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Silk Painting Direct Method Tutorial

Posted by Katherine Munro from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada • Published See Katherine Munro's 12 projects »
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  • How to paint a textured painting. Silk Painting Direct Method - Step 1
    Step 1

    My daughter Sara Gorman, age 7, will be demonstrating how to paint a silk scarf using the Direct Method which means she will paint on the silk directly without the use of any resist.

    Stretch your silk on a frame as shown below or other method. Just make sure the fabric is evenly stretched and not too tight or too loose. If it's too loose it will sag and the dye will make puddles. Stretching the silk too tight may damage the fabric.

    Then she sprays the silk with a dilutant of water and rubbing alcohol (2/3rds alcohol to 1/3rd distilled water). Wetting down the silk with this solution before applying the dye will allow the dye to spread and dry with a soft edge. It also gives you more time to paint because it slows down the drying time. This is also called the Wet-on-Wet technique.

  • How to paint a textured painting. Silk Painting Direct Method - Step 2
    Step 2

    She then applies the first layer of dye while the silk is still wet. She has chosen to use red as her primary color and a simple striped pattern for the background. Notice how the lines have a fuzzy edge to them. She is also starting with a light version of her red to start. We always work from light to dark in silk painting because the colors are transparent. Once you go dark it's hard to go back to light. If you want white spaces then you leave the silk without any color.

  • How to paint a textured painting. Silk Painting Direct Method - Step 3
    Step 3

    While the silk is still wet she decides to add a darker version of her stripes to add dimension to the design.

  • How to paint a textured painting. Silk Painting Direct Method - Step 4
    Step 4

    Then we let the first layer dry. Some of the color has separated as you can see the presence of an orange shadow or halo next to the red. This happens to some colors sometimes especially when working with the wet-on-wet technique.

  • How to paint a textured painting. Silk Painting Direct Method - Step 5
    Step 5

    Now she is adding an even darker shade of red to the dry silk. This is called Line Building or Wet-on-Dry technique. These lines will dry with a hard edge and if the application is a bit darker in color it will also have a dark outline around it.

  • How to paint a textured painting. Silk Painting Direct Method - Step 6
    Step 6

    Here is a close up of how the line building technique looks once it is dry:

  • How to paint a textured painting. Silk Painting Direct Method - Step 7
    Step 7

    She decides to add some orange dots in between the dark red lines...

  • How to paint a textured painting. Silk Painting Direct Method - Step 8
    Step 8

    just for fun!

  • How to paint a textured painting. Silk Painting Direct Method - Step 9
    Step 9

    Then she decides that the lines are too heavy and softens them by spraying on dilutant again and adding some salt for texture.

  • How to paint a textured painting. Silk Painting Direct Method - Step 10
    Step 10

    Here is the resulting effect she achieved by wetting it down again and adding salt. The lines are softer and run into each other more and there is an overall mottled texture achieved with the salt.

  • How to paint a textured painting. Silk Painting Direct Method - Step 11
    Step 11

    She then paints some heart shapes with an even darker shade of red once that layer is dry and adds some orange dots around the hearts. The dye that is applied over a previously salted layer will still react with the salt and create neat swirly designs and jagged edges.

  • How to paint a textured painting. Silk Painting Direct Method - Step 12
    Step 12

    Here is what the finished scarf looks like:

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Comments

Pam M.
Pam M. · 1 project
wow ever awsome!!!
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ciinandii
ciinandii · Pretoria, Gauteng, ZA · 8 projects
Wow this is so pretty!
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Katherine Munro
Katherine Munro · Halifax, Nova Scotia, CA · 12 projects
Thanks, I'll show her what you said! I'm always trying to tell people how easy and fun silk painting is but nobody believes me!
Reply
KMOM14
KMOM14 · Fort Wayne, Indiana, US · 377 projects
I love how it looks and the tutorial is easy to follow. By having your 7 year old daughter do it also makes it seem much less intimidating to try (but she does have an artistic eye - she did a great job on this scarf).
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