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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Silk Scarf Painting Extraordinaire!

Even though I'm a rank beginner, I convinced some friends that they NEED to try silk painting too. We got together yesterday and spent all day at it. They loved it!!! One joked that she was going to sell her knitting machines and take up silk painting full time. I think she is hooked. There is such variety in color and technique. If you click on the picture, you'll be able to see the detail better. They tried stamping, twisting, plaid, free hand, salt, and outlining with gutta. You can't see the rust colored one very clearly, but it is interesting. She twisted the silk as though she were making a knitted cord, put rubber bands every few inches and painted stripes. The darker colors look like pine trees---or knit stitches! I think for first timers they all did a great job. Each scarf is beautiful and unique. They can't wait to get together to try it again.

Mine is the 4th from the left, with the Chinese red background and pink/orange flowers. I tried the PEBEO silver gutta for the first time. It's nice. I did the design free hand with the gutta while the scarf was stretched and was able to control the lines much better. I like how it gives the scarf a little bit of a dressy feel. Since it leaves a slight raised texture, I don't think you'd want to always use it, but experimenting is fun. I bought pearl white, black, copper and silver. So I've got some play time ahead.

I felt like I made some progress in some ways with my blending of color and there are some things I wish I had done differently. So much is dictated by the silk. It wants to be part of the creation and you can't control it. But all in all, I like my flowers.


Terri said...

Very lovely, Mar! Bet you all had a ton of fun.

Jemajo said...

These are beautiful!!!
How did you manage to paint so quickly that you avoided tide marks?
You have a lot of hidden talent in there ;D

Mar said...

Jemajo---what are "tide marks"???
Yes, that group has a ton of talent.

Jemajo said...

Tide marks are the bain of every silk painter's existance unless they are a part of the design.
When you put a drop of colour on the silk, the dry silk absorbs it quickly, spreading the colour until there is no more to draw out of that drop.
The very edge of the colour is dry almost instantly because the silk has absorbed to it's limit.
If there is a delay of even 5 minutes to add more ink to the adjoining area - as in painting further along the piece - then the already dried and coloured silk will absorb new colour, creating a tide mark of overlapping colour.
The only way I know of to avoid this, is to dampen down the entire area to be painted, but not so much that the water will create a bridge for the silk colour to cross over the gutta line to the area you want clean.

I have two ways of avoiding this problem, one for dark colour and one for light colour.
For a very pale pink scarf I soaked the entire scarf in a bowl of water which I had added some pink to.
Took it out, dried it, ironed it, and stretched it on the frame. The pale colour will be a background colour for the design. I then drew the pattern with the gold gutta and coloured it in with my inks, one of which was the same pink but in concentrated form. Both pinks matched. Orchids if I remember correctly. Lovely scarf!

The next way I have is for dark backgrounds.
I literally draw in the design with the gutta. Then FILL IN with gutta every area that will NOT be painted with gutta. Let it dry. Now paint, with a broad soft brush or sponge, the entire silk in the dark colour so that it is completely covered QUICKLY. When that has dried, fix the colour by iron or steam (as per ink instructions). Wash the silk, letting it soak to release ALL the gutta - give it a good rub. When the silk is completely free of gutta, let it dry, iron it again and fix to your frame.
You can now draw gutta over the edge of the dark part and continue with your design. A professional silk painter would repeat this process many times, each time colouring only one area. The result would be no "empty" lines of gutta and no area without colour.
I found my first scarf which wasn't good enough to give as a gift, and took a photo of the tide marks, but how do I post it to you?

Mar said...

write to me----address on the right. Then you can attach a picture.
Now I understand what you mean. Experimented with gutta too---

It's so much fun!!!