Silk painting is one of my absolute favourite crafts to do. It is a challenging painting medium and getting good results can be a bit hit or miss on occasion but I think that’s why I love it so much.
Silk dye is not a very forgiving material to work with, it takes great precision and accuracy to ensure that any barriers that you have created are entirely water tight and if this has not been done then your design can all leak into each other and create a big blotchy mess ruining hours or work and creativity. Yet I still love to do it!
When silk painting goes right it is one of the most vibrant and effective painting styles you can create. The products that I personally use are all iron fixed and once that has been done can be washed and worn over and over again without compromising the design or vibrancy of what I have created.
My silk painting process starts with designing my product on paper. I have various sized pads that I work with, occasionally I draw the entire design on one large sheet but more often than not, I draw out the individual components and then trace them into the design where I want them. This gives me the flexibility to change designs if I want to and also means that no two designs are exactly the same, which is a factor I really enjoy about my creations.
Once I have traced the images, I stretch them onto my frames and secure them with silk pins to maintain the resistance and secure them in place without damaging the delicate silk. I then use Pebeo Gutta water based outliner to create the barriers around the outside of the areas that I want to paint with the dye. This product comes in many different colours including a clear design which dissolves when you iron it at the end of the process. Once this has dried (I usually leave it overnight to be safe) you should check that it has gone all of the way through the silk to the other side, this will help to prevent the colours from bleeding when applied.
Applying the silk dye itself is relatively simple if the outliner has set correctly, you should be able to just load your brush with dye and then place it onto the silk and watch it spread to the barrier. Using water will allow you to play with the opacity of the dye allowing you to create a more smoky effect or more intense colour. The dyes can either be pre-mixed in colours you wish to use or you can do this on the fabric itself for a more dramatic effect. I enjoy using the Pebeo silk paints but am currently experimenting with some other brands which I will feedback about in a further post.
I have included some pictures of some of my finished designs, what do you think?
They are mostly available to buy in my Etsy store, I also offer a bespoke design service so please do get in contact with me if you would like to order the design of your dreams!
What is your favourite craft?
Do you have a store I can visit? I always love to support other artists.