New Silk Pennants 4/25/11
On to what is perhaps the most nerve-wracking part of the silk painting process – the painting itself! I have been using Dye-Na-Flow silk paint from Dharma Trading for my projects so far. This is a very thin paint that acts like a dye in that it flows very readily through the silk fabric. It comes in a wide variety of colors, you can dilute it with water for lighter tones or combine to make additional colors. I use a variety of brushes, depending on the area I’m painting, but mostly the ones for Japanese & Chinese lettering. These hold a lot of paint and don’t seem to drip as readily as other brushes. I will use smaller craft painting brushes for smaller areas as necessary.
Here is a picture of the Hubs’s pennant with just the yellow parts painted in. It’s best to work one color at a time and do all of that color before moving on to the next. Work slowly and be careful not to let any paint drip from the brush onto areas of the fabric that you don’t want it to go. You don’t need to brush the paint right up to the edges of your resist lines. The capillary action of the fabric will draw the paint up to the line. Be careful not to let your brush “flick” when you lift it off the fabric – this will result in little micro-droplets of paint going into odd places and creating tiny starbursts of color where you don’t want them to be. I’ve learned this from painful experience.
The pennant with the red parts painted in as well. As I was doing the field around the mascle, I found a small gap in my resist at the upper right corner! I quickly dabbed a little more resist to fill in the gap and then painted ever so carefully almost up to the corner. Then I just let the piece sit and the paint crept almost all the way into the corner without seeping past the resist. There’s just a tiny area of white showing when you look at it closely, but from a distance no one will be able to tell!
After this, I let the whole thing dry for about 30 minutes before doing the other pennant. I kept an eye on it, since I have also learned from painful experience that cats will sometimes walk on the wet paint and leave little kitty footprints on white areas of the work! You can see that there is some variation in the red color when it is wet, but that will even out as the piece dries entirely.
Because of my unfortunate tendency to “flick” paint where I don’t want it, I decided to cover the half of the frame I wasn’t working on with a sheet of craft paper, just in case. After side 1 was somewhat dry, I switched the paper over and went to work on my pennant – much easier since there’s only one color.
You can see where I also did a couple of test shapes in the scrap area of the fabric with some acrylic paint I had on hand. The acrylic tends to make a thicker line than the gutta, but that may have just been me squeezing the bottle a little too hard. Otherwise, it seems to have worked just fine.
One final close-up of the primary device area of my pennant. I seem to have not made any starbursts anywhere that I didn’t want for a change! One thing you can see here in the larger areas of color is the slight “marbling” effect that happens sometimes. This comes from trying to fill large areas with color. You can offset this by working as quickly as possible so that the edge of the paint doesn’t have time to dry before you add more to it. So, it’s a balancing act – work fast but work with a light touch so you’re not spraying paint all over the place!