Sunday, 11 February 2018

Silk painting exploration 2

Following my silk scarf painting, I did some more exploration of this technique, on the principle that the more I do the better I should get at it. This time I was focussing more on the different intensities of colour I could get, and the effect of mixing colours on the fabric. I decided to do geometric type patterns with circles, as this brought up multiple areas for mixing all the basic colours with each other.

This was the first sampler I made. You can see that the gutta wasn't properly laid down through the fabric, and this led to some leakage of the dye. I like the way this works, with different mixtures of colours in the 'overlapping' areas. These colours I made by putting the colours one on top of the other while still wet (rather than mixing them in a palate).
I used black and white as colours of the background squares, and this gave some attractive results.

- thin gutta lines work, as long as you check them
- dye colours are bright and clear, so better not to mix them too much if you want that effect
- works better if you do each colour one at a time, so they are of approximately equal intensity
- this sampler has too many colours and looks busy

This was my attempt to make a pastel colour sampler.
- better not to wet the fabric first for small patterns like this one, because it encourages leakage through or round the gutta
- the background was too raw without any dye on it, so I coloured it a very pale blue which was better
- fewer colours is better
- pastel colours together looks ok, as long as there's no leakage, but the impression is totally different from intense colours
- magenta with a drop of yellow makes a good pink
- using pastel colours, you have to be more careful not to put too much water on, so wait for the colour to dry if you want to change it
- I obviously need more practice with this!

As practice in applying gutta and using pastel colours,
I decided to make an opera scarf for my husband,
so picked some of his clothing colours, sky blue, lime green, and charcoal grey
and tried out different patterns of circles and squares in my sketch book.

I pinned the silk to my frame, and drew equal squares on the underside using a fabric pencil.

Then I drew round a jar lid using the squares as a guide.
When the gutta was finished, this is what it looked like.
I have some way to go before I am skilled at this.
But that's why I'm practising!
I attempted to graduate the intensity of the colour from one end to the next.
You can see that because of the rectangular shape of the scarf, and the square shape of the frame,
the silk only took up half of the frame,
and the lack of frame on one side had a corrugating effect on the silk.

This is what the finished scarf looks like.
I like the pattern very much - it looks regular but interesting.
The colour variations in tone and intensity are not clear enough here.
More practice with graduating the intensity of colours is required.

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