Sunday, July 5, 2015

Tutorial: Painting with Dyes - Greens!

Painting with Dyes: All About Green

This quilt block I painted with dyes is inspired by the Japanese Garden in our Millennium Park in Creston, BC. The garden was designed by Gary Smith. Note the lantern in the foreground. 
 Painting with dyes is not like painting in watercolours nor oils or acrylics. Unless you are painting with the dyes very wet, it is difficult to blend two colours together so how do you have different shades of green within one painting? Painting with a light, medium and dark green is what works best for me when I am trying to depict form in shapes, such as a tree, when painting on textile. The following is my own typical method.
Here you can see I have drawn out 9 pictures that will be eventually cut up into 8" for quilters to purchase. It is easier to work with them in a larger piece than precutting them. I sketch the images using a thickened black dye in a bottle with a nib. I leave this fabric to cure overnight in plastic. The little bit of green showing has been added the second day.
Painting the Greens:
Step one: Mix a dark green using thickened dyes. I like to use lemon yellow, turquoise blue and lots of black to mix the darkest green. Then I proceed to paint all the dark green areas. I imagine a light source and paint the shadows on the opposite sides of the shapes as you can note in the tree below.

Here most of the dark greens have been added. I use a sponge to add the darks in the grassy areas.
 The medium green is mixed with a lot of yellow and a bit of blue.

The green that is a medium value (darkness), has been painted all over the nine blocks next to the darkest of the greens. Be sure to leave areas for the highlights.

 For the lightest shade of green, I add the clear sodium alginate that is used for thickening the dyes to the yellow with a small amount of blue.

Here is the mix. A bit of urea water was added to thin the light green for painting and sponging.

 The completed 9 squares with the lightest green
 A close up of the three shades of green painted on the evergreen tree and the three shades sponged on the birch tree.
When I paint a lot of one colour, I often add just a little of it's complement to 'ease the eye' thus you can see a little red sponged in with the green.  I find it more comfortable to look at. Do you?

 The completed piece ready for putting in plastic to batch/cure overnight before rinsing.


Win Dinn, Artist said...

I love your tutorials, Eileen, and very much enjoyed seeing all that luscious green. Those 8" squares are going to be a hot item!

Joanne said...

Awesome, Eileen. You are amazing.

Lynda said...

Eileen, This is amazing! Thanks for the tutorial!

Maggi said...

Fantastic tutorial. I love the way that you work in the 8" squares on a larger piece..