Welcome! Did you enjoy the painting on cotton that we did last time? How about a little painting on silk this go?
Painting on silk is different than painting on cotton, and uses a technique called “Wet on Wet” so you’ll need to mix up 2 parts alcohol to 1 part water and put it in a spray bottle before you start. Oh, and this assumes you’re painting a scarf, a good first project.
Take your scarf and stretch it on a frame, neither too loose nor too tight. If it’s too tight, it will damage the scarf. If it’s too loose, the painting and the spray conditioner will just puddle and it won’t turn out right.
After your scarf is stretched, soak it with the water/alcohol solution. This is like wetting the paper in water color, it both softens the edge of the paint and slows the drying time allowing more time to paint that important first layer of dye.
Starting with the lightest color of silk dye you intend to use, apply the first part of your pattern. In this case, you want to work light to dark when it comes to dyes. Then, add a darker hue of the primary color you’ve chosen to add depth to the design, while everything’s still wet. Remember, the dyes are transparent and once you’ve gone to the darker colors it’s hard to go back to lighter ones. Also, it you want white or light spaces, you leave the silk blank without any dye at all. Allow this first layer with just two colors to dry.
After the scarf is dry, add an even darker hue of your primary color (let’s say you’re doing this with all blues on white… light blue, medium blue, now we’re onto dark blue). Use a fine brush. This will leave lines with a hard edge (this part is called Wet on Dry). Good for outlining stuff, adding dots, that kind of thing.
If you want to somewhat soften your lines/dots/etc. you can always spray with your water and alcohol mix after you put the dye on, but before the dye dries.
Once your scarf is dry, it’s ready to wear. Remember, you don’t machine wash silk. You have to take it to a dry cleaner’s to have it done. The dye shouldn’t bleed after it’s dry.
Once you’re comfortable with scarves, you can do pashminas, dresses, all sorts of things (check Pinterest for ideas). It’s amazing what people think of to do!
Have fun wearing your new art piece!