I know that I post a lot of fabric painting tutorials. My methodology is usually the same, so I'm sorry if it's boring to read...but the pictures are always fun. I hope that each time I post one of these, it will inspire someone to dive on in and try. That really is the only way to learn and become proficient at it. So, here we go again folks. Let's get started.
I've washed (but not dried) a piece of muslin, two yards in length. Usually, I layer three or four pieces on top of one another when I am painting. This time, however, I decided not to because I wasn't interested in utilizing the colors for this piece in any additional yardage. Next, I consume quite a bit of coffee out of my handmade, handleless mug given to me by my friend Diana. She does this imitation of me begging for more coffee that is somewhat Oliver Twist-ish.
Don't you love my drop cloth? It used to be white felt. Eventually, I'm sure it will turn up in a piece. The important part of this picture is the paint. I've mixed two colors, one a very pale yellowish green and one ivy green. Both are a combination of Utrecht artist acrylics and Ceramcoat. I usually dilute them 50/50 with water, but depending on the saturation and opacity you want, I suggest tweeking the ratio. Some paint shouldn't be diluted quite that much because it will look washed out after the muslin dries. Experiment.
I like to keep a spray bottle close by because I tend to scrub my paint around and the mist of water helps to disguise my heavy handed brushwork when I don't want it visible. Also, I ended up addding a lovely apple green to my mix. I put down light areas and then darken up. It's easier to darken the fabric than it is to lighten it up. So, I split and splatter and scrub and mist. Split, slatter, scrub and mist. Ending up with this...
The apple green really took over, but the other colors help add depth. This piece would be a great one on it's own, but my intention was to create a philodendron motif, winding all over the place. I let this fabric dry over night and then ironed it. This is an extra step that isn't part of my normal routine because I prefer to work with the wrinkles for more of a textural looking surface. That technique wouldn't work for my leaves, since I want them to appear smooth and want my stems to meander, not look broken.
I darkened up the ivy green that I was initially using. Actually, I didn't darken it, I thickened the mixture so that the leaves would have a more opaque appearance. When I was using the ivy paint in the background splitsplatscrub, it had a translucent appearance because I didn't want dark blotches. I wanted shadowy depth.
The red that's seeping through is from previously painted fabric. I didn't let my drop cloth dry before I put the fresh white piece of muslin down and that red kept peeking through. I sort of liked it and left it. Not much I could do about it anyway. Surely, that red will inspire whatever else I choose to combine this fabric with.
I think that it's very important to move around when you paint, unless you WANT your painting to look directional. Sometimes, I do. For this piece, I want it to work from any angle and I painted from all sides. Plus, it's just a really big piece of fabric and I had no choice unless I suspended myself from the ceiling. Not happening.
It took me almost four hours to do this. I took short breaks (for coffee and pineapple). I hadn't realized it would take me this long AND it still wasn't finished.
I wanted to add veins to the leaves and used diluted gold Jacquard fabric paint. Very watered down.
That gold linework was the finishing touch. I didn't take a full view because you can only see the detail work up close. It was not visible in a full length shot.
So, I let that dry over night and tossed it in the dryer for 15 minutes and then ironed it again. People ask why all the drying and ironing. Well, it helps to set the paint and when I fuse I follow Melody Johnson's IRONIRONIRON and then IRON SOME MORE advice. And then I iron even more. It improves the look of the surface. It makes fusing easier and it's oddly soothing after all that coffee!
What do you think about adding these pieces to that philodendron? I just might. Actually, I painted these to sell at the quilt show. After ironing, I ended up keeping half. That's another thing about ironing.