Friday 11 October 2013

Using layers of Paint on quilts

Art journalling or sketch booking is so much fun and great way to experiment before committing expensive products and time consuming techniques to an art work. I find it therapeutic and feel free working in a smaller scale.

I like to use the same motifs over and over again using different colour ways and composition.  Not only does it help to see new possibilities in design but also colour.  

These three journal pages have reused a leaf stencil as the main focal point.  They also have many layers in them to create more depth and interest.

Each of these pages are quite different but yet contain similar design elements.  By repeating similar design I find I can work more freely and intuitively.  

Although I had been working with technique for quite a period of time on paper I had not tried it on cloth.  I was worried about using layers of paint and what that would do to the hand of the fabric.  I could have tried thickened dye but my studio isn't set up for that process at the moment. 

My thinking cap went on.  How could I get a lovely layered piece of work and still be able to comfortably quilt through it?  
  1. I could thin the paint.  This can cause bleeding and dilution of colour so I would need to work with this or find a way to control this.
  2. I could paint with a slightly thinned paint and then blot the paint to remove any excess.  I could try blotting with a wet or dry cloth.
  3. I could try ironing any excess paint from the cloth
  4. I could try to use less paint on each layer and build up the layers to get full coverage of the cloth and have no white showing on the last layer.

I tried each of these ideas on this piece of work.  Each I think has its place and is helpful in keeping a softer hand of the fabric.  Although the hand of the fabric was completely different to a dyed fabric it was still quite soft and very easy to sew into to.  

I used the thinned paint on the base of the layers as a foundation of colour. It didn't matter whether it bled or not and the colour could be built up.  I used an old credit card to pull off the cloth any extra excess.

I blotted between each layer with a dry cloth and a slightly damp cloth.  I found that a wet cloth didn't work too well as it make area bleed.   

Layered leaf
38 cm x 24 cm

By Catherine Parkinson

I used thicker paint when I stencilled to give a cleaner crisper finish.  The last paint I applied was the metallic as this dries very hard and thick.  I applied a very thin layer of this just to add a little sheen. 

When I had finished the quilting I added more metallic paint and colour.  Because this work is a art piece for the wall it doesn't matter how much more paint is added at this time.  

I really enjoyed this process and the end result.  I can see so many more possibilities painting on fabric.

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