This is really a SONJIFIED lesson in fabric painting because I am painting with a particular finished product in mind for each piece of fabric (which means that I have a vision in my head for a finished art quilt). I painted from 11:30 am and finished at 3:02 pm last Saturday. Since I was working outside in that hot summer sun, the fabric and paint dried very quickly and I had to work fast.
As usual I began with prewashed and still soaking wet (I wash by hand and wring out only slightly) unbleached muslin. You can use either bleached or natural. I use both in this tutorial. The difference, you ask? The colors are brighter when you paint on white fabric, obviously. If I wanted a brilliant, saturated color I would definitely paint on bleached. For that earthy look, I choose unbleached.
Two layers of fabric are one atop the other and I brushed on this pattern with my Utrecht acrylics(watered down 50/50).
Here's a close-up so that you can see how it bleeds when you paint wet-into-wet.
This step adds a lighter blue metallic acrylic based paint combined with Jacquard metallic fabric paints. Because they are both water based they mix well together.
The result is a slight surface shine. I paint over and over until I get the result that I want. I would also like for you to note, that I tend to limit my palette to three or four colors, whether they are in the same color family or not. Limitation tends to facilitate creativity for me.
This is the under fabric. I peeled off the top, directly painted layer and hung it up to dry further and get to crack-a-lackin' on this piece before it dried up. I didn't use a mister at all this hot day and simply worked as fast as I could...with only a potty break and a kissy break for Whoopi and Townsend.
Here's another view of the bottom layer of fabric. You can see that the shape definition is not as clear and the saturation of color is less. It makes a great base for my next piece.
Note the bleed and the areas left untouched by pigment. Some people ask me about how to deal with wrinkles in the wet fabric as they paint. My answer is simple and predictable (if you are familiar with my methodology)...just paint over them and with them. No biggie. It all adds to that organic movement that I like in my work.
The next step for this piece is to use silvery blue as a highlight to the shapes.
The fabric and paint are drying rapidly, so instead of maintaining my wet-into-wet technique, I start utilizing the advantages of dry brush. There is an very textural advantage to dry brush because the paint adheres differently across the ripples and it doesn't bleed at all. The shapes become extremely defined, but slightly rough-edged.
I didn't like how that previous application effected the yardage, so I layered on a very watered down blue (that one from the very first frame in the lesson) and then added random aqua/turquoise seed shapes. I walk around each side of the fabric when I paint, so there is no particular direction (even though there is a particular direction).
I like this surface much better because it will visually blend with the first piece and the hidden idea in my head. Note how the metallic silver emerges no matter what. That's the beauty of metallics. They are never wasted because they always poke through. It's good to experiment and see how many different looks you can get by extending them with other paints and using them in underpainting, not just for a top layer or accent.
The very touch is to add another layer of blue swimming ovals/seeds/whatevers.
These are the final painted fabric half yards. The one on the left is the first layer and the right one is the second layer. I used 108 inch yardage, which didn't fit completely on my painting surface. That's why you see unpainted fabric on the top edge. I'll just cut that off.
This is what the surface of the paint "table" looked like after I peeled off the fabric. I'm painting on a thick piece of styrofoam that I used for a display surface earlier in the year at a show. I use anything for a paint surface...it's recycling. Last year I was big on using the plexi coverings from the basement florouescent fixtures. They finally cracked and I needed something else.
Here's the second go 'round of fabric. Also two layers of wet muslin. This yardage is narrower.
Wet-into-wet method again. Splattersplatsplittysplat. My fav.
The beautiful bleed once again.
Then a layer of orange/copper mix brushed on rapidly.
I removed the top fabric and started work on the bottom piece. My intent was to paint it pretty much the same way, with only slight difference in the amount of metallic on the surface.
It's beautiful and very layered looking. I know that I will use this fabric to define solid shapes in my quilt idea, which is why there aren't any definite shapes painted directly on to the surface.
This is what the styrofoam table looks like after that fabric is removed.
HURRYHURRYHURRY...Baseball will be coming on tv and I want to watch! I laid down a full yard (two pieces one atop the other again). Soaking wet...you know the drill by now.
My idea is to combine the colors and shapes and techniques from the first set of fabric painting and the second set. Then, I should have a complete compliment of colorful fabric to work with. I should. I hope. Ahhh, the best laid plans....so, splitsplatsplatitysplat....
I added a layer of watered down orangey something. I make my version of orange with hot pink and yellow and dark red.
The beauteous metallic is rising and the dark red is seeping. It's great. Who knows how this will turn out. Well, of course...I DO! Not really for sure. I'm just hoping and going with what I know about paint reactions. Let us all pray.
Oh, it's working out just as I planned.
After I achieved the overall surface that I prayed for, I added that lovely ovalish pattern in a highlight color of cerelian blue.
I painted direct shapes and...
I splittysplatted in other areas. That will give me versatility of use with this piece.
I could even use it as a whole cloth.
This is the bottom piece. You can tell how saturated with water the muslin was when I painted that first layer. The result of the bleed through is a beautiful watery environment.
But, of course, I have to keep on painting. So what if it was a beautiful watery environment? I tend to work with denser, layered looking stuff. So, paint on!
I'm adding the color combinations from the previous pieces.
And a little highlight of my favorite YELLOW. YEAH!!!!
Jackson Pollock would be proud...except for those yellow ovals. Oh, well. He's dead, so I don't have to suffer the disappointment.
And here are the two finished pieces. One full yard each. Gorgeous. And NO the chain link pattern of the fence they are drying on did not inflict itself upon the fabric. Thanks for asking, though.
The wanna-be money shot. Oh, well. The value of a dollar has really deflated. You can get a good look at the color combinations and shapes that are repeated.
This is the way that I paint DELIBERATELY for an idea that I have. Try it. Try any of the other tutorials in the sidebar, too. JUST PAINT!!!!