting will be painted with. You can choose from oil paintings, which last a long time and have rather vivid colors (a perfect choice for vivid pictures!).

Then you have watercolor. Watercolor takes some true skill as the paint is a bit tricky to manipulate, but the results are soft, almost angelic. Perfect for photos to paintings of newborns and toddlers.

Color and pencil sketches are also really nice options for those who prefer a cleaner, more regular look. They are very simple-but this doesn’t mean that they are any less beautiful. Take the time to decide which type of artwork will look the best with your paintings. You need to make sure that you are happy with the artwork and that it fits what you wanted/needed from it.