Monday, December 15, 2014

New Class Starts January 7, 2015

2015  Wow!  How time flies when you are having fun.

The next group of classes will be,

      "Silk Painting II,  Beyond the Basics"  The plan is to do a larger project from start to finish, preferably a garment piece.  So be thinking of what you want to make.  Don't worry if you don't sew as there are jackets that are really easy requiring just a few seams.  Your main concern is the fabric design.  At the first class we will be talking and working on a design, but you need an idea of what you want to make.  Will it be a jacket, blouse or shirt, dress, skirt there are many possibilities.  I just want you to go beyond a scarf.
       I will bring some inspiration materials and we will do a few techniques that might spark ideas and plans,  but in the meantime look at Silk Painting ideas on Pinterest.  Also check out printing, painting (Any kind) and fabric design.

These are a few fabric design ideas I thought were fun that I found online.

 This would be fun with thickened dye and line work.  I can see a summer blouse with something like this as a design motif.  You do not have to do a really definitive design allover.

I loved these Toucans and the Flamingos,  I would love a simple shirt with either of these as a design.
I think they would be great done in a rather large format.  Love the colors and the lone blue bird.
I really want to do something with birds.
Start looking for your inspiration.

Bring a pattern or use one from the classroom.  We have the large paper to layout a plan for your design.  You can order fabric from Dharma as soon as you know what you want to paint.  Also bring your smaller stretchers for doing samples on.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

While on Break

While we have been on break from class I have been trying to catch up on a few things, finish some things and of course, make some new things.

 I found a box of eyeglass size purse closures, so while the rain poured outside I went into my studio and painted some silk to make eyeglass cases.  After painting I did a bit of quilting on them with nice puffy wool batting and then lined them in black flannel.  (I was surprised to find black cotton flannel in my stash. I have no idea what I had used it for before.  They will make cute and easy small gifts.
 I also did a bunch of dishtowels with the Seta Silk paint.  Because it is paint it works with silk or cotton.  The only trick is making sure the gutta goes all the way through the heavier cotton fabric.
If it stops raining I want to go to Smart and Final and get another package of towels.  This paint is so much fun.  and I'm sure I can come up with better designs than these.  Oh well, they are just to dry the dishes so they should be okay.
 I also have done a little bit of watercolor painting.  I had a bunch of practice paintings that were not so great so rather than just throw them out I painted over them with gesso on the 140# paper it makes a great surface to use with acrylic or water color.  It is very interesting how the water color works on the gesso.  It is kind of slippery and you have to use a light touch with it.  Very interesting, but a fun challenge.
This is regular water color on the 140# paper.  I'm happy with how this turned out.  I will not be putting gesso over it.  I had fun with the colors.
I am looking forward to our next class and have plans to implement for it.  I better get with it!

Thursday, November 6, 2014


 Erin's scarf is so amazing!  Can you believe that water gave her these great results?

Next week we will talk about finishing our silk paintings.  What are your options?  Actually lots of possibilities are available for you.
 If your piece is small it can become a quilted awl hanging.  Or frame it under glass like a watercolor and you have an art piece, but here is another way to create a frame able art piece.
Get an artists canvas that is just a bit smaller than the painting and we will "glue" it to the canvas.

Things to bring if you want to try this:    
artists canvas either regular 1/2'' or 1 1/2" gallery wrap works well.
a soft 2" brush (the throwaway kind)  I will have a few with me for your use also
an E-Xacto knife with a new blade
I will bring the acrylic medium and the varnish

I will demonstrate in class and you can finish your painting for display that way if you with.  There will be examples of other ways to use your painting as well.

We will have a class on November 19th  just because I am loving this medium.  It is an extra class for free.  I hope you have enjoyed the class.  The next one will be "Silk Painting II Beyond the Basics"
It will start on January 7,  2015.   We will be working on bigger projects or doing yardage for a garment.  Same techniques plus a few more bells and whistles added.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

It's all in the Details

Next Wednesday we will talk about putting details into our silk paintings.
When using gutta it is hard to get fine details, yes you can get and area and fill it in with color, but something with a fine line or a small detail becomes more of a problem with the gutta and the applicator tip, no matter how fine.

These are Pigma brushes.  They also come in pens with a variety of fine tips.  They become permanent on fabric after they have been heat set with an iron.  I have used them on both cotton and silk with very good results.
 This is a butterfly without any detailing.  His antenna looks non-defined and his eyes are a problem.
 These butterflies have similar problems.  The little guy on the right needs some legs as well.
 A few dots on the antenna and and some legs makes him look better.  also the eyes got a touch up too.
 This is another kind of fabric pen.  It does not run at all on the silk, especially when sou have a painted layer underneath the pen stroke.  I did all the black eyes with the pen.  Much easier than trying to do it with the paint as they are small dots.
 Inktense pencils are wonderful!  you just color them on and dampen a bit then iron and they are also permanent.  Just dampen don't over wet the area.
 This flower center has no detailing on it just the gutta and Seta Silk.  It has been heat set with an iron, washed and ironed dry.
 This flower center has been detailed with Inktense Pencils and a little water then ironed to set.  I have kept two flower centers to demonstrate on in class so you can see the difference the detailing makes.
 Sodium Alginate is a great product to make a thickened paint or dye; however if you just need a tiny bit of thickened dye rather than mix up Sodium Alginate I use a few drops of clear Aloe Vera gel it works great the make a thickened color to brush paint on a few details.  The small bottle is Sodium Alginate mixed with water.  I will bring it for you to try.

 Here we have appliqué being used to detail (and cover runs)  It is a great way to give a silk painting lots of punch.  You will see examples of this on Wednesday.
Next Week try and have your silk painting ready to give it a bit of detailing.  I will have pens, pencils, and paint there for you to use.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


There are lots of ways to do the background of your painting.
Here you will see some examples of types of technique.

 This is an example of the use of salt and two colors to give a textured background
 Here is an example of multiple colors blended and also hard edge to give the effect of moving water.
 This shows multiple color but without salt and trying to eliminate the hard lines.
 Think of the soft focus of a background when you take a photo and the focus is on the foreground leaving the background fuzzy, but suggesting there are more flowers in the back, but they are out of focus.
 Water effect is shown in the next two photos.  The example below is a master at making the background look like light on the water.  We will give these all a try, so bring your sample to practice on.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Color Blending

You have chosen your colors, now it is time to put them onto your design.

Blending with water is the easiest way to make nice smooth transitions.  In class I will demonstrate.

 You can see the wet into wet blending on these two orchids.  It gives a soft and smooth transition.
On the leaves you want to indicate the veins so after the area is dry you can put in the veins and they will not spread.

 I wanted a few of the orchid spots more defined so after the petals were dry I added blotches of color and they stayed put giving more defined markings to the petals.
 On these next two examples each petal with the highlights were wet first  with clear water and then painted to give the highlights.  the Petals in the front were directly painted without water and then wet paint into wet paint for shading.
 If you are painting white flowers use the water technique, but only paint the shadows.  Then you have to have a darker outside to make the white stand out.
There will be demonstrations in class so bring your practice silk plus the "precious" painting you will be working on.  The previous post is about Color Selection check it out. Next week we will be using texture, and working on backgrounds.

Color Selection

You are all familiar with the color wheel and all the ways to use color, but a review is always helpful.
 We will be looking at some color combinations I painted years ago and since I dug them out we will use them to help with color choices.
 Monochromatic is always safe and easy.  One color many values (light and dark)
 Triadic:  If you draw a triangle on the color wheel any three colors that the points touch are a triadic color scheme.  Here you see the primaries for paint red, yellow and blue.
 Complimentary colors are any two directly across from each other.
 Split compliment are the compliment and the ones on each side of it's compliment.
 Analogous are side by side colors.
 Neutrals in earth tones
 Neutrals in black, white and grey
Panchromatic:  All the colors you want.  This can be risky and look like too much chaos, but possible.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Silk Painting Has Begun

We started a new class in silk painting and I had a good time I hope everyone else did too.  It is a bit overwhelming for the new students, but just stick with us.  We are taking it a step at a time, and soon you will be up to speed.

So where to find a design?
 There are lots of books with designs in them.  Coloring books, stained glass pattern books, Dover Books and who knows what else?  There are also your photographs and of course the Internet and Pinterest is awash with inspiration.  Just start looking around.
 These are enlarged copies from a couple of the books for stained glass designs.  They are 130% to 150% enlargements and were printed on 11" X 17" paper at the copy shop.
 If you cam draw DO IT then have it enlarged to the size you want to use.   Have several sizes made that way you have lots of options to play with.
 Here are some drawings on 8 1/2" X 11" paper that I had enlarged 300% on the large format copier at Copy Max on Foothill between Haven and Milliken.  Check out the ones near you.  I found Copy Max is cheaper than several other places with large format printers.  Just call and ask at your local shops.
 You can see the enlargement compared to the origional drawing.
 This is a great way to utilize a photo.  Trace the lines you want with a "Sharpie Fine tip Marker" onto a sheet of acetate.  You can then make mirror images easily.  I will show you that advantage in class especially for a long scarf.
 These were a bunch of little 6" X 6" studies I did at a workshop.  They are paint, but great inspiration for a more abstract designed scarf or fabric.  I know I can get similar effects with silk dye,  probably even better results.
 Wouldn't this be fun?  Think of the white as gutta and the ochre free flow Seta Silk and thickened Seta Silk as the red brushed on.  Too fun.
 After looking at the little samples above I went through some old water color paintings looking for inspiration to use in silk paintings, since they are "sister arts".
 I  just loved the green birds.  Wouldn't this be a fun blouse fabric?
 This could turn into a great looking fabric also.  WOW!  I'm excited to get started.
Here is another idea.  Just take your gutta and make lines and squiggles without having a definitive design in mind.  Then fill in the blanks with color.  It was amazing the designs that were suggested by the random lines.  This is in watercolor, but it could be so beautiful in a silk painting.

Well, I'm filled with inspiration now all I have to do is get to work on turning it into designs for next week.  Good Luck and happy Design hunting.
Please leave me a comment if you wish.  It helps me know what you are looking at and what helps you.  Otherwise I'm just a voice in the void.