SILK PAINTING with "Liquid Radiance"
Welcome to the creative world of Silk and Fabric Painting with Genesis Creations™
We offer you our unique concepts through in-home classes held by our
qualified Teachers Australia-wide.
It is our pleasure to share with you some simple and effective Silk Painting skills in these notes. Please contact our Instructor nearest you, or our Distribution Centre, if you would like further help or advice on using our products.
To Paint a Specific Design:
1. Trace your chosen design onto silk using a blunt lead pencil. (Pin design to the back of the silk and trace so you can't see it! As you look at your design through the silk, you should not be able to see the traced line. However, the pencil line should be visible as you move the silk away from the design beneath.) Make sure your design to be painted is placed within the frame area.
2. Stretch silk onto a frame as follows: lay square of fabric over the frame, with about 3 cm overlapping the edge of the frame. Using three-pronged craft pins, secure the corners first, keeping a gentle tension on the silk and moving from corner to corner. It is important that the silk is kept square on the frame. Next pin along one edge, halving the total length, then halving that, then halving again, and so on until pins are no more than 5 cm (2") apart. Then pin the opposite edge in the same way, this time holding the silk between thumb and fore-finger while pressing against the edge of the frame with your middle finger to maintain tension in the silk. Pin the other two edges following the same procedure. Silk should be drum tight across the frame for your colour to diffuse correctly as you paint.
3. Apply your chosen resist lines to the stretched silk. For white lines (or lines which remain the colour of your silk), use Genesis Creations™ Water Soluble Resist. For coloured resist lines, use the Glitters or Slicks in the Genesis Creations Dimensional Paint range. Hold the applicator bottle at a 45° angle to the silk surface, and draw in the lines of your design, pressing firmly into the silk to ensure the line penetrates the fibres. Apply light thumb pressure to the applicator bottle as you work. Try to create a fine unbroken line that sits well into the fabric - heavy, thick lines ("fat worms"!) sitting on top of your silk are not necessary or desirable. Your line work makes the 'little dams' into which you will apply the colours.
4. Allow line work to dry thoroughly. If lines are correctly applied, the drying time should be about 20 minutes, although this will depend on how heavily you have applied the lines, and the weather on the day. It is OK to hasten the drying time with a hair drier when using the Dimensional paints as resists.
5. Prepare your colours in a palette ready for working. For strong, vibrant colours, add just a little water to your colour concentrate from the bottle. Up to 25% water (ie 1 drop water to 4 drops pure colour) will still maintain full colour strength. 50:50 (equal portions) colour concentrate and water still gives good strong colour. For pale colours, add lots of water. You will be amazed at how little colour is required when painting resist techniques! Start with just a few drops of paint and add more to your palette as you need it.
6. Choose brushes appropriate to the design area into which you are working. Our Genesis range of white Taklon brushes are ideal for silk painting, as they release the colour steadily into the fabric, giving you good control. For large areas, apply the colour with the watercolour brush in our range. A foam brush can also be used - these are available in a range of sizes, from craft stores.
7. Apply the prepared colours to your design as desired. Dip brush into the colour, touch it once against the side of the palette, then apply the bristles to the silk. Press bristles into the silk to unload the colour from the brush, gliding the bristles across the surface, while keeping the brush a small distance from the lines. Watch how the colour bleeds through the fibres to meet the lines. Remember that the fabric will only hold so much moisture. When the fibres are full, any extra you add will just sit on the surface and not diffuse across the silk. Be careful not to overload the area into which you are working, as any extra moisture in the silk will go over, or through, the lines. (Your 'dam' will be in flood!) Work systematically across each area of your design, completing one area before moving on to the next. Start close to one of the lines in the design shape, then move across the design so no drying lines form. As you feel the paint drying up in your brush, quickly reload and start painting within the wet edge just painted. Glide the brush across the fibres. Don't dabble!
8. For interesting effects, try adding more water to the paint and watch what happens to the colours in the fabric. Try using almost all water and just a little colour. Different things will happen in your fabric with each different thing you try. Silk painting is a very individual skill, and you will soon establish your favourite mixtures and colour strengths.
9. When you wish to have an area of your design remain white, the silk must be painted with water.
10. If you wish to change the colour in a particular area of your design, you can paint over that area with another colour, but remember that colours can only be covered by darker colours. When doing this, your silk will already be full with colour, so any added coats will not diffuse across the fibres as the first coat did. It is best to allow the first coat to dry before adding any extra colour.
11. Paint large borders or backgrounds with a foam brush, in the same way as for the detailed areas, working systematically across the design area so no drying lines form.
12. Remove silk from frame only when work is completely dry.
13. HEAT SET colours by ironing for ½ to 2 minutes with an iron set on 'wool' setting. The more diluted your colours, the longer you need to iron them. Cover your work with a soft cloth - eg old linen teatowel - while you are heat setting it. If you have used Slick or Glitter as resist lines, please allow at leat 24 hours before heat setting your colours ... longer if you can, to respect the '3 day cold cure' time for the Dimensional paints.
DESIGN HINTS - RESIST TECHNIQUES
- Leadlight designs lend themselves perfectly to silk painting, as the leadlight lines create perfect 'little dams' into which you can apply the colours.
- For Silk Applique, you can use any enclosed shape - ie one that has a complete outline. Childrens' colouring books are a good source of inspiration!
RESIST TECHNIQUE: To Paint an Abstract or Freestyle Design.
There is no need to trace the design. Simply stretch the silk onto your frame, and draw lines from edge to edge of the design area, producing a variety of shapes into which you will apply the colour. Then follow steps 2 to 14 in these notes.