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.