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